While it’s a goal of any team to increase customer service team productivity, it’s especially important for customer support teams because increased productivity results in happier agents, which leads to happier customers, and ultimately more revenue for your business.
In today’s digital and social media-driven age, excellent customer service team productivity is more important than ever. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they’re being treated. Before the social media boom, a customer complaint did not have a far-flung audience but now, if a customer has a bad experience with your brand, they can voice their discontent publically, which will end up hurting your brand. 90% of customers admit their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
The good news is that while a bad customer experience can have adverse side effects, a good experience can help boost your business. People are four times more likely to make a purchase when referred by someone they know, and there is an 18% increase in loyalty from a referred customer.
And what compels people to refer businesses?
Excellent customer service.
Enter your support agents. They are jacks and jills of all trades; they troubleshoot technical issues, field user inquiries, and keep customers happy.
It’s hard for your team to do any of these things when unproductivity is at large, so we’ve rounded up some tips to help keep your awesome customer service team on track.
Tip #1: Create accountability
One surefire way to increase productivity is to hold agents accountable for their tasks.
It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance. This often leads to agents tackling easier tasks first and procrastinating more complex cases.
Create accountability with clear deadlines and pre-defined SLAs to help your team clearly manage priorities, avoid procrastination, and get stuff done.
Another way to create accountability is to have a transparent workflow within your team so that your agents can see what everyone else on the team is working on and help hold them accountable to the task. It’s easy to procrastinate a task when you’re the only one that knows about it. We have a tendency to be more motivated when other people know what we’re doing.
Tip #2: Choose the right support software
Whether you’re a smaller business that needs a streamlined workflow or an enterprise company that requires a more complex and custom system, choosing the right support software that meets your needs is critical.
Some support software features that will help increase your team’s productivity:
- Ability to link articles to cases, as well as link related cases
- One integrated view of all incoming inquiries across all support channels
- Fast access to customer information
Research has shown that 40% of customers prefer self-service support to reaching out to a company’s support team. If your business has customers who prefer self-service support, it is worthwhile to choose software that will help you build a robust knowledge base. This will help reduce the number of support tickets on minor inquiries that customers can look up themselves, freeing up your agents’ time to work on more complex tasks.
One example of how a robust knowledge base can help create productivity is that agents can easily create articles from cases that they frequently encounter. This way, future customers can visit the knowledge base and get the answers they need.
Knowledge bases also help you train new employees, giving them a reliable place to reference up-to-date information.
Tip # 3: Set up clear steps
A major time killer is not knowing how to do your job or the proper steps to take in certain situations, such as escalating a case.
Timely support is a crucial factor. Your support agents don’t often have the luxury of time when there’s a customer on hold who needs help.
You can combat this by outlining clear and streamlined step for situations and properly train employees on what to do in various situations.
Tip #4: Empower your agents
Expanding on the previous point about setting up steps, you also don’t want to over-document everything.
While it’s good to have these steps in places so agents know what to do, you don’t want super rigid processes that will restrict agents from doing their jobs.
One way to boost agent productivity is to get them engaged in their job. Often, support teams get discouraged and just go through mindless motions to do their job. When people feel passionate and active in their jobs, they’re much more productive.
Encourage participation from your team. Listen to their feedback and make sure they feel heard. They’re on the frontlines every day, interacting with your customers, which makes them a treasure trove of valuable information.
Trust that you hired great support agents. Equip them with the tools and information they need to solve situations and have non-scripted conversations with customers, then give them the autonomy to do their jobs effectively and increase customer service team productivity.
Tip #5: Promote a work-life balance
Our society often promotes a culture of long hours and endless work. Burnout is a very real thing. There will always be more work to be done and putting pressure on your employees to complete it all in an unrealistic time frame can lead to burnout fast.
There’s nothing more mind-numbing than being shackled to your desk all day. If your team is working themselves to the bone, they’ll fall victim to fatigue and stress.
Whether it’s a quick coffee run or a walk around the block, encourage your agents to take a break; it will help fuel their productivity.
The bottom line: These five tips will help increase your team’s productivity and ultimately lead to both happier agents and customers.
What are some of your productivity tips for your team? Get in touch with us and Let us know what you think.