How to Improve Customer Support Without Hiring More Staff

Improve your customer support affordably

 

How would you rate your company’s customer support?

No matter how you answered, there’s always room for improvement, and better customer support is a goal shared by every organization. At the same time, though, you’d probably like to acommplish this goal without hiring more customer support agents if possible. This is especially true for small businesses and startups that simply don’t have the capital to accomodate ballooning payroll expenses. 

So, how do you improve customer support without hiring more staff? Here are some tips.

Deploy New Customer Support Channels

Adapt tools and technologies to make your support team more nimble and efficient.  

One of the most important trends occurring in customer support is the rise of omnichannel. Customers today are no longer satisfied with companies that only offer a phone number and an email address for support issues. A growing number of companies now offer support via live chat, SMS, video conference, etc., and customers are beginning to expect all businesses to follow suit.

Therefore, one of the best ways to immediately improve your customer support operations at a high level is by providing your team with the tools needed to interact with customers through a wider variety of channels.

If you’re working with a small team it’s important bear in mind the impact that just a single new customer support channel will have on your business and customer satisfaction. That’s why we recommend starting with just 1-2 new channels and testing how they are received by both your customers and your support staff. Once you’ve found success with one new channel, you can begin testing and rolling out additional ones.   

Focus on the Right Skills

Retraining your existing team on certain skills can lead to a greater number of positive interactions with customers.

There are many skills that are needed to become a successful customer support agent. You can improve your team’s overall support capabilities by ensuring your agents receive training to develop these abilities.

For example, Jason Brick, contributing to the American Express blog, emphasized the importance of active listening. Customer support agents should know when and how to ask for clarification, paraphrase customer concerns to ensure understanding and acknowledge consumers’ emotions. Agents who develop these skills can offer much more satisfying support.

On a similar note, a SurveyMonkey blog highlighted the importance of ensuring customer support personnel have empathy and are able to adapt as needed. Looking for candidates who demonstrate these skills in the first place and then offering training programs that develop these skills further will have a major impact on customer support. 

Measuring is the Key to Improvement

To tell if a new initiative is working, put a system of measurement and analysis in place. 

Improving customers support is only possible when you can accurately measure the impact of new initiatives over time. Without clear metrics, and tools to monitor them, efforts to improve customer support will essentially become a guessing game.

There are a number of key metrics to focus on in this area, including:

  • Customer satisfaction ratings.
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Average time per customer interaction.
  • First-touch resolution rate.

By monitoring how these measurements change over time, you’ll be able to see clearly which newly implemented strategies have had a positive impact, which need to be refined and which may need to eliminated altogether. 

Satisfy Your Agents 

Focusing on your customer support team’s happiness can help you reduce turnover and staffing costs. 

Last, but hardly least, it’s important to focus on your agents’ satisfaction if you want to improve your customer support capabilities.

Employee turnover is a major problem in just about every contact center, and it’s an issue that in-house customer service teams must confront, as well. When agents leave a company, they take with them years of experience and expertise. This diminishes the organization’s ability to keep its clients satisfied. Even the best tools and strategies will not improve customer support overall if a firm lacks the staff needed to take advantage of these resources.

By focusing on employee satisfaction, you can significantly extend the average tenure of your customer support staff, reducing your reliance on inexperienced, under-trained agents and, as a result, improving your customer satisfaction, as well.

Taking these steps will help you better satisfy your customers without adding staff members and their costly salaries to your list of expenses.  

If you’d like to learn about the apps and services that connect with Zoey to help our users provide top-tier customer support, contact us today!

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