Learn How to Build a Customer Service Dream Team


Published on

Delivering service above and beyond expectations requires continuous improvement on behalf of the customer. When employees are your biggest fans, it’s easier than you think. The right improvements come naturally. In this guide, you’ll learn how to address the challenges of a disengaged workforce by baking a long-term, customer-centric company culture into everything you do. From hiring and training to motivating your staff, discover industry-proven steps to build your customer service dream team.

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Comment
  • Thank you, very useful
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Learn How to Build a Customer Service Dream Team

  1. 1. How to Hire and Retain CustomerExperience ChampionsDelivering service above and beyond expectations requires continuous improvementon behalf of the customer. When employees are your biggest fans, it’s easier than youthink. The right improvements come naturally. In this guide, you’ll learn how to addressthe challenges of a disengaged workforce by baking a long-term, customer-centriccompany culture into everything you do. From hiring and training to motivating yourstaff, discover industry-proven steps to build your customer service dream team.Alex Hisaka is a Content Marketer at Desk.comFollow her on Twitter at @alexhisakaTable of Contents:1. Embrace Customer WOW2. Fill Your Roster With MotivatedEmployees3. They’ve Got the Will, Train the Skill4. Do Your Team a Favor: MakeSupport Easy5. Teamwork Makes the Dream WorkAfter reading it, your business should:• Develop, implement and commit to yourcore values.• Understand the principles of strongcustomer support.• Boost team efficiency with smartworkflows.• Create opportunities for advancementand appreciation.To get the most from this guide, take notes. Think about how you can use the ideas, conceptsand strategies inside to evolve your company culture and make your dream team a reality.
  2. 2. Embrace Customer WOWAnd news of bad customer service reaches more thantwice as many ears as praise for good service. Withword of mouth spreading like wildfire over social, yourreputation is in customers’ hands.So how do you ensure customers get the startreatment when they contact support? Zappos CEOTony Hsieh was talking from experience when he said,“If you get the culture right, other stuff like greatcustomer service or building a long-term brand willhappen on its own.” When Zappos shifted focus fromselling shoes to pleasing customers, employeesbecame more engaged and passionate, customerswere happier and sales went through the roof. Othercustomer service powerhouses such as Amazon(Zappos’ owner since 2009), Google and yes,Desk.com have also found a winning formula inmaking company culture and brand two sides of thesame coin.AwesomeCompany CultureCompany Brand85% of consumers have quit doing business with a companybecause of bad customer experience.Customer WOW is the philosophy at the core of everything we’ve done since our early days as Assistly. Everyday, every employee works to be better than expected. We strive to “wow” our customers through amazingservice while perfecting the experiences they have with us. The basic principles below have contributed toour success, guiding our teams to be the best at what they do.“Customer service should be part of everybody’s job, fromthe c-suite to engineering, from marketing to finance.There is no better way to orient your business for successthan connecting to the customer more effectively.”Desk.com Founder, Alex Bard
  3. 3. Embrace Customer WOWHere at Desk.com, we’ve createda product and culture that’sfocused on the customer. Ourcompany follows the philosophyof Customer WOW, consistentlybeing better than what you’reexpected to be, is how weprovide the best possiblecustomer experience. Creatingthis experience is at the core ofwhat we do and since our earlyday at Assistly we work every dayto perfect the experience ourcustomers have with us. We’vefound some basic principles thathave contributed to our successand ways to empower our teamto be the best at what they do.We believe that it’s reallyimportant to come up with a setof core values that your businesslives and breathes by. Ask yourself,“are you willing to live by yourcore values in both good timesand bad?” If the answer is yes,then that’s the strongest startto building and maintaining acompany culture that you andyour employees actually want towork in. When you hire, train andmotivate your employees basedon your core values, everythingwill fall into place on its own.Volunteering at alocal small businessOur companyvalues at theSF office
  4. 4. TO WOW, you must:Empower employeesEach of our team members is hired with theexpectation of working in the best interestof our customers. Everyone is given thetools and authority to make decisions.Create trustThere’s no finish line when it comes to buildingtrust with employees, customers and partners.Honesty, transparency and accountability arethe guideposts for every decision and action wetake in delivering quality customer service.What’s your WOW factor? What core valuesdoes your business live and breathe by? Areyou willing to live them in good times andbad? If the answer is yes, you have a strongstart to creating a company culture youand your employees want to work in.Embrace Customer WOWDream bigUnbounded imagination, genuinepassion and the right attitudewill take us to the wonderfulplaces we want to go. We aspireto make the impossible possible.
