Any team needs to organize their activities. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about a group of students, a startup team in general, or a support team in this very startup.
The GotYourBack Support team is growing, and we know from our own experience how important organization in a team is to provide quality service. We have collected the experience of different teams, added our own vision and suggest thinking about how best to organize a support service.
The GotYourBack Support team now has 45 operators who work in shifts to provide 24/7/365 support. Depending on the expected number of calls, managers vary the number of people per shift.
In addition to the operators of the first line, who process all incoming requests, there are 2 support leads in GotYourBack Support who solve second-level issues. If the issue cannot be resolved immediately or requires additional technical investigation, it descends to the second level of support. Usually, this is about 0.55% of all requests. To submit the task, the operators of the first line simply create a ticket. Thus, the team does not get stuck on complex issues and can handle more requests.
The team sits in one of the largest rooms and works together, not remotely. Although in some cases employees can work from home. For example, during the holidays. However, working in the same room stimulates communication – it is much easier to explain to someone a question if they are sitting next to you.
Collaboration has a big impact on how support shifts are organized. To make sure everyone has the opportunity to work with every member of the support team as well as other members of the company, operators are constantly changing. They do not have separate “day” and “night” employees: if the operator worked the night shift, next week he will work during the day. Thus, everyone knows each other, a team spirit is formed, and at the same time support is maintained 24/7/365.
What you can learn from the example of GotYourBack Support:
▪️ Several levels (lines) of support help to process more calls due to the fact that operators do not slow down on complex issues;
▪️ Working in shifts will help to provide support 24/7/365 (we’ll talk about whether you need this later);
▪️ Distributing operators to shifts based on the expected number of requests can also be an interesting idea worth trying. This is not so difficult to accomplish if you focus on analytics of support work (in particular, on loading by day and hour);
▪️ Working in the same room strengthens team spirit and helps you cope with complex requests faster.
The magic of modern support lies in the fact that the user just wrote to you “Hi, I have a question”, and you already know that this is Jony from Los Angeles, has been your client for 3 months and is now on the Contacts page. All this is magic for your clients, and it is a well-organized collection of information and easy access to CRM for you.
This is what we create in GotYourBack Support, and what we actively use ourselves. Our operators are accustomed to the fact that during a dialogue, information about the user is always in front of their eyes, next to the chat window. No need to ask about the tariff or browser version used – you can look at all this yourself and speed up support. This means making the user happier, and making their work easier and more enjoyable.
Support operators can reassign a conversation to a colleague without losing information, as well as add a note for it that the client will not see. In addition, GotYourBack Support keeps a history of all conversations with the user in order to quickly return to one of them and recall previous conversation topics.
Tickets are what connects programmers with technical support. Regular user requests are processed normally, but if a bug or a big problem was found, you can’t do without a ticket. The clearer the structure is, the more effective the interactions will be and the issues will be resolved in the most optimal way.
The question of how to organize tickets more conveniently can lead to disagreements among team members. Here are 6 ways you can do it:
Importance is one of the most common ways to organize tickets. I would like to believe that all tickets are the same in importance, but the truth is that they are not. The big problems have to be dealt with first, and the smaller things can wait.
Typically 3-5 levels of importance work well. If less, important questions will fall into questions that are not. If more, you just get confused. Find your perfect amount.
A service level agreement is a term denoting a formal agreement between a customer of a service and its supplier, containing a description of the service, the rights and obligations of the parties and, most importantly, an agreed level of quality of the service.
Sometimes this can mean support at certain times of the day, in other cases it can indicate which tickets and how quickly should be processed. The SLA is generic to B2B customer support and defines the organization.
This is an important way to organize tickets for companies with multiple products or brands. For example, a large company like Amazon doesn’t want to mess up tickets from different companies. It also allows brands to handle the appeal the way they want, and doesn’t necessarily restrict them to the corporate structure.
Some companies prioritize customer size and the revenue they generate for the company. More valuable customers are served first. Or, for example, you can introduce such a separation for paying customers and those who are on trial.
However, don’t forget about smaller customers, especially in the era of reviews and ratings. And just imagine yourself in the shoes of this client.
This approach works well when your support team has multiple specialists. Instead of dumping requests into a common heap, redistribute them between specialists manually or using special services.
This is convenient because operators who specialize in a particular type of problem can solve it faster. The downside is that if you don’t have a carrier that specializes in a particular problem, there is a hole in your support.
Some services are still not trained in multichannel support, so they have to process questions from different channels.
This strategy can still be effective at low volumes, but can be a real barrier to growth. Requests can be unevenly distributed across channels, which means some employees will work hard all day while others chill out.
It is much more effective to collect all requests in one place, and generally not pay attention to communication channels.
