How To Optimize Your Tools To Deliver Both Effective & Efficient Customer Support

As customer service software is combined with customer service solutions, customer experience becomes streamlined.

While customer support is difficult, it’s important to keep in mind that what one customer group wants or needs may be different from what another customer group wants or needs. This means finding ways to deliver customer service can be complicated by the sheer number of tools available for companies to use.

There’s no doubt about it – optimizing your customer support tools is a winning game plan for both your business and your clients! While customer service software can make customer care easier, customer experience will only be improved if the customer support tools are used correctly and timely.

Here at LimTC, we’ve learned through direct hands-on experience exactly what to do to optimize our own customer support tools. We want to share some of our tips so you can learn how to get the best out of yours.

Customer Service Software And Tools

Here at LimTC, we believe in providing tools that fit customer needs to be effective when they are used by customer service teams that have customer data at their fingertips.

For example, customer service chatbots – or customer bots – are great for customer service teams that need to automate common customer queries. We’ve found customer bots to be very effective at simplifying repetitive tasks and reducing average ticket times by up to 50%! But they aren’t the right tools for every team.

What you need will depend on your industry, the size of your customer base, and the type of customer care that best suits you. What works for a B2B business might not work for a retail customer service team and vice versa.

To deliver customer service that truly enhances customer experience, customer support teams must be able to prioritize tasks based on customer needs and preferences. Having a wealth of customer support tools is pointless if customer support staff are unaware of the time or date when a customer requires assistance, or can’t properly interact with customers due to outdated technology.

Customer service software can be a great way to save time and money for your business if it’s used with customer data in mind.

How To Optimize Your Tools

To get the best out of customer support tools, customer data needs to first be collected and analyzed. The right customer support tools will depend on the type of customer support your business provides.

Customer data is invaluable in helping customer service teams prioritize customer requests. If a customer prefers a particular type of communication or requires assistance at a specific time of day, customer support tools should be prioritized accordingly.

Customer data can also help you determine which customer support tools are most effective for your customer support team. A customer service chatbot that’s automated to answer frequently asked questions may not be as successful as one that can review customer complaints and issue refunds. Even an advanced customer chatbot will still require customer service staff with customer data to make sure customer needs are met.

Methods for Optimizing your tools

Customer Data

Customer information must be analyzed and used to determine customer service needs, customer preferences, and customer activities.

Customer Feedback

Customers should be surveyed regularly to ensure customer support tools are meeting customer needs.

Manage Customer Support Tools

Make sure your customer support team has access to the right data at the right time in order to manage customer support tools effectively.

Customer Data

Customer data can be obtained from customer surveys, customer tickets, customer communications, and even customer profile information.

Using customer feedback tools will help you determine which customer support tools are most effective for your customer support team. If a chatbot regularly receives the same customer request that could be completed by a human customer service agent, customer support software should be prioritized accordingly.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is a great way for customer support teams to determine customer needs and customer preferences, allowing customer support staff to prioritize customer requests.

Manage Customer Tools

Make sure your customer service team has access to the right data at the right time in order to manage customer support tools effectively.

At LimTC, customer care is at the heart of what we do. We help companies find their customer data and use it to deliver an outstanding customer experience. To learn more about how our customer support teams choose and optimize tools according to every specific business needs to boost customer care, stay tuned get in touch.

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How Leaders Can Combat Customer Support Team Churn

Leaders play a critical role in ensuring that their workforce is motivated and engaged. Driving results through your team members will help you accomplish your company objectives and stay ahead of the competition. However, do you know why some of your employees are disengaged or unhappy? It might have to do with how they are managed or because they’re not happy about what’s expected from them at work.

In the previous blog, we touched base on a very underestimated subject as burnout specifically in customer support teams. Companies understand that customer experience is a competitive edge but very often underestimate the power of customer support teams.

In fact, organizations with good customer service enjoy up to 20% higher profits.

Customers who have a bad experience when they contact support are known to reduce their spending by 75%. They also tell around 9 to 15 people about it on social media or other review websites. In addition, 56% of unhappy customers will never buy from you again and 66% will stop repurchasing the same product category.

That’s why we see more and more companies using the right tools, processes, and leadership for providing great support and rapid feedback loops to improve collaboration and alignment between marketing, development, and support. But what if all these efforts aren’t enough? What can leaders do before losing talented people?

In this article, we’ll explore some ways to stop attrition rates among customer support teams by focusing leadership on internal vs external factors which affect job satisfaction for this type of workforce.

We believe the first step might be understanding why customer support teams and specifically yours experiencing high churn rates.

