3 Tips for a Successful Customer Support Team

As a support team grows, internal processes become more complex, and customer inquiries pour in. Despite these growing pains, it is still possible to thrive and grow. Here are examples of strategies support teams can employ to provide the best customer support experience and create great communication systems.

When a support team is just starting, things are simple. You don't have to use four or five different tools to track customer data and communications; resolving customer issues takes only a few minutes, and customer issues come from a handful of channels. 

But as your product and customer base grows, your support team will grow too. You will have to find new ways to meet the needs of your customers and their expectations for quality service, but your company is fine. Many successful support teams have survived the growing pains. They have adapted their processes and toolkits to ensure that customers consistently get the experience they expect. 

In our study of the most successful support teams, we found three strategies they use to improve service and increase efficiency. 

These strategies focus on improving how new employees are onboarded, developing subject matter experts, and improving communication between teams. Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies into your team so they can work effectively and enhance your company's reputation with customers.

Use customer support software which contains an efficient knowledge base, ticketing system and Live chat. Minimal cost to enhance customer experience.BClinked 

Rapid deployment, simple enough but effective customer support system


1. Balance teaching people with helping people learn

Hiring people with the right experience and attitude is the cornerstone of building a solid support team. Team members with these qualities provide top-notch support, avoiding a bad customer experience and even turning it into a good one. 

This is an important factor, considering that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a product if customer support is good. However, the most successful teams hire great people and go one step further. 

It's one thing to hire the best people you can find. It's another to get them up to speed quickly and operate as a productive part of the team. Some of the best, well-known support teams make it easy for their new team members to feel like experts on the company's products and services. 

That's exactly what Intercom, a customer messaging application, does. Their philosophy is that "the less effort new employees spend looking for answers to problems they've already solved, the more time they can spend solving problems you didn't even know existed." 

Intercom's use of short tutorials during onboarding is one reason new employees learn quickly and find exactly what they need. Instead of overwhelming new employees with a lot of information immediately, Intercom breaks down the information and shares it gradually over a few days. 

The training starts with basic information to deepen understanding of the product and its features and then introduces more layers of information each day. Intercom explains that this approach makes it "easy for new employees to make connections between sections.

Here's how Intercom's support team works during onboarding.

-On day one, the first task for new hires is set up. For your team, this may involve familiarizing them with the access system or accounts and showing the new employee how to navigate them.

-The second day is focused on introducing the new employee to the work to be completed. This takes each job or task the customer wants to complete - such as uploading data to their profile in the application - and breaks it down into multiple steps. This process provides the team with a customer journey map to help them understand how customers use the product so they can understand their needs and learn how to exceed expectations.

-On the third day, new employees are introduced to the platform and its features. This helps the team become familiar with the product, so they are ready to answer customer questions and quickly resolve their issues.

-Day four focuses on supporting the product. For you, this may mean exposing new employees to the product you use to receive, assign, and track work orders.

-On the final day, new employees are ready to get started and put what they've learned into practice as they interact with customers.

This step-by-step approach to training works for Intercom because each day, the new employee learns something based on the previous day's training. New hires understand the process better and have a solid background in how the company and its products work. At the end of onboarding, the system feels almost intuitive, and they have enough background knowledge to understand the support product and how it ties into all the other tools and processes.

Key Takeaways

Determine what new hires need to know, distil it into smaller units, and then create an onboarding plan that shares this information step-by-step if there are 20 things a new employee needs to learn, group similar items together and set a schedule. 

Make sure you give them enough time each day to focus on one topic category so that by the end, new hires have the most important information. Assign each group of topics to a day of the week and set aside a day for new hires to test what they have learned or ask more in-depth follow-up questions.

2. Develop Subject Matter Experts

Regardless of the size of your support team, all of its members have different backgrounds and experiences. 

As a result, everyone brings a fresh perspective and a little extra creativity to problem-solving. Take advantage of this and make a conscious effort to prepare your team for new opportunities so they can focus on the topics they choose. 

In other words, give your team the opportunity to become experts in the areas that resonate with them. 

Doing so allows you to develop Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who can help guide the rest of the team in their daily work. SMEs "have their finger on the pulse of the industry, understand the inner workings of the space, and have an innate understanding of their customers."

Let's look at an example. 

If you have an agent on your social media support team who is experienced in the space and has expressed an interest in learning more about support and social media, pay for them to attend webinars and conferences or have them pay for books and online courses.

You can even have them run social media experiments to learn more in real-time. In this way, the agent knows as much as possible about the platform and can help other members of the social media support team answer challenging customer questions, solve problems, or come up with new ways to use social media to improve the customer experience. 

For example, instead of just answering questions, SMEs might suggest that agents include useful links in their responses because they conducted an experiment that showed retention rates increased when customers had a lot of information to refer to. By developing take-charge people on each of your support teams, you make it easier for teams to succeed because they can get the information they need quickly. 

At the same time, support teams add value to their services because customers begin to see the entire team as trusted advisors, not just nameless people on the other side of the computer screen. Put your SME and team leader work together. The SME will come up with new and creative solutions, and the team leader can ensure that these ideas keep your support team on track for success.

Key Takeaways

You can hire an SME for your support team, or you can develop them from within. Whichever method you choose, make sure there is a process in place to manage the knowledge base they are building. The SME will share many insightful ideas but ensure the team is supported so that the recommendations are implemented and not discarded.


