5 Ways to Increase the Productivity of Your Customer Support Team
Businesses endeavour to improve sales by earning customer loyalty and creating a brand image through quality support. As a customer support leader, it’s essential to ensure that every customer support agent provides fast, reliable and quality support. But how can you increase your customer support team’s productivity without jeopardizing the quality of support? Let’s discuss 5 ways to increase the productivity of your customer support team.
1. Add Variety to Agents’ Work
Responding to a call while commenting on social media posts are common tasks in customer support. While some believe tackling more than one task at a time is detrimental to productivity, the opposite may be true. Consider this: customer support agents sit at their desks for hours at a time. The risk of becoming disengaged is higher during mundane tasks, not when there is a variety of work. To ensure continued high-touch customer service without risking productivity, there are effective ways to incorporate variety into the customer support role.
For agents to handle a variety of tasks well, first they need proper training. For instance, different channels of support dictate different procedures and protocol. Knowing how to deliver support through chat or email differs from social media. Training that educates agents on handling requests efficiently per channel is important. In addition to training, consider separating the volume and complexity of work according to skillset. Agents who are not adept in handling social media, email, and chat may become overwhelmed. However, allow ample opportunities for agents to learn and advance in their role as his/her skillset improves.
The right technologies or systems for omnichannel support and concurrent chats may reduce agents from burnout. Continued improvement in skillsets that are not equally matched with the latest technology is frustrating—for both agent and customer.
There are several factors when taking a variety of work approach in customer support. And the complexity to which companies allow it may vary from team to team. To recap:
- Adding variety in work helps ease boredom, distraction, and unproductivity among agents.
- Robust training across multiple support platforms will improve agents’ skillset. This improves confidence and self-value in his/her role.
- Technology and systems should equally match the channel and level of support to avoid frustration for agents and customers.
- Regularly evaluate productivity levels to allow adjustments in volume, service tiers, and training.
2. Empower Your Customer Support Agents
Autonomy can increase the productivity of customer support agents. However, the effective way to give your customer support agents more freedom is through knowledge. A deep understanding of the business’s products and services ensures that the agent understands every query that comes in and decides to:
- Respond to the question and provide a solution for the customer
- Transfer the query to a different support team or sales team.
When customers call a support center or type into a chat window, they have several expectations:
- They expect not to repeat themselves to different agents. Empowering your agents with information ensures that they handle the problem at the first contact to prevent repeat calls.
- Consumers also expect consistent answers, even when talking to different agents across different platforms. It’s, therefore, crucial to ensure that every agent has access to the same knowledge and understands how to handle various problems, consistently.
3. Provide Efficient Working Tools
Technology boosts productivity by saving time spent on repetitive tasks and also coordinating the interactions on several platforms. When investing in customer support tools for your agents, there are several features to consider.
- Automation: Free your agents’ time by automating tasks through chatbots, automatic ticketing, recording and backing up inquiries and setting up automated responses. If your agents have more time on their hands, they can focus on more customers without affecting the quality of their jobs.
- Cloud-based software is excellent because your agents can access it from different locations with an internet connection. The software also automatically backs up your customer support tasks, and agents retrieve them whenever a problem comes up. If all the information is streamlined on one platform, all your agents have quick access to information, and spend more time attending to clients instead of finding information.
- Invest in collaborative tools for effective communication between all agents and supervisors. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, collaborative tools are essential to keep track of agents working from home.
- You can invest in co-browsing software which allows your agent to access their client’s devices and guide them through processes. Your agents can provide solutions quickly instead of spending more time on back and forth phone calls.
4. Improve Engagement
When an agent is committed to his job, he is more likely to improve his productivity. Mutually stimulating interactions between you and your agents can inspire better interactions between agents and customers. It can also improve the turnaround time. If your team is currently working from home for social distancing measures, here is how you can improve engagement.
- Have daily check-ins with your agents to compensate for the lack of face-to-face interactions. Check on your employees to confirm their wellbeing and also provide direction for the day. Consider using video conferencing calls instead of emails or phone calls for better engagement.
- Create a forum where agents can reach you and each other directly during their working hours.
- Establish remote working rules that dictate which platforms agents should use for business calls and establish precise working hours to prevent fatigue. Most employees struggle to keep their home and work balance, especially when working from home. You can ensure that the balance exists for better productivity.
- Be empathetic in your interactions and open your mind to new problems.
5. Encourage Accountability
Everyone likes success, but not everyone is motivated to succeed. Autonomy comes with responsibility, and sometimes it’s easier to ignore the responsibility and either disregard the task entirely or underperform. Fortunately, it’s possible to foster accountability and create a responsible team.
First, when your workers have a goal to achieve, they have a reason to show up on time, work and deliver their work in time. Create daily realistic goals for your agents and remember to hold them accountable should they fail to deliver. It would help if you also build trust to ensure that agents report any challenges to you for quick solutions.
Lastly, give your agents sufficient time to work. It may be tempting to micro-manage your agents, especially if they’re working remotely. However, micromanagement destroys trust and motivation.
Improving the productivity of your agents improves the quality of customer support the business provides. However, building a productive customer support center consumes time and resources you may not have.
By outsourcing your customer support, you can enjoy all the benefits of an ideal customer support team with minimal resources. With GlowTouch, you can deliver quality customer support and improve your loyal customer base. We have used our experience with different companies to boost productivity without compromising quality. If you’d like to learn more about our wide range of solutions, contact us today.