Scaling Your Customer Service: 9 Best Practices

Tips for scaling your customer service team

Growth. It’s the goal of every company—especially startups. But with growth come challenges. Scaling customer service is among the thorniest of those challenges.

A startup’s most pressing problem initially is product-market fit. Customers at this stage provide feedback primarily. That can help you tailor your product or service to the market’s exact needs.

But, eventually, customers will want something more from you than product fit. They’ll want better support.  That's when you have to shift from a reactive mode of customer service to a proactive one.

Shifting to a Proactive Mode of Customer Service

Among the keys to shifting to a proactive mode is scaling your customer service. Below is a six-step process that can help you significantly scale customer service at your business:

  1. Empower your CS people
  2. Document critical processes
  3. Automate repeating tasks/processes
  4. Make support emails searchable
  5. Expand self-service support
  6. Establish/maintain a personal touch

Executing these six steps will help you provide epic customer service as your business grows.

One other step that you should take is to boost call center capabilities to make sure it’s up to the task.

Start by reviewing call center activities to make sure you’re not failing at customer service. Then make changes where necessary. The goal is using your call center to create a customer-centric strategy.

Creating a Customer Centric Strategy

Below are nine other best practices that can help when scaling customer service:

Create SOPs

Create a system that tells everyone what needs to be done, how to do it, and when to do it. That eliminates a ton of internal questions and saves time onboarding new employees. More importantly, it guarantees customers get satisfying answers.

Use software that’s transparent

Using software that everyone can see helps track things and speeds response time. Also, make tickets available to everyone on the team. That way when one shift leaves the next can pick up where they left off. It also helps agents learn from each other.

Determine how customer liked to be served

Develop an understanding of the customers you're trying to serve. Make sure you have concrete data to support your conclusions. This move helps you decide where to prioritize actions—chat support, self- service, phone support— and saves your time and money.

Create a sustainable team structure

You also want to set up a system to oversee your supervisors. That way everything doesn't fall on your shoulders. Establish ratios that make sense. That way each supervisor is responsible for X number of customer service agents and can provide training, coaching, and supervising.

Work with standard answers

Over time you’ll see customers ask many of the same questions. An easy shortcut is to provide standard answers. But make sure they contain a personal touch. You don't want customers to feel undervalued. So write your answers in a natural way. Or, use templates modified to give that personal touch.

Streamline processes with technology

AI tools. Chatbots. Helpdesk software. These technology tools streamline processes. That means customers get answers faster and your agents solve issues quicker. Streamlining your support effort also reduces the workload of your customer service team—not to mention its stress.

Expand your FAQs

Extending your FAQs is a good way to help customers help themselves. But don’t move all customer support to FAQs. If numerous customers are looking at the same questions, you may be overlooking pain points better handled by other facets of your support department.

Hire in advance

Don't wait until your customer support teams are overwhelmed before hiring a new employee. Finding, onboarding, and training new employees takes time. In some cases, it may take as much as two to three months until your new employee is ready for primetime. Hire proactively for better customer service.

Keep it personal

Sometimes customers can get the feeling that you don’t care or that you've abandoned them. Interview customers that dropped off your site before doing anything to find out why. Eliminate those problems as soon as you can. Also, try using your chat messaging functionality to touch base with users as soon as they log onto your site.

These nine best practices can help you shift customer service from reactive to proactive. Doing that will not only benefit your customers by providing epic support but also help you grow your company. And in business, that's the name of the game.