Empower Your Customer Support Teams in the New Reality
Published date: 29.09.2020
Read time: 6 min
As lockdown restrictions are gradually rolled back all over the world, companies are starting to bring some of their employees back to the office, stores are reopening and we are settling into what experts call the new reality. As a result of the crisis, workloads were shifted both up and down and some companies are having difficulties managing all of the changes. On the one hand, lower consumer demand means less customer support agents are required, but they are having trouble maintaining the people they have due to declining revenues. There are other sectors of the economy, such as e-commerce, where demand is skyrocketing and there are not enough support agents to keep up with demand.
Today we would like to tell you how you can support your customer service teams in this difficult time and how outsourcing can come to the rescue of companies looking to maintain support teams at a lesser cost.
1. Remove Outdated Policies
Customers are dealing with a lot of issues and difficulties right now and we want to remove some of this tension when speaking with them on the phone. One of the first things you should do is update your policy to be more flexible to handle customer concerns since 27% of low performing representatives tend to hide behind the policy to avoid helping the customer. This will also have a positive impact on your top-performing representatives since they will no longer be labored by outdated policies. Your customers will appreciate you meeting them halfway in resolving their problems and will reward you with repeat business.
2. Start Practicing Customer Advocacy
When an already frustrated customer calls customer support, imagine how much their frustration will increase when they are told that they need to call another number or contact another person to resolve their issue. Such redirects waste the customers’ time and they have to explain their issue all over again to someone else. Instead of passing the buck, you should practice customer advocacy. When someone calls in with an issue, try responding with something like “Ok, let’s figure this out together”. Such a change in tone can make all of the difference between a customer taking their business somewhere else or remaining loyal.
3. Eliminate Bad Coaching Behaviors
Companies usually have a structured coaching strategy where they designate a certain amount of time every week to training employees. This has generally become viewed as a punitive measure by employees and disconnected from their day-to-day work. Instead, try weaving coaching into the daily workflow. This takes place in short bursts, before, during, and after the call. Research shows that this type of caching improves overall team performance by 12% and the best managers spend 75% of their coaching time using such methods. When implementing such coaching styles, you need to be careful not to allow managers to revert back to the old methods. Since employees and managers are no longer in one physical location, it can be difficult to find the right time for integrated coaching.
4. Use Collaborative to Help Each Other Out
When customer service representatives were all sitting in one location, it was a lot easier to get help from someone else. In the new reality, this has become a bit more difficult, but thanks to Slack and other collaborative tools we are able to effectively collaborate with each other. Companies like T-Mobile have been able to achieve great success with such a model as they perform 50% better than organizations that have a stick to the script policy. By allowing representatives to tap into each other’s expertise, you are fostering a more collaborative environment which is more important nowadays than ever before.
5. Have a Training and Onboarding Plan in Place
Whenever a new person comes aboard, you need to get them up to speed so they can start contributing as quickly as possible. That’s why you need to have a plan already in place so you are not improvising as you go along. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of pressure on representatives, managers, and customers and you need to make sure that your training procedures take all of this into account.
Outsourcing Your Customer Support Can Take of This for You
When business leaders think about outsourcing, the first thing that usually comes to mind is lower costs. However, there are additional benefits that you need to take into account. The outsourcing provider will be responsible for recruiting and training your team members taking this workload off your shoulders. You will have full control over the people you hire, but the service provider will be doing the heavy lifting for you.
Mindy Support is one of the largest BPO providers in Eastern Europe. We have more than 2,000 employees in six locations all over Ukraine and we can assemble even the most sizable team for you quickly. We also have a training method in place that allows new team members to hit the ground running allowing them to start interacting with customers a lot faster. We have extensive experience actualizing customer support projects and we will be able to scale your team without sacrificing the quality of the support.
Posted by Il’ya Dudkin