As mentioned previously, customer support is a very demanding job. It requires constant shifts between different types of work (tickets, chat, emails, etc), uncertain compensation (depending on company structure and location), strong emotional involvement (with customers or between team members), lack of transparency into the bigger picture, and little recognition for what’s done well.

While there are many things that could contribute to high attrition rates in this field, we can distinguish two broad categories: the internal factors (behaviors of managers/leaders) and external factors (behaviors of upper management toward employees).

Internal Factors

This includes various issues managers might face when leading customer support teams. Let’s break them down!

Poor work-life balance

Support team members live to serve their users 24/7. While it sounds like a noble goal that should be rewarded rather than criticized, in practice, it’s inefficient for your business.

Frequent shifts make it difficult to build a work-life balance outside of their working hours. People who are used to working long hours might be inclined to stay longer once they’re there. In the end, this has a negative impact on productivity. It also impacts personal life as it triggers feelings of guilt from not being present at home or with friends and family.

In addition, few companies allow remote work or flexible schedules that bring additional challenges for team members trying to find a good balance between their professional and private lives.

For example, some teams don’t have email access after a certain time which makes it hard to communicate last-minute urgent matters or requests from users (especially when an issue is occurring).

Low transparency

This issue comes from a lack of communication and understanding of the bigger picture. For example, support staff doesn’t have access to real-time information such as sales numbers, user growth, product usage metrics, etc. This makes it difficult for them to understand what’s expected of their performance and how they contribute to the organization’s success.

When that happens, team members feel like just another cog in the machine with no direct impact on the company’s overall well-doing. They also start feeling less committed and willing to go the extra mile for your customers because they don’t see its value or purpose.

Poor remuneration policy

Your employees might not be able to afford to live in an expensive city where your company is located. This issue has a direct impact on the happiness, dedication, and retention rates of your team members outside of work.

External Factors

On the other hand, there are factors that leaders don’t have any control over but might still contribute to high attrition rates in customer support teams. These include poor company culture, unfair wage differences between departments/positions, micromanagement practices, lack of career advancement opportunities for technical-oriented employees, etc.

To better understand why your people become unhappy or disengaged at work you need to ask them about their concerns and find out what they expect from their leader or manager during their next performance review. That way you can try to address these issues before it’s too late!

If not, you might face the unpleasant scenario of having to go through a round of layoffs in order to restructure your team.

To prevent high attrition rates in customer support teams start by focusing on the internal factors first. The external ones are much harder for you to have an impact on since they depend largely on company leadership’s vision and practices. For that reason, it’s important how managers communicate with their team members about their performance. They should also work actively to build trust-based relationships among employees so that people feel comfortable voicing concerns without being labeled as “complainers”.

Tips for leaders that are easy to begin with, but will have a huge impact:

Offer more transparency:

Open and frequent communication is key to improvement. Make sure your leaders and managers share crucial information with your customer support team members (sales figures, product usage metrics, etc) so that they can understand how what they do contributes to the company’s overall well-being.

Provide career advancement opportunities: show your support staff other paths within the organization for them to explore instead of putting all their eggs in one basket by staying in a role where they don’t have any room for growth or exploration.

Avoid micromanagement practices:

Trust should be at the core of every team member’s experience while working for you. If there are constant requests coming from the top it makes people like they lack autonomy and control over their tasks. That’s a deal-breaker!

Introduce a fair compensation policy:

What you pay for is what you get. And more often than not, people don’t leave jobs because of the salary, but more because they feel undervalued and think it’s time to move on from their current position to something better suited for them.

Don’t expect them to act like robots:

The customer success team represents your business in front of people who require help, but they’re also people with feelings and emotions. If you keep treating them like numbers because it’s easier that way, then you could face major issues down the road.

Treat your staff as individuals instead of generic resources and you’ll be much more successful at retaining them for longer!

As a leader, it’s critical to be aware of internal and external factors that might affect the retention rate of your customer support team. Once you come up with an action plan that addresses these concerns it will be much easier to focus on what really counts: bringing home more customers!

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How To Prevent Customer Support Teams From Burning Out

We all know how important it is for a business to provide great customer service, which can help us maintain healthy relationships with existing customers and attract new ones as well. But take a closer look at any decent-sized organization and you’ll find lots of other people working behind the scenes to keep it going – from salespeople and marketers trying to bring in new leads or close deals, to engineers building products that solve customers’ problems, to customer support staff providing help and assistance. Because they’re less visible to the general public, many of these people aren’t as well-recognized for their contributions or rewarded with corporate kudos, but make no mistake about it: Their efforts are absolutely critical to the success of any company.

In this article, we’ll talk specifically about one group of unsung heroes – customer support teams – who can often find themselves overworked and underappreciated despite the fact that they’re on the front lines every day helping customers solve problems. Hopefully, by reading this you’ll not only discover how to recognize your own best employees before it’s too late but learn how to keep them from burning out and leaving your organization.

