Chapter 1: How to set up customer service for your business.

In today’s hyperconnected world, your product is only as good as the service you back it up with. There are different types of customer service you can provide, but to set up customer service for your business, first take a look at your customers’ preferred methods of communication (such as social, email, and so on) and decide which channels you are going to support. It’s easy for small companies to think of customer service as just a checkbox item, but if you want to make amazing service part of your offering and use it to differentiate your company, you need to look ahead and ensure that your service experience will seamlessly scale as you grow. Planning how to evolve your customer service and the types of customer service apps and tools to use in advance is becoming as critical to your business as setting your business roadmap.

Here are six basic steps to set up your customer service:

  1. Determine which channels you’ll support and identify the KPIs for great service (for example, customer satisfaction [CSAT] score threshold.)
  2. Determine how you’ll organise and prioritise incoming requests, and when and how cases get escalated. (This is an important consideration if your business offers customers service level agreements [SLAs] on case service time.)
  3. Determine what type of customer service tools you’ll use and how your customer service app maps to your business’s customer support strategy. 
  4. Develop content with marketing and/or product teams to help agents quickly answer customer questions and help customers help themselves with self-service support. (Consider creating an FAQ page on your website.)
  5. Train your service team on your customer service tool(s), systems, and processes. 
  6. Build out your customer service roadmap, including how to integrate your customer support system to other business tools, so you can scale your service as you grow.
Get the step-by-step plan to build your customer service roadmap and ensure every customer receives amazing service, no matter how quickly your company grows. 

What is omni-channel customer support?

Omni-channel support is customer support on all channels — web, social, analog, and digital. Most small businesses start out by supporting customers exclusively with email or a webform to take in and route requests. But over time as their company and customer base grow, they may need real-time support via phone or live chat to keep up with requests. Or they may want to offer support via social media, like Twitter. Many companies also offer self-service support so that customers can find their own solutions, 24/7. It’s critical that you find out what channels your customers want to use, and meet them where they are.

Why is it important to offer customer support on social media?

Today’s customers have a lot of power — and their voices are amplified exponentially on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels. Not only do customers research and interact with brands online, but they’re vocal about sharing their opinions. In fact, people are 2x more likely to talk about a bad experience to their friends than a good one. Social networks provide an awesome opportunity for you to help customers faster — and to reach multiple customers at the same time. If two or three people ask the same question, you can answer them all in a single message. And since social happens in near real time, you’ll probably hear from customers faster than ever. That means they’re expecting to hear back from you faster, too, so make sure you keep an eye on your account 24/7. When setting up support on social channels, be sure to work with your marketing team to outline rules of engagement and process escalation. 

What is self-service?

Self-service is a method to provide your customers a way to help themselves. Today’s uber-connected customers like to find their own answers — on their own time frame — and most would rather use self-service than picking up the phone. Offering them a knowledge database or a support community is a great way to help them be connected and get the support they need. Building a support center is an effective and cost-efficient way for growing businesses to help customers, but you have to do it right. You need to make it fast and easy for customers to find their solutions, and you have to be sure that the content you provide is accurate and up-to-date.

What is a customer service application?

Today's customers expect fast, personalised support, at any time of day or night. A customer service application, or a help desk app, is the tool a company can use to provide the high-quality service that customers are looking for. A customer service application helps you track incoming requests from a variety of channels, and respond quickly and accurately. Many help desk solutions also enable you to offer self-service support so customers can find their own solutions, on their own time. When your customer service application is connected to your other business tools, such as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, your agents can quickly see what products customers have ordered, and they can get a record of every interaction so they can give customers the answers they need, fast. 

How to use a help desk application to run customer service support.

When you use a help desk app to run your customer support, you connect service issues and inquiries coming in via the phone, email, social media, live chat, and your support community to one centralised system that helps track and organise all your customer cases. A help desk will streamline your customer support operations: It will help you set up case assignment workflows, automate routing and actions to the right agents, and trigger macros (a set of instructions that complete a task) and escalations to make sure the case is getting the right level of servicing with the appropriate internal resources.

The right help desk app can have enormous benefits for your business, including:

  • Increased customer satisfaction. With the right app, agents can resolve cases more quickly, and customers won't have to repeat the same information again and again.
  • Better consistency. Agents can access a common knowledge base and use standard procedures.
  • Improved efficiency and reduced costs. Your team can focus on resolving customers' issues rather than administrative tasks and busy work, allowing agents to get more done in less time.

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Getting Started with Customer Service


What Is Customer Service?

Chapter 1

How to set up customer service for your business.