So you’re new on the block and suddenly you have all these clients, customers, and people to keep happy. What’s the easiest way to do this? Talking one-on-one. This interaction is customer support. Customer Support can be one of the single most important factors that makes or breaks you.
So how does one start building out Customer Support Operations? It can sound daunting, but there really is a process you can follow.
Before you do anything, you need to outline the customer experience. What is your business? In what ways do you interact with your customers? You need to outline and understand the basic timeline and flow that users experience on your platform. This will allow you to understand not only what questions they are likely to have, but also the specific back-end data you will need to have access to. This can be social interaction data, order data, platform and device history, vendor reliability questions, anything! In order to properly provide support, you need to have the right data available to you and your soon-to-be customer support team.
After really digging in and understanding your business, you can start to build a training manual for the support team. With your mapped out customer experience, you can now outline the top questions. You should also be able to instruct your team on how to respond, including what data they will need to find, plus what they can and should share with customers. While a go-to manual is essential for training and on-going use, you’ll also need a process for how to handle both unknown cases and escalated cases. If this sounds like a lot, don’t worry. In this series, I’ll provide example training manuals as well as example templates for escalated issues.
Let’s review: Step 1: understand the customer experience; Step 2: build a support manual based off that customer experience. Next, you’ll need to start picking your tools.
It’s important to select a tool that allows you to offer the type and level of support that fits with your corporate strategy. You’ll need to decide how you want to reach your customers. You want to do your best to predict what you will need as you grow so that you can build the proper foundation for that today. Why? Scalability.
Another important part of picking a tool and proper set up is creating a way to track customer interactions overtime. For this, a good labeling system is a must. An essential aspect of business planning is understanding your customer needs. What better way to give your team insight into customer needs than by monitoring exactly what they say and how it changes overtime? Remember, customer support is one of the single most important aspects of a business. Not only is customer support the #1 way in which your company PERSONALLY interacts with its customers, therefore becoming the most impactful brand advocate, but it is can be transformative to your internal strategy. With the proper operational set-up, you can use customer support data to influence business planning in an incredibly powerful way. It can help provide new ideas for your product and strategy team, monitor the way customers receive new product changes, or even validate or disprove product ideas.
The ‘Initial Build-out of Customer Support Operations’ Series will help you understand how to make customer support an impactful part of your team. You will learn how to build customer support operations from the ground up with a step-by-step process. Stay tuned for weekly articles and additional example material.