15 Best Practices For Improving Customer Support

September 19, 2020

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Many businesses that offer customer support by establishing help desk software solutions often have specific support processes. To maintain a satisfied customer base, it is vital to provide excellent customer support. When customers have problems, it's your company and staff's responsibility to help them resolve it as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Read on to learn more about how you can improve your help desk efforts and raise your customer support division's quality. Here are 15 best practices for optimized customer support:

Related: 15 Ways to Streamline and Improve Your Customer Support

Customer support representative with headset
  1. Use the right software

The first step to an excellent customer service division has a powerful help desk system in place. The top systems can automate a significant portion of the processes involved in managing a customer support team. Having the proper technology significantly lowers the amount of manual administrative work involved, freeing up loads of time that reps can be dedicated to interacting one-on-one with customers instead. More small and growing businesses than ever are moving to an all-in-one CRM, such as Agile CRM, because they offer help desk features built into the core CRM solution. All the data coming from customer support with these systems can be viewed by everybody in the company, helping to align teams and make sure that everybody is on the same page.

  1. Use automated ticket routing.

The routing of incoming tickets can be automated in any way you want with a powerful help desk system's assistance. If a ticket comes in from a customer that has submitted tickets in the past, for example, automation can be set up to route that ticket to the same rep that previously helped that customer. Offering customers support from the same representative every time allows them to form a relationship that will make the resolution process more efficient. Moreover, that rep will be familiar with the customer's unique needs and resolve that problem more quickly!

  1. Hire top talent

While it can be tempting to hire lower-level employees and train them since they cost less, there are certain drawbacks to going that route:

  • Hiring inexperienced support reps creates a much higher turnover, which is extremely expensive for employers.
  • Training somebody who has zero experience and then quits in a year essentially means you're training them for their next employer.

Frequently it's worth it to hire the most experienced, enthusiast support reps you can find. Not only will this raise customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, but it will also lower customer churn.

  1. Label your tickets

It's a great idea to have ticket labels stating common issues customers have, the types of company that the customer was submitting the ticket work for, etc. Create a tag for any attribute you choose! This helps to analyze and categorize tickets according to their characteristics. It saves loads of time so that you don't have to look for tickets regarding a specific issue manually; type in the tag, and all tickets with that tag will pop up.

Related: 15 Benefits of Enterprise Service Management

Magnifying human figures

  1. Leverage dedicated help desk groups

Dedicated help desk groups are support rep groups specializing in specific areas. Sell four products, for example. You can have four dedicated support groups- each specializing in one development that can solve issues faster than if they offer support for all three products. The system can send it automatically to someone in the group that focuses on the product, resulting in faster ticket resolution times and happier customers since they won't have to wait for an inexperienced rep to escalate the ticket.

Looking for ways to streamline your customer support system? Call Starting Point today!

  1. Create pre-recorded responses

Canned responses are pre-drafted emails that are sent automatically to customers who ask general questions. The resolution to that problem will typically be the same. Having prepared answers means your team won't have to draft the same response over and over again, saving vast amounts of time.

  1. Don't overload your team.
Task Management

If there is a massive backlog of pending tickets, then you should probably hire more support reps. The investment is worth it because it will raise customer satisfaction, reducing turnover, and saving you money long-term. Overworked agents are stressed out, rush through tickets, and can be curt or impolite to customers. Reps who are not overloaded and stressed out will offer a better customer experience, building loyalty, and trust in your brand.

  1. Use Service Level Agreements

The terms and conditions of your customer support efforts are stipulated in service level agreements (SLAs). They function as contracts between you and your customers. They establish limitations such as the longest time a customer needs to wait for a submitted ticket response. Incorporating them into your help desk process offers customers peace of mind and builds trust since your clients will know what exactly to expect. Since you can easily view who is breaking SLAs, it is easy to maintain accountability among your team, allowing you to point out low performers.

  1. Have multiple channels for customers to reach you

Your customers have a diverse range of preferences and habits. Some may prefer to submit support tickets via email, while others like to call via telephone, submitting a ticket via live chat, or asking questions on social media. Offering as many help desk channels as possible so that customers can submit tickets in the way they prefer is essential in optimizing your customer service team. This will make your customers happy because it lets them know that you care about their company's experience.

  1. Ask for feedback

The feedback of your customers is essential to improving your customer support process. For example, having short online surveys after resolving each ticket to ask what you could do to provide better support can help. Of course, feedback is only useful if your business adjusts accordingly.

  1. Ensure employee satisfaction

As discussed previously, stressed-out employees will give a sub-par support experience. It's essential to keep them happy and motivated to remain at the top of their game. This can be ensured by having enough reps to minimize your ticket backlog. Implementing employee engagement programs, such as employee volunteering events or matching gift programs are a good way to do this. Building camaraderie among your reps and making them feel part of the team will result in happier, more motivated employees who are more invested in their job.

Feedback satisfaction

  1. Focus on increasing first contact resolution

When customers need to wait hours or days for a resolution, it lowers trust and satisfaction. First Contact Resolution (FCR) refers to resolving a ticket the first time around. Maintaining a high FCR rate is key since 77% of customers say that valuing their time is the key component in delivering top-notch service.

  1. Follow up on closed cases

Try and reach out to the customer after a case is resolved and confirm that the resolution has fully solved their issue. Just a quick email (which can be automated) can make a world of difference!

  1. Measure your team's efforts

Your help desk team needs to be analyzed thoroughly to find weak links and make improvements where needed. Metrics like ticket backlog, the average issue resolution time, etc. are very useful in highlighting areas that need change.

Related: 10 Tips for Increasing Operational Efficiency

  1. Develop an extensive knowledge base

Having a knowledge base on your website will increase the productivity of your support team significantly. Customers can use it to search for answers for basic questions, allowing them to help themselves and solve their own problems in a smaller amount of time.

Looking for quality customer support software for your business? Call Starting Point to find out more today!

A superior customer support experience is crucial to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction. Build brand loyalty, trust, and advocacy through a better support experience. Starting Point is a customer service and SaaS platform built for service-based teams and businesses. We're here to help you streamline your workflow and expand your business!