If your support team consists of more than 2 people, think about the schedule. Identify areas of responsibility and clarify workflows. It is better to write down such agreements so that you can return to them if necessary. Without such agreements in support, chaos can begin. Assign responsibility for each step. Don’t forget to keep track of the status of tickets and bugs, and tell customers when their issue is finally resolved and bugs fixed.
The “follow the sun” model, which has recently become widespread in the business world, is the organization of a global workflow in which questions can be processed and transferred between offices in different time zones, so the most reducing the response time.
This model was designed to enable companies to serve customers around the clock, literally following the sun around the world. If the sun shines over a region, be it San Francisco, Paris, Hong Kong or Sydney, business is being conducted there. This means that customer requests come in quickly and frequently – and the company must meet this requirement.
It used to be that this approach was only applicable to large companies that have the resources to open and maintain multiple offices around the world. In fact, follow-the-sun support is just a method to meet the needs of customers, regardless of time or location, and this is possible, including for small and medium-sized businesses. There are different ways to provide this support.
First, there are a few key questions that need to be answered before you commit:
▪️ How big is your team?
▪️ How difficult are support calls?
▪️ Where are your clients located?
▪️ When do their requests come in?
▪️ Are you using mobile apps?
▪️ Do you have resources for self-help?
You can answer most of these questions if you look at the statistics of the operators in the chat. We at GotYourBack Support use our own dialogue analytics, where you can view information both for individual operators and for the entire team as a whole.
But you can use other tactics to provide global support. One thing is clear: to provide the highest level of customer service, your support team must decide when to be available. Of course, this could mean 24/7/365. But there are other options that allow you to deliver services anytime, anywhere and go global and fast, no matter the size of your company.
It is worth remembering that helpdesk operators are not the only way to solve user problems. A well-organized knowledge base is also geared towards support. Moreover, it is known that many users prefer to first solve the problem on their own, and in case of failure they write to technical support. Thus, the knowledge base should reduce the burden on support operators and make the experience of communicating with your product more pleasant.
And yet, it is worth recognizing that only the most meticulous clients will understand the problem and how to solve it using the knowledge base. The rest will just leave. Fortunately, there is an even better solution than the knowledge base.
Observing the user helps to quickly track when they are having difficulties and send an automated message in time to offer to help. This way you personally reach each user at the very moment when support is relevant to him. And here you can both promptly suggest a solution (if there is a universal answer), and prompt you to contact the chat for support.
Try to understand why you are being asked questions and address the cause (if possible). Usually, technical support questions can be divided into 3 groups:
▪️ missing features;
▪️ obscure or hidden functions.
Bugs and missing features (which users constantly ask for) are what all support companies work on. But if you really want to get fewer support calls, the category that you should pay the most attention to is the obscure and hidden features. Obscure features are those that your users noticed but couldn’t figure out what to do with them. Hidden – those that you actually have, but users do not know about them. Redesign your site or app if necessary. Good UX is something that users will thank you for.
Analytics and numbers are what any business is built on. We’ve already covered in depth about customer service metrics and what they mean for a manager (Key Metrics for Help Desk and Chat Support) . Read our article and be sure to analyze how you handle your customers’ requests.
77% of users chose, recommended, or paid more than a company that provides a more personalized service.
What does it mean to be customer focused? A customer-oriented company is one that provides a good user experience before, during and after the sale. This is a company that puts the user first, thereby showing sensitivity, respect and trust.
Understanding the definition of a customer-centric company is one thing. Being able to apply it and evaluate your company’s customer centricity is another matter. Here are three questions to ask yourself:
Are your customers happy? Understanding your customers can take a while, but it will provide valuable insights that can be used to improve your business as well as increase customer loyalty.
To be a customer-centric company, it is important to give customers the opportunity to express their thoughts and opinions. It’s even more important to listen to your customers’ needs and satisfy them. Online communities, surveys and information gathering are three ways to get to know your customers.
Once you get to know your customers, you can serve them better and, as a result, improve your business. Active customer engagement builds relationships and is, in fact, the best way to support users.
You can learn what is important to your customers and what you can do to help them cope with their difficulties. Greet customers, offer help before they ask, and anticipate their expectations.
Customer support is not an easy task, but it is of the utmost importance to your company’s customer focus. Do not forget that quality service, among other things, lies in the qualifications of the support service. Make sure that they have all the information about the latest changes on your site and are able to correctly convey information to customers. Train your support team and provide them with the comfortable environment we talked about above. If your operators are happy, they will try to make your users happy as well.
Support is not easy, but a very interesting process. This is daily communication with your clients, listening to their problems and answering their questions. Treat your customers with care and provide quality service, listen to what they tell you, and they will reciprocate with mutual love, which will be reflected in orders and the average bill.