ProTips: 5 Ways to Scale Customer Support Without Breaking the Bank
This is a guest post by Himanshu, Exotel
Customer support directly impacts customer loyalty, revenue churn, and customer lifetime value (CLV). As businesses grow, scaling customer support is important to deliver the same level of customer experience. But how does a company scale-up support without breaking the bank? Just increasing the team size by hiring more agents isn’t enough, as there are many other factors at play. Below are five things to keep in mind while scaling support:
ProTip 1: Invest in the Right Tools
Having the right helpdesk tool in place is pivotal in assisting your move to a bigger support team. Not only does it empower your support team to communicate effectively with your customers, but it also helps you streamline other aspects of support, like setting up SLAs, tracking metrics or assigning tickets contextually.
Here are a few benefits of choosing the right helpdesk tool:
- Adds personalization to your customer communication
- Helps increase the productivity of your agents
- Collect customer feedback, track CSAT scores and other metrics easily
Calls are one of the most commonly used channels to support customers, so the platform you use to power your calls is just as important as your helpdesk tool. To help your team communicate effectively through calls, you need to invest in a cloud communication platform that integrates with your helpdesk tool. Exotel does all that and more.
Here are a few benefits of using a cloud telephony platform:
- Increased call visibility
- Low maintenance and minimal upfront costs
- Enhanced customer privacy through virtual numbers
- Manage calls from anywhere
ProTip 2: Automate & Integrate
Support automation can save you hundreds of hours of work and resources every day. While many companies are still skeptical about using bots or workflows for providing support, data shows us just how well it works.
In fact, according to a report, AI-powered chatbots have the potential to resolve 8 out of 10 common customer queries. More importantly, support automation doesn’t replace agents, but assists them in getting things done faster. This means you don’t need to worry about providing poor customer service.
Let’s look at some of the ways to levearge automation:
- You can create a workflow automation in Zoho Desk. It helps you add a rule, set alerts, and more. You can use it to update tickets, trigger email notifications, and more.
- Eliminate manual ticket assignments by creating conditions to assign tickets to agents
- Zia, the inbuilt chatbot inside Zoho Desk, shares relevant solutions from your knowledge base directly with your customers depending on their query
While scaling support, make sure to integrate the various tools that your support team uses. These integrations simplify your transition to a bigger team by streamlining your support processes. They remove the need to switch between apps and get things done.
Let’s look at some popular Zoho Desk integrations and how you can leverage them:
- Jira – Easily convert tickets raised in ZohoDesk to engineering issues in Jira
- Exotel – Triggers calls and tracks missed calls right from the dashboard
- Slack – Get real-time support updates, collaborate with your team, and boost productivity
When done right, both automation and integrations can help you:
- Increase the productivity of your agents
- Reduce support costs
- Reduce customer waiting time and the number of open tickets
- Get advanced insights from combined reports
ProTip 3: Prioritize Support Queries
A huge part of making your move to a bigger team efficiently is by prioritizing the right support queries. Not all queries require the same attention, and having more people on your team isn’t going to help you improve customer service if you fail to address critical issues at the right time.
Moreover, it’s simply impossible to reply to everyone immediately, and that’s what makes ticket prioritization so crucial.
So, how do you identify which support queries to prioritize?
The best method is to create a prioritization system. Most helpdesk tools, including Zoho Desk, allow you to tag a ticket as low, medium, or high priority. This can be done both manually or automatically. Here are a few popular methods of prioritization you can implement:
- First in First out (FIFO) – Queries are resolved in the order the customers raise them
- Manual assignment – An agent goes through each ticket and tags the priority manually
- Automatic assignment – Priority is automatically determined using custom workflows
- Categorization – Assigning priority depending on the type of the query
Remember, these systems are not a one size fits all. It depends on factors like your team size,
working hours, the kind of product you have, and more.
While you’re setting up this system, you should consider setting SLAs as well. These are guidelines that state the maximum time that an agent can take to answer a ticket. This time can be set according to various parameters, including the priority level. For example, the maximum response time for a critical support request can be set to 30 mins.
ProTip 4: Enable Self-Serve
Customer support doesn’t always require an agent’s assistance. Sometimes support queries can be resolved using a knowledge base or a quick tutorial video. Not only does it saves the agent’s time, it also empowers customers to instantly solve a problem themselves. This is the reason most businesses suggest customers to go through their articles before allowing them to raise a support query.
Knowledge bases are one of the most effective ways to enable your customers to self-serve.
Most helpdesk tools, including Zoho Desk, allow you to create and format knowledge bases. You can also use it to create forums, customize it according to your brand, and more. Additionally, these pages are also SEO-friendly, which helps attract relevant customers from search engines.
You can also integrate knowledge bases with a chatbot to suggest customers the right solutions directly on chat. This makes chatbots very useful and effective.
ProTip 5: Track Important Metrics
To ensure you are delivering high-quality customer support, you need to track some critical support metrics. These metrics help you understand your performance, find areas of improvement, and stay focused on what matters most. Here are five key support metrics you should track:
- First Response Time – This indicates the time spent in responding to a customer query. Don’t confuse it with the total time taken to resolve a query.
- Customer Satisfaction – CSAT scores indicate customer happiness. The results are based on the customer’s feedback after a ticket is resolved.
- Resolution Time – This is the total time taken to resolve a particular query.
- Call Wait Time – This is how long a customer has to wait before they are connected to an agent.
- Net Promoter Score – The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others.
The best part is that you don’t need to spend time tracking these metrics manually on a sheet. Once you’ve configured them on your helpdesk tool, most of these metrics are tracked automatically.
Scaling support is not a one-time thing. You’ll need to do it at different stages as your company grows. While tools play a very important role in helping you scale, it’s eventually all about taking the customer-first approach. Remember, loyal customers are your biggest brand advocates.
They provide positive endorsements and reviews that help you acquire more customers and strengthen your brand.
Exotel Zoho Phonebridge integration helps you manage calls and fetch information directly on Zoho apps. After using the integration, you can enable incoming call notifications, access call details with recordings, and trigger calls inside any Zoho application which supports Phonebridge v3 APIs.
What are the different ways you’ve found useful for scaling your support? Let us know by dropping a comment below.
Republished by permission. Original here.