To start, let’s take a closer look at the problem with customer support teams specifically. As you know, your front-line team members are most likely to have daily contact with customers – including direct interactions via phone or email as well as indirect interactions through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. They also tend to be closest to the action when it comes to new product development, software updates, and other changes that might impact the quality of their work environment. So they’re arguably more aware than pretty much anyone (except maybe executive leadership) of what’s changing and how those changes might impact them personally down the road. And if you’ve employed less experienced people who don’t yet understand that changes need to be made, they’re also more likely than senior leaders to be the first ones to complain about problems with your products or services.

All of which is why it’s absolutely critical for organizations to make sure their customer support teams are as happy and fulfilled as possible from start to finish. From their hiring process all the way through career advancement opportunities. That’s easier said than done, of course, because many companies don’t invest enough time or money in training their teams properly before sending them out into the field. Then once customers start complaining, those same companies often fail to recognize the importance of listening carefully and acting on that feedback, leading overworked CSRs down a path toward burnout.

How to recognize if there is a burnout problem in your organization

If you’re not sure whether or not there’s a problem, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are your customer support teams complaining often about the work they do?
  • Do they routinely feel overworked and underappreciated? 
  • Are they always the first to complain about a new development or changes at your organization?
  • Do you struggle to retain good employees for any length of time, regardless of how much you pay them?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, it’s likely that there are some problems with your customer support teams. And if those problems aren’t addressed soon, many of the people on those teams will eventually burn out and leave for other jobs. Let’s now take a look at why that happens so often in today’s businesses …

How to prevent burnout before it starts

The simplest way to avoid this kind of employee burnout is simply by hiring people who love what they do for a living. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you’re looking at resumes from dozens or even hundreds of job candidates with similar skills and experience levels. 

So as a first step, try to narrow the list of candidates down by comparing their qualifications against some of the following points.

First, look for people who have a history of being good listeners. These are the people who ask a lot of questions and pay close attention not just to what you’re saying but also to how you’re saying it. This is important because it demonstrates that they care about more than just getting answers or fixing problems. It is typically an indicator that they also care about keeping customers happy and making sure everyone has fun along the way (at least whenever possible).

The second thing to consider is whether your prospective employees already enjoy talking with other types of customers in different industries. For example, would they be excited if their only choice was selling car parts and talking to car enthusiasts all day long? Or do they prefer complex products that require a lot of explanation and allow them to showcase their problem-solving skills?

If you’re not sure, ask candidates how much they enjoy being pushed in different directions. Someone who’s looking for stability in every job he or she takes is probably going to want something very familiar at your company which could ultimately cause problems down the line when the next big thing rolls around. That person might be less eager to experiment with new software or take on new training classes if they don’t feel comfortable expanding their horizons beyond what’s already familiar.

Let’s now look at two potential solutions for tackling workplace burnout once it starts to become a problem.

The first is to simply invest in better training for your customer support teams. This obviously requires more initial capital upfront but will pay off in the long run by reducing turnover, increasing morale, and improving the overall quality of work. It’s also possible to use some of these newfound efficiencies to reduce the number of hours each person works while still getting all their regular tasks completed on time, if not early.

When you’re figuring out just how much money you’re willing to invest in the people behind your company, consider asking yourself what would happen if one team member walked away tomorrow. Could you replace that employee today without breaking stride? If that answer isn’t yes, then it’s likely time to put aside some extra cash for your training improvements.

The second option for tackling customer support burnout is to simply begin having fun again. Remember that your employees are people too, which means they’re going to get tired of doing the same work day in and day out without any chance for a break or change of scenery. So it’s important to create some kind of reward system for when they do go above and beyond the call of duty, whatever that may be.

Perhaps you already have rewards but haven’t been communicating them effectively because there hasn’t been much reason to celebrate lately. Or maybe you just need to think outside the box more about how to give credit where credit is due so that everyone feels appreciated each time one team member helps another with something technically challenging.

As long as the work is still getting done, then you should always feel free to experiment with different ways of recognizing your people. After all, these are the reasons they signed up for this job in the first place so it’s important not to take them for granted or treat them like robots. You can’t beat problems down into submission; sometimes you need human beings to solve human problems.

So consider making some changes today by investing in your customer support training and rewarding everyone whenever possible, even if those rewards are somewhat small and don’t cost very much at all. The next article in this series will discuss how leaders can combat customer support team churn.

You’ll learn what types of leadership styles work best with different personality types and why hiring for cultural fit can be more important than hiring solely based on technical or relevant skills.

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