Customer Experience Strategy for Small Teams
Customer Experience Strategy for Small Teams
And daily he went round softly speaking his story
To all kinds of men from all walks of life
Paul Kelly (From Little Things Big Things Grow)
When you work for a small-to-medium sized company, it’s hard to hide. You’re not a number, you’re a name, often known by all (including the big guys or gals upstairs). Whether this is a good thing or bad thing depends on your own personal approach to your work, for some slipping under the radar can be the dream. But if you want your team to deliver real, memorable call centre customer experience, then everyone needs to be noticed. So celebrate your extroverts and encourage your introverts because they all can and do make a massive impact to a small team’s performance. Here are some tips to help even the tiniest of teams shine when delivering their customer experience strategy.
Change it up
When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to efficiently communicate those issues.”- Kristin Smaby, “Being Human is Good Business”
The advantage you have with a small team is that you can get to know your team pretty well. You aren’t so buried in the operations big business that you can’t pay attention. You can see their personalities, quirks and senses of humour. As the manager of a small team you can easily identify who is motivated, and for whom it might be a struggle. Reading scripts and delivering carbon copy customer service call after call, day after day, a motivated team does not make. Use the in-depth knowledge you have on your team to deliver on your customer experience strategy. Most customers who have an issue like to have conversations with humans- many times they have exhausted the easier trouble shooting options online or through other channels. Set your teams free a little, allow them to be themselves, inject a little personality and see how the customers respond. They might look back on the call not only as having their problem resolved but remember the resolution coming from a cheery, friendly chap or lass on the end of the line.
Use the right tools
If you have a tetchy customer on the phone who has a problem, you don’t want to enrage them further by faffing about trying to bring their profile up and look at what their experience with you has been to date. You want to be armed with that information quickly so your team can provide quick, relevant and empathetic service. Repeating oneself is annoying. It makes people feel like they’re not being listened to and they’re not valued- why would you keep your business with a company that treats you this way? Have the right system in place to allow your team to really shine. With a small team every call is an opportunity to deliver on your customer experience strategy. As a manager of a small team you can really observe what’s going on with your calls to make sure your standards are being met. Call monitoring allows you to live listen to calls to check in with your team as things go down. Call recording give you the perfect tool to review and revise the experience with your agents. Real time reporting let you see high call volumes and work out if you are correctly resourced to meet your customers demands.
Back your team up
A little team, no matter how big the ability and ambition is, can only manage a certain number of calls. When focusing on quality rather than quantity, you won’t be burning through calls at a rate of knots. You need different avenues for your customers to seek help to ease the strain on you and your team. Ensure you have a solid help available on your website- product information, trouble shooting and FAQs. Direct customers to your website as their first port of call. This will reduce the calls to your centre and allow each call to be something different and a bit more interesting. Monitor your channels as well, often customers turn to social media to get quick answers, so if you have the resource in your small team, implement a multi-channel approach. This goes a long way to implementing your customer experience strategy.
Be clear on your availability
With a small team it’s unlikely someone will be manning the phones at all hours. These days often customers expect to be helped at all times on all platforms, however this sometimes simply cannot happen. If your team size doesn’t allow for 24/7 service, be clear about this to your customers. Have your customer service hours displayed prominently on your website and on all emails. If you can’t do exactly what customers want, the next best thing is to be upfront and give them a clear alternative. It’s frustrating to find the customer service number you need, clear the time to call, only to find out they’re not open. Customer service lesson #1 – Don’t make people angry. Keeping the lines of communication clear and uncluttered will help your customer experience strategy keep moving along nicely.
From little things, big things come. Your small team can pack a big punch in delivering your customer experience strategy, if you use your size and the personal nature of smaller teams to your advantage. Bring a bit of personality to the fore, and back it up with the right support and system. Enjoy the fact that you know everyone’s names and can really observe what’s happening in your team and can respond to their needs accordingly. Size does matter, and sometimes small is where it’s at.
Need a game plan to win on the customer experience battlefield?
Flickr cc:Luigi Mengato