It often happens that the number of calls to the support team exceeds the capabilities of operators. At first glance, it may seem that this is a given that must be accepted, and the only way out is to add new people to the team. But it’s not like that: it’s impossible to extend the staff indefinitely. First, try to find out if you really did your best to relieve the support team. Shall we check it out?
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Advice №1: distribute your operators by lines
If the operators do not have time to go to lunch and are afraid to go for a drink of water, it is likely that they receive too many calls and cannot handle this flow of tasks.
Analyze questions to the support team, determine their frequency and complexity. Then distribute the operators along the lines. Some newcomers can handle simple questions, payment, delivery or something on the product, and experienced operators will take on complex technical issues.
By launching several tiers of support, you will unload the operators, and the newcomers will not be slowed down by complicated questions.
Keep track of operator response speed: the slower an operator responds to customer requests, the more loaded they are.
To understand that an operator is slow to respond, compare the speed of the first response with a load of operators by hours. This way, you will be able to determine the busiest hours.
Advice №2: analyze the busiest hours
To be always ready to work in perfect harmony during rush hour, analyze the busiest hours in your support team.
The beginning of a working day is usually considered a particularly busy time, as well as days of sales, New Year’s Eve, and other holidays. Each company will surely have its own peculiarities. So it’s important to know about them in advance. If you are not coping at all, it is worth hiring the temporary staff “on standby” at high load peaks.
If the operator responds slower when the second one leaves for lunch, it means that the operator cannot cope with all the requests. We need to figure out a way to keep the score from dropping. As an option, while one of the operators is having lunch, they can be replaced by a support manager.
The operator workload indicator will help you determine when support has peak hours by the number of requests.
The harder the load on the operators, the slower they handle the requests and the worse the support quality.
Advice №3: maintain a knowledge base
The knowledge base will allow you to close user requests even before they write to the support team. If a user did not search for an answer to a question in the help section and immediately contacted you for support, the operator can send them a link to a specific article and thus quickly close the dialog.
A quality knowledge base helps reduce the number of simple support questions, and operators reduce dialogue time.
The knowledge base influences the user dialogue closure time and also increases the number of resolved dialogues for operators.
Advice №4: train your operators
An experienced operator resolves user questions quicker. But it doesn’t mean that you have to pray for them and only let them deal with complex questions. Remember to train and develop all members of the support team.
Train operators by giving them the opportunity to resolve issues that they have never handled before. We all learn from our mistakes, and this method will allow us to level up faster and remember all the nuances.
Another option for training is to write articles in the knowledge base for users. Having described the detailed instructions in the knowledge base, the operators will be able to understand the question themselves.
If operators are severely punished for mistakes, they will not be proactive and will be afraid to take on complex issues. The opportunity to make a mistake is also necessary for operators to level up on their own experience. At the same time, the one who trains newcomers should insure them to help them deal with the consequences of mistakes later.
Irene Allen, Customer Success Manager
Support training affects several metrics at once. Operators will be able to process more questions, dialogue time is likely to decrease, operator statistics will improve, and the NPS index will increase.
Advice №5: improve processes that impede the work of the support team
Analyze the operators’ work. What questions take a long time and why? Perhaps there are some processes in a company that do not depend on support but are very slow.
It happens that the solution of a question depends on the development team, in which case the response time can be counted in weeks. It is not so easy to debug the intercompany process because of confusing responsibility areas. Try raising such issues more often in discussions with management and other team leaders.
First and foremost, such improvements will reduce the dialogue closure time and influence the operator evaluation and service satisfaction.