  5. 5. Hire Motivated EmployeesWhen you hire, train and motivateemployees based on core values,everything else falls into place.Finding competent people withthe right skills isn’t enough. Theyneed the right attitude, too. It’sessential and non-negotiable.Attitude is the the foundationof good culture andoutstanding customer service,the driving force behind:Skills being equal, employeeswith the right attitude havean easier time fitting in, betterjob performance and they stickaround longer. To identify strongcandidates and weed out thoselooking to collect a paycheck,ask questions that align withyour company’s core values.What your employees say and how they say it.The service goals your employees set forthemselves.How much youremployees arewilling to do foryour customers.Overall job satisfaction.Why are you in customer service?Always ask this one first. Customer service is notjust resolving one issue after another. It’s satisfyingcustomers’ needs, putting smiles on their faces andinspiring them to do the same for others. Employeeswho excel have a natural desire to help and expressgenuine empathy. Bonus points for a sunny dispositionand willingness to go the extra mile.Are you familiar with what we do?Ideal candidates walk into interviews with a basicunderstanding of your company. Have them list whatthey believe to be the value of your product or service.Fill in any blanks and discuss how you make a differencein customers’ personal or professional lives.How would you handle ...?Personality is part of the hiring game. To see if acandidate has what it takes, create a custome supportscenario. Don’t be afraid to throw a few curveballs. Is heor she empathetic? Asking appropriate questions? Beingproactive? Did you feel the issue was resolved? Providefeedback and give candidates the chance to talk aboutwhat they’d do differently.
  6. 6. Hire Motivated EmployeesIn the end, you’re looking for a good blend of operational and personalskills. Here’s a simple checklist to have on hand for interviews:Able to escalate theissue with style anddiplomacy.Collaborates withteam members whenchallenges arise.Known issue: Canidentify what’swrong and fix it.Unknown issue:Has an inquisitiveapproach toresearching unknownissues to resolution.Picks up emotionaldistress signals.Puts him/herselfin the customer’sshoes.Able to quantifythe pain thecustomer feels.Always treats thecustomer withrespect.Empathy Functional Excellence The WOW FactorEnthusiastic abouta customer-facingrole.Good team fit.Exhibits qualitiesthat align withcore values.That extrasomething(what makes thiscandidate standout in the crowd).Hire hard workers with a positive attitude, passion for customer service and focus on supporting thecustomer. Then train new employees on how to live your core values. If your business can do that, you’relikely to notice a quick return on human capital investment.
  7. 7. They’ve Got the Will, Train the SkillAt Desk.com, all employees—including managers and seniorstaff—go through a week-longboot camp learning how touse our product and practiceCustomer WOW. Everyonebecomes part of the companyculture right from the get-go,understanding what we doand how to commit to our corevalues. An essential lesson:Always deliver more thanexpected. This philosophy,inspired by Google FounderLarry Page, is the key to earningcustomer loyalty and referrals.Consistently being betterthan expected is what breedscustomer advocacy and brandevangelism. That’s why the Desk.com agents on the CustomerWOW team (our support team)don’t stop at addressing questionsand concerns. They proactivelyreaching out to customers, findingways to help them be moresuccessful. We know we’re doingthe job right when customerssay, “Wow, I didn’t expect that!”Customer WOWBootcampTraining support agents“Alwaysdelivermore thanexpected.”Google Founder, Larry Page
  8. 8. They’ve Got the Will, Train the SkillBe EmpatheticPut yourself in the customers’shoes, especially in toughsituations. Your empathy willshow and they’ll appreciate it.Talk Among YourselvesAccept that you’ll never havea perfect grasp of every issuecoming into the support center.Keep up with the big pictureby maintaining open lines ofcommunication with your team.Improve as You GoSeeing the same issues time andagain? Dig into what’s unclearand update your knowledgebase or FAQs. By clarifying yourmessaging, you can reducecontacts for many repetitiveissues. Be sure to track any drop inservice load and share your results.Listen to the CustomerThere’s nothing like talking to asupport agent who really listenson all cylinders. Take time tounderstand issues and how theyaffect the customer’s business.When people know you valuetheir needs, they’re more likelyto stay with your brand.Be HumanRobots are cool, but peoplewould rarely choose to have aconversation with one. Showthe customers you aren’t amachine. At the end of theday it’s how you make peoplefeel that matters the most.Be HonestNobody likes being lied to. Acustomer can’t expect anythingmore than the truth. When youmaintain an open dialogue andkeep your customer informedat all times, you’ll earn theircommitment to your company.Your new and long-term agents can stand out by going the extra mile. Here are 10 ways:Respond Quickly & AccuratelyCustomers gain confidence whenyou respond quickly and solvetheir problems for good, and aremore likely to have an ongoingrelationship with your brand.Always Follow UpChecking back in with customersisn’t just good manners. Itgives you another opportunityto build the relationship.Relationships over revenueFocus on the success of yourcustomer. Understand painpoints and how you canalleviate them. When you makecustomer success your priority,improving your product, companyand bottom line follow.Ask QuestionsThe more you know, the morelikely you are to resolve an issue tothe customer’s satisfaction. Don’thesitate to ask more questions toget all the information you needto recommend alternate solutionsand advocate for the customer.“The goal as acompany is tohave customerservice that isnot just the bestbut legendary.”Sam Walton, Founderof Wal-Mart
