Truth is, your customer service is what can make or break your business.
With 49% of consumers switching companies due to poor customer support, it’s clear that if your customers won’t become your priority, running a profitable business could be a struggle.
That’s why building a high-performing and engaged team of support heroes forms the foundation of your company’s success, especially if you operate remotely.
In this article, I will show you 6 effective strategies that you can use to build your own rockstar customer service team this year.
Let’s get started!
1.Re-design your hiring process
Hiring the right people for the right positions is what will determine the trajectory of your team’s future performance. This is why it’s crucial to have a well-crafted hiring and onboarding process in place.
Here’s how to get started.
Craft a compelling job description
To know what kind of people would fit your team, you need to know what your expectations are and who exactly you are looking for.
That’s where creating a desired candidate profile comes in handy.
Here’s how to do it.
- Make a list of tasks and duties
Clearly communicating the range of responsibilities for your ideal candidate is what will help you hire someone who right away ticks your boxes. Such a list is especially crucial if you are going to look for your customer service rockstars on LinkedIn.
In this way, you can easily find potential candidates only using the keywords that define tasks and responsibilities.
- Focus on communicating your company’s mission and values
Next, take some time to define the values your company is standing for. Make sure to communicate it clearly in your description, like ReferralCandy did.
- Come up with a set of personality traits you are looking for
Finally, it’s time to brainstorm a list of qualities you want your candidate to possess.
Here are some of the most common sought-after traits for customer service candidates:
- High empathy level
- High emotional intelligence
- Ability to communicate clearly
- Able to easily adapt
Remember that if you hire remote employees, it’s important that they know how to work productively also while unsupervised.
Prepare the right interview questions
Once you start receiving job applications, it’s time to invite chosen candidates to an interview. What questions should you ask them?
Take a look at a few real-life sets of customer service position interview questions asked by successful companies.
First, a few words and interview questions examples from Mike Hanski, the CEO of Bid4Papers.
We have a 24/7 customer support team ready to assist clients with any questions.
The questions we ask potential candidates are mostly for understanding their stress management, conflict management, and persuasion skills. For example:
- What is empathy for you? How do you practice it in customer support?
- How would you deal with an unreasonable customer?
- What do you do when you find it difficult to understand a customer?
- How would you de-escalate an angry customer?
Next, take a look at what Reuben Yonatan, Founder and CEO of GetVoIP shares about building a customer service team for SaaS products.
Our entire team needs to know about business communication products, the industry, and the latest trends.
Every client interaction will be different and information needs to be catered to each listener.
Could they describe call routing to a call center manager, a CEO, and a corporate IT technician? Can they choose the ideal team collaboration software for a two-person project, a small business with one office, or an international enterprise?
While no two companies are the same, their needs can be categorized based on a customer service rep’s knowledge of product features and product limitations.
Make your onboarding process seamless
Studies show that more than 88% of employees think that their employers did a poor job with the onboarding process. The stats are even worse for remote onboarding!
That means wasted time and money. Making the onboarding process as smooth as possible is crucial if you want to ensure that a new employee will be efficient,
Here are some ideas to make the employee on-boarding easier:
- Create an open knowledge base
- Do 1:1 trainings
- Prepare a video product tour or use explainer videos
Taking a close look at this process for your employees might inspire you to assess the on-boarding process for your users and improve it.
Look for employees through various channels
If you want to increase your statistical chances of finding the right candidate, it’s important that you make your job posting visible in order to gather more applications. Apart from traditional jobs’ posting websites, consider those channels:
- Facebook groups and ads
- Niche-related Slack groups
- Word-of-mouth or recommendations
- Industry events and conferences
- Your own career page (you can build your own landing page listing available positions)
2.Use the right tools
Picking the right tools for both your internal communication and external communication is what can help you save time and money.
Here are some of the tools your customer service team should have access to in order to excel.
An essential time-tracking tool for any remote company that wants to stay on top of things. Timeneye features include calendar scheduling, weekly email summaries, budget notifications, and more.
UserPilot is designed to make the onboarding process easier. You can use the tool to increase signups by helping them better understand the value of what you’re offering.
One of the things businesses struggle with is briefly explaining what it is they do. An explainer video is an engaging and compelling way to improve the onboarding process. You can use BreadnBeyond to ease new hire’s into the onboarding process via watchable animated explainer videos.
Chanty is ideal for internal communication. Your team can quickly share files, ideas, documents and more. You can also try Chanty alternatives, such as Slack, depending on what suits your team best.
Really Simple System
This powerful CRM software for small businesses gives you a 360 degree between your customer service team and your prospects. It allows for a seamless communication and information flow, as well as better organization and automation.
3.Empower and reward your team
Keeping your team empowered no longer comes down to running the “employee of the month” program or giving money bonuses. In fact, more than 70% employees said that their motivation and morale would go up if managers were saying simply “thank you” more often!
Empowering and rewarding your customer service team goes a long way. It can also take many forms:
- Gifts (books, free apps subscriptions, gift cards etc).
- Courses and workshops access
- Peer-to-peer recognition using apps
- Fun or education budget
Here’s what Ann Lebedeva, Head of Customer Support at SE Ranking shared with me.
Our secret of empowering employees is simple: we believe that support is not just about supporting customers but also about supporting each other.
While we adhere to the customers-first approach and ask our users to rate their satisfaction every time they contact the support team, we don’t think that a customer is always right. If someone starts behaving inappropriately offending our support agent, we’d always take the side of the employee.
4.Measure the right data
In order to provide excellent customer service and gain more loyal customers, your team should have clearly defined goals, KPIs and processes.
Here are the examples of objectives you can set for your team:
- Number of support tickets opened and resolved – they can indicate how efficiently issues are being resolved. If you have a high number of unresolved tickets, you may need to see whether additional training would be beneficial
- CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score) – You can send emails to your customers to find out how satisfied they are with your services. A poor CSAT score tells you there’s still work to be done in certain areas
- NPS (Net Promoter Score) – NPS tells you how likely it is that a customer will recommend you to someone else. If your NPS is low, an investigation will need to be carried out to find out why
- Average resolution time – This is a key KPI because customers prefer their issues to be resolved as quickly as possible. A high average resolution time could be a direct correlation with abandoned rate of calls chats
Ultimately, measuring the right data is crucial for monitoring the performance of your team so that you spot what’s working and what isn’t. Then, you can make improvements as you go along.
5.Invest in professional development
Some companies allocate a portion of their budget to let their employees attend industry conferences and exchange ideas with their fellow marketers.
Other businesses, meanwhile, even organize their own industry events, like Digital Olympus does with the Digital Marketing Conference.
Such events allow their employees to attend some of the very best industry talks, as well as take a step forward and become a speaker.
Also, don’t forget to keep asking and updating this list from time to time as nothing remains unchangeable, especially when it comes to professional development.
Lastly, investing in the professional development of your customer service team pays off. This is what Aleh Berysevich, the founder of Link-Assistant and Awario shared when I asked him about his thoughts on this topic.
The more experienced your support team gets, the happier your customers are. Every dollar you spend training your support team goes toward higher customer retention.
Furthermore, as support specialists become more experienced, they need less supervision and spend less time consulting with other teams. These interactions are rarely logged, so you would be surprised how much time they consume.
Another thing we do regularly is we attend industry conferences and trade shows. For the team, it’s both a way to keep up with the trends and a major boost to their motivation.
There you have it!
These are 6 strategies for building a high-performing customer service team.
Experiment with making small but rewarding changes, and track your performance. Don’t forget that the focus at all times must now be on your customer.
The better your customer service is, the more loyal customers you will gain.