Seeing a business grow in front of your eyes is exciting. You’ve got a product or service people love, and you’re getting new customers all the time. However, with this excitement often comes growing pains. Five customer support agents may no longer be enough, and it’s time to expand the team to double digits to meet the demand of tickets and phone calls.
So, how does a company effectively do this? Don’t worry! Here’s a blueprint on scaling your customer support operations to ensure your customers remain happy…
Choose a software built for your industry as a foundation for growth – While a few agents sharing a spreadsheet and a single email account may be working right now, it’s not a long-term solution that can be scaled. Instead, invest in a customer support software solution built for your industry that can be the foundation for your support team both now and as you continue to grow.
Hire agents that are versatile and are open to new support channels – Once a software solution has been chosen, it’s time to get new agents that can make the most of the technology. For example, you may not have offered live chat support in the past even though your customers wanted it. With the right technology, it’s easy to enable chat and you should hire one or several agents with chat experience. Your current support agents may be great, but creating a more versatile support team with broader capabilities will enable more opportunities to increase customer satisfaction.
Expand to 24/7 support through online information – Did you know that your company doesn’t need to be some huge, publicly traded corporation to provide 24/7 support? With online information powered by self-service technology, you can create answers to common customer issues that they can access at any time to solve their own problems. This technology often comes built-in to a support software solution and works wonders for decreasing the total number of tickets that are submitted. Getting this technology up and running may take some time, but it’s worth the long-term investment. Simply put, self-service saves money on staffing costs while also boosting customer happiness. That’s a tough combination to beat.
Improve your customer success team to reduce the burden on support – When scaling a business, it’s important to focus on multiple areas at the same time. Support is great at dealing with issues that customers bring to their attention, but this shouldn’t be your only line of conversation. To supplement support, creating a customer success team opens up another avenue to communicate. The role of a success team is to have "check-in" conversations with customers when there isn’t a current issue or problem. This creates an ongoing business-customer dialogue that has many benefits. One of the top ones is that this communication enables your company to learn more about how customers use your product. The dialogue can also be leveraged to get a better understanding of their broader needs and company plans. Finally, creating a lasting relationship with customers that isn’t built around support issues often leads to unique upselling opportunities. Capitalizing on this expanded revenue stream means the success team essentially pays for themselves.
We hope you found this blueprint to scale your customer support operations helpful! Start with the right technology and then grow your team alongside it, including branching over into long-term customer success conversations. Best of luck in the coming years!