  9. 9. Have a Solid Game Plan61%less likely torepurchase.Shore up your defenses by developing a plan to execute hassle-free,friction-free experiences. What causes friction? Here are eight factorsknown to drive customers to competitors:1. Taking too much time to resolve an issue.2. Broken promises (you’ve over-promised or under-delivered).3. Treated rudely or with suspicion.4. Transferred from agent to agent, having to repeat the issue each time.5. Having to check several times to see if an issue is resolved.6. Being left in “support purgatory,” not knowing what, if anything, hasbeen done to resolve the issue.7. Pushed to buy something, even before a support issue is beenresolved.8. Support Center information is unhelpful, incomplete or outdated.47%of consumers expect aresponse within 24 hours.22% 19%of consumers expect aresponse immediately.of consumers expect aresponse within an hour.The Importance of Customer ServiceIn a recent customer satisfaction survey, ClickFox reported that 47% of consumers expect a response within24 hours, 22% of consumers expet a response immediately, and 19% of consumers expect a response withinan hour. Keeping customers happy and resolving their problems are of vital importance; money talks, andcustomer dissatisfaction will eventually show up in the bottom line.Forrester ResearchResearch showscustomers whofeel they workhard to resolvetheir own issuesare
  10. 10. Have a Solid Game PlanStay on top of your supportEmpower your team for success byencouraging them to track cases religiouslyand treat each one as a priority. Assignevery issue a status, level of urgency andowner.Know who’s working on whatA shared dashboard encourages accountabilityand reduces ambiguity by creating an airtightsystem to track cases and keep customerconversations in context. At a glance, see whichagent is assigned, which cases are still openor pending, and which have been resolved.Today’s customers expects you to value them for more than their money. The easier youmake issue resolution, the more loyal they’ll be to your business.Easy collaboration with your teamIf you don’t have the answer, quickly transferthe customer to someone who does. When youinvolve your entire team in customer support,you improve the speed and quality of responses.
  11. 11. Have a Solid Game PlanOperate as a cohesive teamYour system should aim to assign cases basedon priority, agent availability and expertise. Arecent survey from American Express foundthat three in five Americans would try a newcompany to get a better service experience. Tokeep them with you, make sure the first persona customer talks to is the most qualified toaddress the issue at hand.Know about your customersReduce support time by building a profile foreach customer, including information about anyprior interactions. Agents can use it as a cheatsheet if the customer reaches out, providingimmediate attention to the issue, and addressingit in a more efficient and personal way.Organize your customer conversationsHow can you label a case that’s both urgentand from a VIP customer? Create work“queues” or folders to help you organizeyour cases into categories. Add notes foryour team like “more info” or “call back”
  12. 12. Teamwork Makes the Dream WorkKeep your best talent by moving beyond basic checklists and scripts. Here’s how:Create opportunitiesNobody wants to feel stuck in a dead-end job. Jobprogression keeps agents inspired and motivated,so provide plenty of opportunities for professionalgrowth and promotion. If caseloads allow, considerloaning agents with the interest and aptitude toother departments. It helps keep them engagedwhile growing their skills and value to the company.Take suggestionsIt’s up to every employee, not a few people inmanagement, to build and strengthen companyculture. Ask for suggestions and keep your teaminvolved in helping the business grow and thrive.Provide positive feedbackEmploy­ees who receive frequent feed­back frommanagement feel they have more con­trol over their work,which increases job sat­is­fac­tion. Definitely one of theeasiest and quickest ways to boost engagement andperformance.
  13. 13. Teamwork Makes the Dream WorkEmbrace “Whole Company Support”Stop thinking of customer support as a crew ofresponsive hole patchers who deal with problemsas they arise. At Desk.com, everyone has anopportunity to fill a customer support role. It createsan incredible opportunity to get to know ourcustomers on an intimate level, gaining insight intotheir needs and their relationship with the product.Recognize individual talentsGive rewards tied to specific actions soemployees know you sincerely appreciatetheir efforts. Encourage individuals touse their talents for team success.Celebrate successThe level of service you give customersis fundamentally rooted in yourstaff. When employees are happyand care about doing their jobs, realWOW happens. There are dozens ofways — big and small — to celebratepersonal and team achievements, fromparties to thank-you gifts to hooplain company-wide meetings. Do whatfeels sincere and right for your team.
  14. 14. ConclusionSo how can you take these tips outlined above and make them work for you? The evolution towardsbecoming a customer-centric company is both complex and long. But your company should not bediscouraged. Small changes in policies and processes can help drive transformational change in both thinkingand behavior. All it takes is one step, one change, one right hire, one system, one policy at a time and acomplete focus on your customers and their satisfaction. An empowered customer support team, whereemployees are armed with responsibility and feel that they are making a contribution to the company’ssuccess, soon translates into customer loyalty.Desk.com has an unlimited amount of great resources ranging from more information about our productto thought leadership content. Here are some suggestions:• The Desk.com Library• Desk.com’s Blog