In today’s digital and tech-driven world, customers expect slightly more than excellent support. Bad customer support can have adverse side effects, whereas a good customer experience can boost your brand image.
Customer support teams work day and night to meet all customer expectations. Agents need to provide fast, reliable, and quality support. When customers are satisfied with a brand, they tend to refer it to other people.
Studies show an increase of 18% in loyalty from a referred customer. People are four times more likely to buy from brands that are referred to them by someone they know.
But, what compels people to refer brands to others?
Excellent customer support!
And what is an essential part of delivering excellent customer support? It is hard to deliver cohesive customer experiences when your support team’s unproductivity is at large. The only way to a customer’s heart is by setting up an adept team that provides them a top-notch service and goes the extra mile to solve their queries.
Support managers usually find themselves in a pickle to maintain this agent productivity. Improvement in agent productivity means the brands can maintain close to a hundred percent customer satisfaction rate. And we all know that satisfied customers are retained for life. This also helps businesses maintain their overall brand image.
Do you want to increase your team’s productivity without jeopardizing the quality of support? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we have rounded up some tips to help keep your support team on track. Let’s begin!
1. Not Multitasking: Focus on One Thing at a Time
Everyone thinks that they can be more productive if they multitask. Everyone likes to think that they can handle two support queries, a team conference call, and check their mails, all while drinking a cup of coffee.
The same goes for support agents as well as managers. A study states that a workers tend to switch tasks on an average every three minutes. But researchers say otherwise. A study showed that humans are horrible multi-taskers. Multitasking usually tends to divert you from one task to another. Unfortunately, that comes with a huge cost. If agents get distracted or sidetracked, it takes them almost 23 minutes to get back to the original task.
1 Distraction = 23 Minutes Lost
Hence, managers must motivate their support agents to focus unconditionally on a single task at a time.
2. Create the Culture of Accountability
Solving problems with the support workflow begins with identifying the problems. Identifying a problem means simply holding people accountable for their mistakes. When you hold your agents accountable for their tasks, their productivity surges effectively. They become more aware of their work and, essentially, their mistakes.
Humans tend to pick easier tasks first. It is an inherent human trait. This can happen with your agents too. They may tackle their easier tasks first and might procrastinate for tougher and more complex tasks. Therefore creating a culture of accountability is extremely important. You can improve this by setting up clear deadlines and pre-defined SLA rules. Set SLA rules will help agents to manage priorities and essentially avoid procrastination.
You can also improve accountability by implementing transparent workflows within your team. This way, your agents will be able to see what everyone else is working on. It is easy to delay a task taht nobody knows about. Agents will be more motivated when other people know what they’re doing. The competitive stigma may work in your favor in this case.
3. Use the Latest Customer Service Software and Tools
Using the right support software is essentially an important aspect that contributes to agent productivity. Whether you’re a small-scale business or a large-scale enterprise, choosing the right support software that meets your needs is critical. Here are some features that will help increase your team’s productivity:
Studies show that 40% of customers prefer self-service support to reach a company’s support team. For example, if your customers prefer self-service, it is worthwhile and logical to pick software that helps build a comprehensive knowledge base. A well-built knowledge base will help you reduce the number of support tickets. For minor inquiries, your customers can look up themselves. This will also free up your agents’ time so that they can work on more complex tasks.
Agents can easily create articles from cases that they encounter frequently. Knowledge base articles also help you train new members of your support team.
4. Organize Clear Workflows
A major time killer is not knowing how to do certain tasks or how to prioritize tasks. Agents usually find themselves in a puddle of tickets with no system, to begin with. Here, managers can swoop in and help their agents by defining transparent and effective workflows.
Managers can take over tasks like escalating a case or high prioritizing a case. This way, your agents will get a clear idea about how to proceed with their daily goals. Managers also need to allot time for instant and urgent queries. Your support agents won’t have the luxury of time when there is a customer on hold. Companies can overcome this problem by implementing simplified strategies for different situations and training employees accordingly.
5. Empower Your Agents
Elaborating on the above point, it is important to realize that over-documenting everything also may create new problems. Surely, it is good to have your workflows and steps in place, so agents know what to do and prioritize. But, you also don’t want to restrict agents by implementing super rigid processes.
Officials often get discouraged and frustrated and make meaningless actions to complete their work. On the contrary, when people feel enthusiastic and active in their jobs, they’re much more productive. Hence, you need to get them engaged in their jobs. Encourage employee participation. Listen to them, their ideas, their feedback, etc because they are the ones who interact with the customers every day. They understand customer behavior better than anybody else. So, trust them. Equip them with the latest tools, information, customer engagement scenarios, and so on. This gives them autonomy to do their jobs effectively.
6. Promote a Work-Life Balance
The culture of working long hours and doing endless work has been promoted since the beginning of time. It is not uncommon for support agents to feel burnt-out. Most of the employees have experienced this in their jobs.
There will always be more work to do. Putting pressure on your agents to complete it all in an unrealistic time frame can lead to employee frustration. There is nothing more overwhelming than being stuck at your desk all day. When your team pushes the limits, they’ll fall victims to fatigue and stress. Be it a quick coffee, a run, a walk, or simply informal team meetings, you need to encourage your agents to take a break. This will help fuel their productivity and skyrocket your customer satisfaction.
7. Free up Agent’s Time by Automating Certain Tasks
Use tools. As a support manager, you should know what things can be automated in your workflow. If you automate certain manual tasks, it will save ample time for your agents. For example, by reducing manual intervention, you can save hours! You can automate tasks like ticket incoming, ticket assignment, sending email notifications, auto-responders for backup, and many more.
It is also a very cost-effective option when we see the number of hours saved. For example – You have a team of four agents who are spending one hour each on a single day for manual tasks. You can save an average of 200 hours per year per agent. This means you save a total of 800 hours a year! This is huge, and you can utilize and divert these hours to get something more productive done.
Speed is not the most important thing in customer support. But, it does matter. Being able to respond and resolve customer conflicts is a productive and effective customer support team trait. It also gives your team a sense of accomplishment, which can lead to overall happiness.
We are an ISO27001 certified development company with 14+ years of development experience. We build products that you can customize according to your present and future needs. We specialize in serving the best customer service software solutions and strategies. These seven steps will help you increase the productivity of your team and ultimately make your agents and customers more satisfied. Get in touch with us and let us know what you think.