Why Customer Service can be a Team Sport
We’ve all been there before: you reach out for assistance with an issue, the service agent has little to no context and tries to quickly close the ticket, you’re left feeling frustrated, then lo and behold, your coworker knew how to remedy the issue all along. According to our data, we see that healthy customer service relationships are built on a mix of customer and vendor efforts. In some cases 55% of issues raised by customers were resolved by both the vendor company and customer teams.
The Importance of teamwork in customer service
We are already aware of the power of problem-solving with customers, but cross-departmental collaboration should not be underestimated. The magic happens when customer teams help each other. Including customers in the process and/or working with other departments to solve issues has been proven to work. Let’s first start with how problems can be better solved through cross-departmental collaboration:
- The Product team can work with Customer Success to fix urgent issues.
- Customer Success and Product teams should work hand-in-hand with the Sales team to identify gaps in the system and remedy them so they do not pop up again in the future. This may include developing new features that improve the overall customer experience.
- Executives should be involved in the conversation too! They have the means and the power to generate enthusiasm and energy around problem-solving.
- Customer experience team can provide help to their peers. It is expected to have better quality than the vendor team, since they have a better understanding of the context and the needs. Customer service team members who will help their peers are expected to become evangelists inside the company and potentially also outside.
When it comes to involving customers in the support process, there are a few ways it can be done successfully:
- Instead of solving the problem for the customer, walk them through the process of resolving the issue on their own. This will give them a sense of confidence in your product and its ease of use.
- As customers are walking through the process of resolving an issue, ask them their opinions on various features, and inquire on how these features can be improved.
- Follow up after the customer support session to ask customers how satisfied they were with the process and if they have any additional comments.
At the end of the day, customers should feel as though they are engaged with your product from start to finish.
Slack for Customer Support
The beauty of collaboration tools, like Slack Connect, lies in the ability to streamline collaboration with several departments within the vendor company and their customers. Real-time communication can take place in Slack channels, so problems are resolved more efficiently and questions are answered faster. There is also room to make customer support more personalized. For example, you can create dedicated channels so every customer can have their own place for secure communication.
Addressing Concerns with Collaborative Support
If you have concerns about overloading your support team, have no fear; you won’t. There are actually more hands on deck with this approach. So, the load is actually lighter. It is not just up to the vendor service team to resolve the issue now, but the other departments and even the customer themself. With this collaborative support model, you will be more engaged with your customers, driving up your Customer Satisfaction Score and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Measuring and Encouraging Success
There are a few ways you can measure and encourage success with this customer support model in Slack:
- View key metrics and gain insight into customer interactions from the analytics dashboard. Here, you will be able to view how many messages were exchanged, total number of people who engaged with these messages, the ratio of messages answered by the customer team vs the vendor, the level of seniority of these people, etc.
2. You can encourage this behavior the same as in other larger communities by recognizing and encouraging team members’ quality customer service. Here is an example from a Slack community workspace running by one of our design customers Airbyte.
How could you boost these metrics? in the next blog TL;DR
- Keep the channel active - AMA
- Get an executive to participate from time to time
- Quick response time
- Reach out to individuals on the customer side for helping others - based on past experience and let them opt-out or identify the topics that they’d like to be notified
- Get people to participate
- Share the latest on a weekly basis
The expression “teamwork makes the dream work” is the name of the game when it comes to offering comprehensive, high-quality customer support. Getting several hands on deck as opposed to just one not only resolves issues faster, but lessens the responsibility put on customer service representatives.
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