According to research held by American Express, 58% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service.
So the question is how to create a super cool support team and enthrall your customers.
Dig on the experience of the call tracking service Ringostat.
Meet Eugene Zastup.
Eugene is the Head of Customer Support at Ringostat. By the way, within hallowed halls of our company we call each other by nicknames. Sometimes they’re even nice. So every day when Eugene gets inside the office, he turns into Jack. Sounds a little bit weird, right?
*Snaps fingers * Pay attention and stay with me here.
Jack has a great sense of humor. He’s very talented at making jokes, some of which are even funny.
This could be the main reason why his work feels more like a game. All of our customer support managers embrace a (not-robotic) human tone and sound personal and friendly in all interactions with clients.
Let’s jump back to Jack. He’s been slaving away at Ringostat for 3 years and thanks to his heroics, our support team has grown from 2 to 7 first class professionals. Along the course of this epic journey he’s learned some practical tricks that we’d like to put into your head.
Check out 7 of his silver bullets for delivering high-level support and excelling the competitors.
1. Determine the goals and tasks of Customer Support
The first goal was to help our clients activate the service, provide them with consultations and resolve their problems. The second important goal was improving the service quality according to remarks and requests of customers.
With that in mind, we assigned the following tasks:
- identify the main communication channels and shorten the response time;
- divide requests into categories (inquiries, questions or complaints) to make processing easier;
- determine the strategy and structure of the customer support team.
2. Put together a successful team
After coming up with our goals and tasks, we should have expanded Customer Support and clearly delineated functional responsibility.
Currently, we have three roles for our managers:
- The Customer Support Managers process incoming inquiries and configure new projects.
- The Customer Success Managers manage the progress and growth of our clients. They not only resolve technical issues but engage customers in comprehensive exploring of our service and help them achieve excellent results.
- The Customer Success Accountant is assigned to control timely payments of current clients.
3. Choose communication channels
We went with Intercom as our main communication channel. It’s pretty convenient for both clients and Customer Support Managers. Сlient can ask a question in chat and receive the answer within 5 minutes. If he closes the chat, he’ll get an email with an answer.
Intercom provided us with opportunities:
- to keep inquiries from different media channels in one interface — on Intercom we see messages of our customers from email, Facebook and chat on the website.
- get instant notifications — all Customer Support Managers receive messages about customer requests on their mobile phones and can react even if they are outside of work.
- easy find inquiries — they’re divided into categories (question, bug, feature, remark) and tagged accordingly.
4. Shorten response time
Some companies don’t focus on response time. They think it’s okay to answer inquiries within 5-6 hours. However, for us, the short response time is crucial as we provide communication services. The itty bitty bugs of a phone system can lead to big client losses.
So currently Customer Support answers within 5 minutes.
What we’ve done to reach the goal of shortening response time:
- hired enough Support Managers for processing of incoming enquiries.
- created templates for answers which don’t need an immediate reaction. For example, if a client has a problem requiring many efforts we send him a premade answer that we’ll work on its resolution and get in touch.
- implemented a motivation system wherein one of the KPIs is the time of request processing.
5. Get your priorities straight
Sometimes to answer within 5 minutes is impossible. In emergency cases, we evaluate the extent of the existing problem. To simplify this process, we have a clear hierarchy of incoming requests. If a Customer Support Manager is busy with the project configuration and receives a message about a problem, at first he should resolve the issue. Then he can continue with the project configuration.
6. Educate your customers
By answering clients on a daily basis, we discovered that most of their questions are fairly similar. In this case, a knowledge base is the perfect solution. Within its chambers we archived all the information about project configuration, reports, and integrations.
Thus, we killed two birds with one stone:
- from now on, customers can learn about our service and find the answers to their questions on their own damn time.
- Customer Support Managers save time because they can simply send the link to the required instructions.
7. Motivate managers
Talking about a candid desire to help clients is one thing, but a good motivational system for managers is another breed of cat.
We have two kinds of financial incentives — positive and negative. Negative ones are the penalties for a non-answering within 5 minutes or failure to perform duties without any reasons. Positive incentives depend on fulfillment and over-fulfillment of an individual plan.
KPI for Customer Service Managers is the average response time and number of processed inquiries etc. Also, we implemented the questionnaire for clients to evaluate the performance of managers. Therefore, we can not only make decisions about bonuses for them but also identify and fix problems in our approach.
When it comes to IT services, the excellent Customer Support plays a significant role in the retention of clients. Having paid in advance, customers want to feel totally safe and ensure that any of their problems are going to be resolved with ease. Of course, building high quality support requires effort, but believe us, it’s one of the best ways to stand out from competitors and acquire that always needed a customer loyalty.