How much you invest in your customer service department can make all the difference in the quality of employees you hire and the quality of assistance they provide your clientele. Employing the most reliable staff members can build a loyal customer base and prevent those who feel they’re not getting sufficient service to leave your business and explore other options. This is not ideal, you want to create an environment where your customers can rely on you to deliver the utmost quality service every time they approach your company with concerns.
If you own a small business, it may be daunting to think about customer experience ROI if it’s not in your budget. However, you get what you pay for; if you’re still exploring smart ways to allocate your funds, you should consider how to divide your pay scale so that you attract quality people to apply and work for your company. A smart way for entrepreneurs to approach this is to establish a tiered support system when hiring people to work for your help desk. Consider the following ways to save money and improve customer support with tiered staffing:
Equally dispersing expertise
The type of business you own can determine the level of expertise your customer service department requires. It may be too early to employ a full staff of senior-level help desk technicians, which require a starting salary of around $80,000 per year. Instead, you can employ the tier system where you hire technicians who have less experience with an entry-level salary and mid-level technicians who can mentor the more novice technicians and train them so they’re all on the same page as far as the expertise they’re expected to impart onto customers when needed. The starting technicians would still be qualified to handle the initial calls, resolve any issues they’re qualified to solve, and forward more difficult tasks to more experienced technicians.
When upper-level technicians get involved and show the beginners how to handle more challenging situations, it becomes a great learning experience for them, as the need to rely on the more experienced employees diminishes over time, helping create more independence within the department. Proper training will also save the company more money without having to invest in development tools before the company is ready to make such a financial commitment. It’s always good to invest in your employees, but when things are starting out, priorities and sacrifices must be made. It’s important to feel financially stable so your employees also feel your business is a safe place for them to stay and learn without feeling that each paycheck is going to be their last. Otherwise, your new company may experience high employee turnover.
Prevent employee turnover
Employee turnover occurs mostly when employees feel unsupported or not challenged enough. Many other reasons may factor in as well, but for the purposes of this scenario, employees need sufficient training and a place to go when something isn’t clear or they feel stuck in their day-to-day tasks. Without that proper support from a tiered environment, employees can feel compelled to provide an answer to something outside of their areas of expertise, and in essence, give inaccurate information to your customers. Encouraging tiered system training from the senior technicians can help beginners feel more confident with each call they handle, improving their outlook and helping your customers feel they’re getting the proper guidance from your company.
Proper training and support of staff members also yield high company morale, reducing the temptation unsatisfied employees feel to leave the company. Relying on senior technicians to serve as mentors to the less experienced teammates also encourages their growth and helps them hone their leadership skills. Upper tiered employees may also feel a sense of accomplishment, as they watch those they’ve trained improve and move up in the company. Even though training new employees takes away from regularly scheduled tasks, it’s a rewarding experience and benefits the company, the new hires and customers alike.
Enhancing customer service
Ensuring you’re investing in quality employees and proper training will always yield a positive ROI in customer service and support. Your investment will establish an efficient system that will prevent you from losing customers who feel their issues aren’t being addressed.
Distributing areas of expertise within your customer service department will also prevent your employees from experiencing burnout. If one person doesn’t know something, pass the information on to another expert–it’s not fair to ask all of your employees to know everything. If someone in your company doesn’t know how to solve a certain problem, they should be able to approach a colleague for assistance in helping a customer. This will also make your customer service department more efficient and resourceful.
An efficient customer service department or call center has an established ticketing system. It’s important to also invest in a system that tracks and manages each incoming request for help ensuring it moves through the progression of service in the most efficient way possible. Having an efficient ticketing system in place helps your employees record incoming calls and assign them to appropriate technicians. You can also establish deadlines for each ticket to ensure they get addressed and solved within a certain amount of time. The ticketing system also reveals which employees are falling behind and not addressing their tickets capably enough.
If your company is just starting out, keep in mind that offering top-quality customer support that satisfies your clients’ expectations can be a challenge no matter how established your company is. It’s a never-ending struggle to keep everyone happy and solve their problems. Some may take much more effort than others. By investing in your employees’ training and initiating a tiered help desk system, you can more efficiently address customers’ problems, making your company their go-to place to get top-quality attention that will leave your customers praising you, potentially yielding an organic lead generation tool that is based solely on referrals.