5 Ways to Make Your Customer Service Scalable


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5 Ways to Make Your Customer Service Scalable

In the early days of a small business, you may be lucky to have a handful of customers, and thus the demands of customer service aren’t very high. As your business and your customer base grows, however, your customer service will need to grow with it.

This is a beautiful thing for most entrepreneurs: you’ve achieved your dream and your business is really taking off! But it’s important to be able to scale your customer support to meet your growing needs, or your business could just as quickly plummet. Let’s talk about a few ways to do that, as well as prepare your customer service to be scalable in the first place.

#1 – Work In Automated Responses

If you have a small business with a small customer base, it’s better to avoid automated responses to customer service and focus on actual interactions. This feels more personal and helps build trust with customers. As your business grows, however, automated responses may become unavoidable. Your team simply won’t have the bandwidth to handle everything right away.

You should still make the main focus of customer service be between the customer and a human customer representative. However, you can ease the customer’s mind about delays or help direct their concern by using automated messaging, letting them know that you’re in the process of answering their query.

#2 – Update Your Contact Form

The clearer your customer’s concern might be, the more quickly you’ll be able to help them. This will free up time for your customer support team so that they can move through queries and help as many people as possible. The problem is, when left to their own devices, customers might use vague or confusing terms that slow down the process.

Consider looking at your contact form. Are there any ways where you could encourage more specificity? Maybe you could include a drop down menu of different categories of concerns or ask prompting questions? This will help you get a more comprehensive query from the start.

#3 – Have an FAQ and Link To It

Sometimes you will be asked the same questions over and over, and it might be more helpful to add them to a list of FAQs. That way, if a new customer arrives with the same issue, they can find their answer in the FAQs. This saves you the trouble of having a new customer support ticket and saves them the headache of having to get in touch with someone.

If you already have a list of FAQs, consider updating it to reflect the questions you’re asked frequently now. You should also include a link to your FAQs in the customer service tab of your website, or near the contact page. This way when customers have a problem, they can see where to go before having to reach out directly for help.

#4 – Cross-Train and Give Your Customer Service Reps More Authority

Have you ever been in a scenario like this: you call for customer support, hoping to speak with one person, only to have your concern bounced around from representative to representative before you can find someone who can help? This can occur for one of two reasons:

  1. The customer support team has limited information based on different departments and therefore can only answer concerns in part
  2. The customer support team has to follow a rigid chain of command and may not be able to help even if they know the answer

This is a frustrating situation for everyone involved. But you can avoid it by making your customer service team more comprehensively trained so that they’re all on the same page, as well as by giving them more authority. Allow your frontline customer service representatives to actually help when they know the solution to the problem. It will save time and headache, and hopefully build trust with customers.

#5 – Document Everything

Finally, make sure you have a documented plan for every feasible situation. When you have a small customer base, you might be able to be a little more intuitive with your customer support. However, as customer support needs grow, you can’t trust that your customer support representatives will automatically know the answer to every issue.

Train thoroughly and provide documentation for different situations. You should also update training regularly. It can help to record customer service interactions so that when a new situation arises, you can formulate and document a plan for that, too. Arm your customer service team with knowledge and scripts so that no matter what issues your customers face, they can help.

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