3. Facilitate communication between teams

Even the companies with the best products have to listen to unhappy customers. While responding to customer questions and concerns is reactive, it doesn't have to be - especially as the team grows. 

Of course, if a button in an application breaks or an upload on your website stops working, you won't always know about these situations until you hear from a customer. It's a much better experience if the customer receives a letter from you before they experience a problem. 

It shows them that you care about their experience and want to ensure it meets their expectations. This approach requires your team to be proactive, which means they must work closely with other groups (sales, marketing, product, etc.). For example, if the sales team is aware of customer trends or the product team finds a problem with a new feature.

When inter-team communication is encouraged, information flows freely, making it easier for support staff to do their jobs. 

They are prepared in advance, so the customer doesn't have to explain the problem to them; the support team is already aware and ready with a solution. For example, when you have well-coordinated teams, they notify the rest of the company when developers find a bug. 

Customer support representatives can then post tweets and notifications on the website to let customers know what is happening so they can get answers to problems as soon as they occur. Create an internal process so that other teams can easily share information with your team. 

This can take the form of an internal "ticket" that triggers an email to the support team or a channel in Teamwork Chat dedicated to product updates where couples can share updates that affect customers. The more your team knows about potential issues and customer concerns, the better prepared they will be to address them and ensure a positive customer experience.

Key Takeaways

Encourage open discussions in public channels using your communication tools. Instead of chatting privately, have one team member send updates to another team member as they work closely with each other and get everyone in the habit of sharing publicly among the team. This ensures that no information is lost and creates a culture where information sharing is the norm.

Ways to grow your business through customer support

Excellent customer support not only helps keep existing customers happy but also helps attract new ones! Explore 3 ways to grow your business through customer support in this article.

When you think of customer support, the first word that comes to mind is retention. in 2017, the threshold for trying new products was so low that if your customers have a problem, you must fix it immediately, or they will move on to a competitor. A great customer support team can be the difference between success and failure for your company-especially if you're a startup.

1. Track feature requests to build better products

Y Combinator's mantra is an obvious part of business success: Make Something People Want. But anyone who has started from scratch knows this is easier said than done. Your great idea may be something people like but don't need, or a competitor may come out with a product that outperforms your own.

Excellent customer support not only focuses on solving individual customer problems as quickly as possible but also pays close attention to suggestions for possible improvements to your product. Tracking new feature requests is one of the easiest ways to find out what your customers need. 

The requests your team receives indicate what your customers need most urgently, so you can create solutions and attract more customers like them. When you try to take care of each customer immediately, it can be difficult to parse out what is an urgent need and what is an individual use case, which is why you need a system to track and prioritize each customer.


2. Your customers, making it easy to share stories

Analysis shows that 58% of consumers are likelier to tell others about their customer service experience than they were five years ago, which means the best customer support gives your customers something to talk about. 

Entrepreneur, author and avid fan of Morton's Steakhouse, Peter Shankman, joked on Twitter that they should bring him a steak when his plane landed. Sure enough, when he got off the plane, they were already waiting for the steak.

An example of Morton's Steakhouse's excellent customer service.

He wrote about what he learned from the experience, saying, "Customer service is not about telling people how great you are. It's about creating stories to speak for you." 

In your company, there will be necessary "airport steak delivery" moments where you can create amazing customer support stories, but going the extra mile for your customers every day will also create an impressive story for your brand. 

This narrative is a growth mechanism, and Peter Shankman didn't just eat the steak - he tweeted about it. Encourage your customers to share their support stories as easily as possible. Start by trying these tips.

-Include a referral CTA in the support agent's email signature.

Add "Want 25% off your next bill? Refer a friend here" and a referral link to each support team agent's email signature. It won't bother customers who you haven't resolved yet because it's not a direct "ask", but it makes it easier for customers who want to refer you to do so.

-Add social sharing buttons to support rep email signatures.

Adding social sharing buttons to your emails reduces the number of clicks required to share a success story and reminds customers that they can share. It's easy.

So when your customers have something positive to say about your brand, they'll be able to post a tweet in seconds quickly.

3. Demonstrate a positive and supportive experience

Social media has become an essential support channel. Data shows that 67% of customers use social media to get customer support, and 33% even prefer it. Leverage that customer contact point. 

Personalizing and responding quickly to each customer's tweet or Facebook comment will help increase positive brand mentions - they will bring your business to the attention of your customers' friends and professional networks. Once you've built a rock-solid support strategy for social media, you can share the results with all your customers, even when they're not on social media. 

Your brand needs to have a personality and voice for potential customers to trust you, so build trust by showcasing the support you provide through social channels as social proof on your website. Including a social media timeline on your website is a form of customer referral that increases conversion rates by as much as 34%. 

But social media timelines have the added benefit that when customers visit your page, they will see comments that they know have not been carefully edited by the marketing team. The complement is organic, and they can trust it to be true. We show this Twitter timeline on our Customer Satisfaction page.


Let customer support drive your growth engine.

Customer support is one of the easiest ways to grow your business because that growth is driven by the high standards of your support team. To be successful, you must do what you should be doing anyway - focusing on the customer experience. 

But beyond those personal experiences, a reputation for excellent customer support builds trust with current and potential customers. 

The value of that trust is immeasurable. When your customers know you care about their experience, they trust you to fix bugs, develop the new features they need and provide them with a best-in-class product rather than turning to the competition.

Use customer support software which contains an efficient knowledge base, ticketing system and Live chat. Minimal cost to enhance customer experience.BClinked