Business Practices | | Published June 16, 2016

The Key to Customer Service is Agent Efficiency

Efficiency means success for businesses no matter what their industry. noted some organizations that dominate their respective fields by focusing on efficient processes to make things more convenient for customers. Turnaround times must be short, and customers shouldn't have to go through drawn-out processes to get what they want. This is the key to excellent customer service.

Customer support teams should operate the same way so they can meet customer demands by operating as efficiently as possible. Collaborative customer support software that lets agents communicate directly with customers helps teams work faster and provide better solutions.

Improve Communication with Customers
Part of reducing the effort required of customers is to meet their communication needs. Today, businesses get requests for support through many different channels, including email, social media, online forms and phone calls. Agents need customer support software that supports as many of these channels as possible in one central system and can even create tickets automatically.

When multiple agents work on one ticket, they should be able to collaborate to ensure they are providing consistent information to their customers. Otherwise these agents can accidentally provide conflicting solutions or suggest a solution the customer has already tried. Businesses need a solution that shows customer history as well as real-time visibility into which agents are working on a ticket at any given time, alerting the team to each other's actions so they can work together to resolve the issue faster.

Customers communicate with businesses through multiple channels.Customers communicate with businesses through multiple channels.

Technology and Internal Communication
Agents need a method of real-time communication that also allows them to concentrate on other tasks. They can't speak directly to each other while conversing with a customer, but support ticket software with internal messaging lets them keep their focus on the customer while working together to solve issues quickly.

Providing internal chat goes beyond helping employees do their jobs more efficiently. It increases job satisfaction by supplying agents with something they ask for, because it affects their ability to complete daily tasks. While many business leaders are afraid that employees will goof off and waste time chatting, messaging actually helps them contact each other regarding the tickets they're working on. An agent might have a question that needs an immediate answer or require insight on a particular customer while on the phone and a fellow employee can provide this information via chat without causing a disruption. Customer support teams don't ask for messaging to chit-chat with each other. Rather, they want it so they can work more effectively.

Customers often submit support tickets with incredibly simple answers. Instead of always connecting the customer to a direct agent, businesses should use support software with ticket deflection and self-service customer support solutions. When a customer begins typing a support ticket, the software identifies keywords and provides solutions in the form of FAQ topics, wiki articles, videos or forum posts. The customer gets an answer immediately without having to wait for a rep, and support team members are free to address more complex issues.

Reduce Tickets by Continuing Agent Education
Minimizing the number of tickets dealing with simple issues also allows agents to expand their skill sets by forcing them to handle harder ones. These agents aren't segmented like in tiered support systems. Instead they take ownership of each ticket and see it through even if they don't have the answer. A team member provides the resolution so the customer is addressed quickly and the agent learns more with each encounter.

Your customer support agents want to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. To do so, they need customer support software that supports learning, collaboration, and communication.