B2B Customer Support | | Published September 03, 2015

Customer Service Software Transition Plan

A new customer support software tool can lead to more manageable workloads and make it easier to build strong customer relationships. A new system can also help encourage a more collaborative approach to customer support and improve the quality of service you're providing to your customers. But implementing a new solution can also pose some issues.

In order to keep the transition to a new customer service software solution going smoothly, it's important for you to take early steps to communicate what is happening and make sure everyone is on board. Sometimes team members will be reluctant to adapt to a new system, but in the end, a new solution is going to help improve their work day. Here's how to make it happen:

1. Discuss concerns with your software provider
Before you start transitioning to a new solution, you'll want to discuss any concerns you have with your new software provider. The provider should be able to help alleviate those issues and make suggestions that can lead to a smooth transition. You can talk with them about best practices for training employees on their system, how their system is best rolled out and what they would suggest doing in the meantime to prepare the office.

2. Talk with the customer service team

One of the most important things you can do when switching to a new customer service software solution is to keep your team involved. Even if you feel that they won't be able to contribute too much, make sure to keep them informed. Business Bee suggests giving your team periodic updates as time goes on. They're the people who will be using the system, so it makes sense to keep them in the loop. Try to find out if they are excited for the transition or if they're dreading it. Your team may be able to point out problems or concerns that you didn't even know existed. Take the time to listen to your team and adjust your transition strategy accordingly.

In addition to making the transition easier, working together early on will prepare them for collaborating once the software solution is in place. This can be useful for the transition period but will really pay off down the road by raising the collective knowledge of your team.

3. Think about the roll-out process
While the roll-out process might be dictated by the software provider, you usually have two options: do it in increments or all at once. An incremental approach can help ease the team into the new system, but it can also cause issues because your team will be utilizing various systems. Totally converting to the new system eliminates confusion due to multiple approaches, but productivity could significantly decrease due to the learning curve. Talk with your team up front and analyze your business's goals before making a decision either way.

"Sometimes there is nothing better than one-on-one training."

4. Provide great training
No matter what type of roll-out process you choose, make sure you're giving your team the training it needs to succeed. Training seminars or sessions can be effective, but sometimes there is nothing better than one-on-one training. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, one-on-one training can help avoid confusion with the new software by providing people with the help the specifically need. Consider leveraging someone in-house who has gone through a training seminar or someone from the software company who can help your team navigate any issues. In the end, it will just take time for everyone to become acclimated, but you still need to make sure your team receives the right information.

5. Keep communicating with your employees and your software provider
Even after the training period, keep a close eye on your customer service team. If you notice someone who's struggling or have people come to you with problems, make sure they have what they need to get the job done and feel comfortable. Holding team meetings to check in and discuss how the transition is going can help identify any problems that affect the whole team. Issues that are a problem for the whole team should be addressed. An adjustment to the processes in place may be all that's needed, and if there are any larger issues, you may need to notify the software provider.

Teamwork is key for a smooth software transition plan, and it will help you reap the benefits of a more collaborative and efficient customer service software platform.

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