An unproductive team equals disgruntled customers – it is as simple as that.
In most cases, customers are already agitated when reaching out to customer support, and it is up to your team to change their minds about the company and finish the conversation in good spirits. A single Tweet about exceptional interaction with customer support reps can do wonders for the brand reputation.
This is why you have to do your best to keep your team happy, motivated, and therefore productive. Here we have picked a few tools, strategies and tips for you to consider and boost the morale of your customer support team and make it run like clockwork!
Pick the right work collaboration tools
Working with unfit tools?
You might as well try playing darts with cooked spaghetti – it just won’t work.
The market is saturated with various instruments designed to help customer support teams organize and streamline the workload. Time tracking, task management, customer portal, CRMs, IMs, call management – the list goes on and on. You don’t need to have all of them, though – just pick a few with good integration capabilities and essential features for your line of work, and you’re good to go!
Collaboration tools are used to tie multiple teams together and make everyday work neatly organized and more convenient. There is more to it than task management tools such as Trello and Slack – here are some unsung heroes of productive customer support teams that really make a difference. This set of software tools will improve the performance of your customer support team and clear the way for effective teamwork.
Ringblaze is an all-in-one, outstanding phone system made to optimize the collaboration within sales and customer support teams. It only takes 15 minutes to set it up without additional mobile and desktop apps, and you instantly have access to many features – some of which include:
- Call collaboration with a shared dashboard that enables interactive conversations (Shared Inbox, Call Owners, Call Comments)
- Real-time customer interaction with Website Call Widget, as well as Email, Chat, and Phone Support
- Works globally with International Calls and plenty of free minutes
There is more to it included in pricing plans with a free trial, and the option to save 20% by picking annual billing.
RescueTime is a neat time-tracking software that allows you to see where your time flies by in great detail – and block distractions that prevent you from being productive. It tracks the time automatically, provides detailed reports and insights, and you can integrate it with your calendar and set specific focus sessions for times when you wish to be your most productive self. Employees have complete privacy as well!
There is a free 14-day trial and pricing options for Time Management Software and Time Management Training.
Chanty is an intuitive team collaboration tool with an abundance of integration. Unlimited search message history, Kanban board view, sharing dev-friendly code snippets, content sharing without switching between the apps – there’s a lot here for team members to use and stay productive.
The Free plan allows up to 10 members, while the Business plan starts at $3 per user, per month. Both plans are feature-rich, and one of the most interesting ones enables you to transfer data from third-party messengers (Slack, Flock, HipChat, and Stride).
Make sure to assemble a rock-solid team
A smaller group might just be the right thing! Try the following recipe for the customer support team of five:
- One Mentor
- Two Experienced reps
- Two Newbies
The mentor is there to offer advice and help the team members with daily work; once a week/month, mentors can provide detailed feedback on each member’s performance, and identify the areas that need to be improved.
This team dynamic allows effective work and learning process while keeping things decluttered. Additionally, promote the culture of solidarity and mutual aid to these teams; hustle culture and competitive mindset often create a toxic work environment.
Accountability and praise – make them overt!
The best way to hold the team members accountable is to make their tasks clear, prioritized, and public.
Well, we often make promises to ourselves and break them. Forgot about your New Year’s resolutions yet? Thought so, me too.
However, as soon as you make your promise visible, or you promise something to other people, you will do your best to save your good reputation by being a man/woman of word, and doing what you said you will.
Similarly, let their good deeds be known. Don’t refrain from publicly praising the team member or the whole team for the outstanding work. This might make the difference between a good and a bad day at work, and motivate them to keep doing their best.
Set priorities instead of multitasking
According to the American Psychological Association – our brains are not designed to juggle multiple tasks (especially complex ones) successfully at the same time. Such activities slow people down and decrease overall productivity. In the end, you get the polar opposite effect from the one you initially desired and even the most simple tasks get delayed.
This is why you should prioritize tasks and let each team member dedicate the time they need to complete their share of the work. Once they start working on a certain task – let them finish before adding another assignment to the workload.
For example, including a 90-day review plan can be helpful so that you can align and review the customer support team development during the first 90 days of work. This way you can be aware if your team is reaching its goals.
Set clear targets and measurable goals for each team
In order to have an effective team you can rely on, each member needs to know the exact scope of their job. Having a clear-cut goal to achieve will naturally reveal the shortest path to it, and even if something doesn’t work, they can adjust accordingly and try again.
This way, you prevent them from stumbling in the dark and wasting time on inefficient practices and trivialities.
Start with educating and onboarding right away!
The first task for the new team members should be learning all there is about the key topics and their roles. In fact – the real early start comes before their first day at work! By that, we mean right at the job interview.
Instruct the recruiters to take time and thoroughly explain what your potential customer support reps will *actually* do. You might think this is redundant, but if you look from the other side – you will save a lot of time by hiring the right person for the job. In case the new employees only find out they are not into it after hours of training and onboarding sessions, you will have to look for the new ones all over again.
There are plenty of customer service tools, phone systems, work philosophies, and tactics you can utilize to enhance your team’s performance. The most important takeaways should be to create a healthy work atmosphere, make the goals explicit, and enable your reps to achieve them without obstructions.
Andrej Fedek is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called InterCool Studio. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment.