Delivering an effective customer service process can feel challenging—particularly when the world is as volatile as it is right now.
One of the best ways to ease the burden on service teams is to plan the process so there isn’t a mad scramble when a customer query or ticket has been received.
Management should create a flow chart, like the one below, that clearly outlines how service teams can respond to customer concerns.
But how do you determine the process as we step into 2021? We share a step-by-step guide on how to improve the customer service workflow.
Review Your Current Customer Service Process
You can’t create a better customer service process unless you review what you already have.
First, determine whether there are any process documents that your team has been following. If you can locate them, look through the documentation to see if it reflects current systems.
Note the following when reviewing your process:
- Does it include technologies being used by the company now?
- Are the tasks that customer service teams regularly perform reflected?
- Which tasks are deemed the most time-consuming?
- How many team members are involved? And, in what order?
Use a timeline maker to determine your current customer journey, like in the example below, so the process is practical and easier to execute.
Visualizing processes will make it easier for you to understand at what stage your customer service may be failing and what areas require improvement.
Determine Customer Service Process KPIs
A process works best when you have set metrics to work towards—otherwise, your team will have no aim for their customer interactions.
Here are a few customer service process KPIs to include in your documentation:
- Average query processing time
- Customer satisfaction score
- Number of tickets resolved
- Amount of time taken to resolve tickets
- Types of tickets generated
- Number of tasks per staff member
- Cost per task/ ticket
- Number of customer complaints following service received
- Customer feedback following service received
- Number of escalated tickets/ queries
- Percentage of tasks not completed/ overdue
- Net promoter score
Not all these KPIs will be relevant to all companies but most of the above are standard for customer service teams.
Having set metrics to aim for will make it easier for teams to work productively and solve customer issues.
Customer Service Process Channels
The customer service process must acknowledge the channels being used within the service team and beyond.
For instance, while an issue such as a customer being unable to log into their account can be solved by referring to the FAQ page on the website, others may not be so straightforward.
If a service request comes through the live chat that requires the involvement of another team—such as a sale processing issue—how should the service rep handle it?
These instances need to be planned for and included in the process document—so service reps know whom to escalate it to and how.
The important thing to remember is that customer service teams don’t exist in isolation—they may not always be involved with the rest of the departments, but they are part of a bigger whole.
Service teams need to know how to work within the context of the company so that customer issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently.
Identify Software to Improve Customer Service Processes
The days of customer service teams cooped up in a room answering calls on rotation are gone. Now, customers are more likely to reach out via chatbots and email.
By analyzing the current customer service process, companies can determine which software their teams need to make them more productive and efficient.
Some of the software that may need to be included in the process document include:
- Live chat and chatbots
- Email tracking tools to respond to customers on time
- Self-service trackers
- CRM software to manage customers
- Ticket tracking software
- Slack or similar tools for internal communication
- Workforce training tools
- Software to track feedback
- Customer analysis tools
Include the tools that your customer service team will need so that they can boost customer happiness.
Analyze Customer Service Processes Regularly
Analysis and review are an essential part of the customer service process. Creating documentation for the customer service team will only tide you over for a short time.
But new technologies are always appearing, and the world itself is changing. Parts of a process document created today could well become obsolete in a year.
This is why processes must be reviewed regularly so they reflect the way the service team is working and to determine what improves customer satisfaction.
Conclusion: Create a Customer Service Process That’s Easy to Follow
To improve your customer service process, you need to do the following:
- Review current processes
- Determine KPIs to aim for
- Contextualize customer service channels
- Choose the best software
- Regularly analyze your process
By following these steps, your company can create a customer service process that will be easy to understand, leading to customer satisfaction and retention.