How To Improve Your Customer Support Team’s Productivity

A chaotic customer support team can cripple your business and negatively impact your bottom line. This is where agent productivity and happiness can play a vital role. In fact, agent productivity and customer happiness are inherently tied to each other. Here’s a positive picture data paints for us:

  • Enhanced customer experience: Around 63% of high-performance organizations claim that their agents spend more time problem-solving complex issues for customers instead of focusing on the mundane, routine tasks that can be automated.
  • Increased collaboration and teamwork: Around 39% of customer agent professionals claim that collaborating with other departments is critical to providing a great customer experience.
  • Unified customer information: For around 84% of customer service agents, data further indicates that a “unified view” of customer data is key to providing a great experience. This is where the use of team productivity-boosting tools such as a shared inbox for teams comes into play.

The writing is on the wall: Improving your customer support team’s productivity can pay off huge dividends and lead to happier and more satisfied customers as well as employees.

In this blog, we will look at the top-5 ways to enhance your team’s productivity and make the most out of your biggest assets–your CX agents. Let’s jump right in.

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Top-5 Ways To Increase The Customer Support Team’s Productivity

1. Use CX Tools To Make Work Easier

We live in a world where you can get an app or software for literally everything. For CX leaders looking to streamline the workflow and make their agent’s life easier, they can leverage the power of CX tools.

A robust CX tool is one that comes power-packed with the following basic features (at the very least) to augment the team’s productivity:

  • Templates: The ability to customize templates or pick from a large repository of standard templates
  • Centralized information: The ability to offer an integrated and centralized view of all incoming customer inquiries across cross-channel touch-points
  • Quick data access: The ability to quickly access to important customer information in real-time
  • Improved partnership: The ability to partner with other teams and drive greater collaboration through a shared customer support inbox
  • In-depth knowledge base: The ability to build a rock-solid knowledge base so that customers can self-serve–a missed opportunity for around 56% of businesses who lack adequate self-service options for customers:

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  • Instant notifications: The ability to provide instant notifications to the support team whenever there is a pressing issue that needs the team’s attention:

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The learning: Equipping agents with the right mix of tools and real-time data can encourage a culture of agent-driven problem-solving and lateral thinking–a must-have for customer-obsessed organizations today.

2. Say Goodbye To Multitasking

Get this: For around 54% of C-level executives, the primary reason for losing ecommerce customers has been poor customer experience. While there can be multiple reasons that contribute to a poor user experience, agent multitasking easily takes the top spot.

While multitasking is thought to be doing multiple things at once, in reality, people only end up switching between the tasks, according to a study by the University of Michigan researchers. If a person actually attempts to do two tasks at once, their focus will be scattered, their work speed will be slower, and by extension, the work quality will be subpar. It can also lead to greater levels of stress and the inevitable employee burnout. In conclusion, research by Psychology Today claims that 40% of productivity is lost when you multitask.

The learning: Contrary to popular opinion, multitasking doesn’t boost productivity, it hinders it as the agent’s focus gets divided and leads to low quality work output–complete with errors and mistakes that could easily have been avoided. All in all, it hurts the agent’s overall performance. So say no to multitasking.

3. Motivate Agents And Empower Them To Be Self-Serving

Let’s call a spade a spade: Over-documentation and rigid processes can hinder agent performance. There’s no denying it. What CX leaders need to focus on is driving an “Agent-first culture by:

  • Encouraging participation amongst the team members
  • Engaging in active listening and gathering real-time feedback to make your employees feel appreciated and heard by the company
  • Driving one-on-one interactions with employees to understand their pain points, concerns, and issues (if any) and instill an employee-centric culture within the organization
  • Trusting agents to do their job instead of ‘micromanaging everything which can lead to faster resolution time and higher customer satisfaction

The learning: Employee productivity is marked by three critical components: speed, efficiency, and personalization. To achieve this, it is important that leaders allow agents to perform with greater trust, accountability, and appreciation. Businesses can achieve this by first changing their mindset and driving a positive employee culture. The adage happier agents lead to happier customers has never been more relevant.

4. Create Accountability

Holding agents accountable for their responsibilities and tasks is a surefire way to boost their productivity. It encourages agents to perform better and prevents them from taking ‘shortcuts’ or procrastinating. Here are some ways in which you can foster accountability:

  • Think about ways to make the workflow more transparent so that agents are always ‘in the know’ and can make more informed decisions.
  • Create realistic goals for your agents every day.
  • Have review meetings, provide constructive criticism, and hold agents accountable if they fail to deliver.
  • Focus on building trust and confidence to ensure that the agents are transparent about any challenges they might be facing.
  • Finally, be flexible and allow agents sufficient time to work.

The learning: Accountability drives motivation and discipline among your team members, making it a natural ‘anecdote’ for performing better and driving productivity.

5. Improve Engagement

Given that organizations world over are working from home in an effort to stick to the social distancing norms, improving engagement among employees has never been more important.

Here are some time-tested ways in which you can drive mutually stimulating interactions the team, improve the turnaround time, and ultimately boost employee-customer engagement:

  • Drive weekly or daily check-ins with your agents to get a pulse of how they’re faring. The idea is to communicate and demonstrate to your employees that their wellbeing is important for the top management and provide direction for the day. You can use multiple tools such as video conferencing tools, Slack, etc. for improved and instant communication.
  • Think of building a dedicated forum for your agents where they can easily and quickly reach you at the time of need.
  • Set clear rules and expectations about the work hours and requirements to prevent fatigue and/or irritation among the employees. You should also spell out intricate details such as the type of platforms the agents can use for business calls. It will help if all this information is uploaded in the cloud and is easily available to the employees at the click of a button, 24×7.
  • Embrace a more empathetic approach in your interactions and always start a conversation with an open mind.

The learning: Employee engagement has always been the foundation for a high-performing team. In fact, employees who feel more connected with team members are likely to be more motivated to work better and give in their best, at all times.

Wrapping Up

Improving agent productivity is not rocket science. It does, however, involve a 360-degree approach to tackling agent wellness–be it by providing moral support or empowering them with the right stack of technological tools. So follow the strategies outlined above and deliver quality customer support while improving employee happiness, all at the same time.

Author Bio: Ashwini Dave is passionate about Business, Entrepreneurship, E-commerce, emerging technology, and Digital Marketing. She is working with Acquire as a digital marketing expert. She is a free soul and adventurous scholar who spends her free time with herself and loved ones, music, as well as watching & playing sports. She is ocean addicted and on roads being a thrill-seeking traveler to get new experiences as she looks at life as our very own works of art.

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