Training Manual Basics: Outline the Big Picture

Understanding the big picture is critical for building successful and high-performing teams. This means, that the customer support agents should be familiar with the company goals and philosophies. The agents will be able to see how their team mission relates to the company goals and hence contribute to achieving these goals in their day-to-day operations.

For further info on why this matters, watch “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”

Big picture: what do you do and why do customers need support

So let’s be real: Customer support is a hard job, period. Generally speaking, happy people don’t write very much. Angry people, they write. A lot of your agents will deal with customers and issues that are emotionally taxing. It is your job to understand, appreciate, and be thankful for this.

We, as people, can tolerate just about anything with the right underlying motivation. Creating a strong customer support team means giving the agents the underlying motivation to WANT to deal with these unhappy people. And in a positive way. This is why a training manual should begin and end with the big picture.

Describing the big picture meant to describe who you are as a company, your mission, and what you are doing for your customers. You should explain the purpose of your support team and why you hired these people to share your mission.

For the bigger picture, explain to people, from a high-level, on why your company makes a difference to your customers. It’s also important to touch on how the customer support team makes a difference to your customers. After that, you should provide a short summary of how things work. What is the general user experience and where does customer support come into play? Next, outline the manual Table of Contents.

Here’s an example of what the big picture piece can actually look like:

Big picture: what is your company mission? What is your support team long-term and short-term mission? What are the upcoming projects that contribute?

 

Customer Service 2018

Company Mission

Our mission is to build an outdoor adventure community founded on trust. We do this by providing a safe, high-quality shopping experience with a strong customer support team. Our target demographic is young professionals who seek outdoor adventure clothing at a discount. Since this gear is traditionally extremely expensive, we need customers to trust our brand and that the quality of the discounted items are top standard.

Support Team Object, long-term

Company to be known for a friendly, professional and reliable customer support team — always going above and beyond expectations no matter the situation. Customers should feel like they are the top priority and they have our full support should any problems arise.

Support team Objective, short-term

By June 2018 – Increase our average customer service rating by 20%

Key Results

  • Implement a new labeling system
  • All agents understand the importance of the new labeling process and utilize consistently
  • Conduct bi-weekly QA to ensure agents are providing top notch service for all customer issues
  • Work with product team to develop roadmap to improve top product problems driving customer support volume

 

For specific process improvements, it is also critical that these are introduced with the same big picture concept. Here’s an example of how to introduce large process changes.

 

New Process for Labels and Macros

Introduction

We have recently updated our Labels and Macros to be more organized (by department) and concise (to the point, removing redundant labels).

First of all, what is the importance of proper labels? Proper labeling allows for:

  • Increased insight into customer top concerns allows us to achieve our goal to increase customer service ratings by 20%. We can better train on the issues driving bad reviews. We can improve the product if there is evidence that product issues are driving support and impacting customers negatively.
  • Isolating trending issues quickly:
    • Example trends: returns – incorrectly sized item
    • Questions we can answer with proper labeling: is it a particular store? Is it for particular merchandise? Is it vendor negligence or a product size chart bug?
    • Possible actions:
      • Support team leads can directly contact the vendor and take action to resolve the quality issues
      • Work with product team to resolve size chart bug
  • We can better predict fluctuations in email quantities so that we can be properly staffed. This ensures that our email response time is stable
  • We can create effective audits to determine if current processes need to be improved

These are the top reasons that we have developed a new system. We hope you understand the importance and appreciate your willingness to master this new system.

 

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