How To Develop A Scalable Customer Support Strategy?

21-09-2017

Customer service is one of the most complex tasks of any business but it is very much important as it directly influences your success ratio.

To ensure that you are offering quality customer care service to your customers you need to use the latest call center software and also take care of the level of scalability you are offering through your customer service.

Getting to know about the scalable customer service in detail and how significant it is for the success of your business is of utmost importance before you start developing a scalable customer support strategy.

Understanding Scalability And Its Importance

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Scalability, in general, is nothing but the ability of something to adapt itself over a period of time to the changing conditions.

So when you apply the term of scalability to customer service and businesses, it means that your services, especially the customer support system should be able to grow, evolve and undergo changes and adapt itself to match the changing demands of your customers.

With the competition growing tougher, there is a rapid change in the responses, demands, and perspectives of customers towards your product, brand or business.

The demands or queries and expectations of the customers hence undergo a massive change.

And to provide scalable customer service you need to ensure that your support system is adapting all the techniques including technical as well as skills-related to provide efficient customer service.

In other words, providing scalable customer support is nothing but revamping your service process and putting all your efforts to take care of all the customers efficiently so that the company manages to maintain its loyal base.

Scalability Helps To Save Money, Improve Bonding

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Studies suggest that scalable customer service goes a long way in saving money simultaneously keeping your customers happy and satisfied.

It is very much important for all types of businesses to be scalable on multiple levels so that they can hold onto the customer base and then slowly build up their market share.

Irrespective of whether you are thinking of building a scalable customer support system for small businesses or big organizations, the approach and conviction to build a strategy should be followed with equal zeal and dedication.

However, the importance of scalability is manifold for small businesses as they have a huge potential for growth. Let us consider an example.

If a small company has around 100,000 clients and invests in a call center system to support them, they will not have to purchase another system until their customer base expands beyond the existing one.

It means that by investing initially in the support service system, they will be able to cut down the cost needed to serve the existing base of the client for a long time.

Although smaller companies do have the potential to grow, they must be extremely careful when it comes to deciding where to invest in.

Such companies must take into consideration for the areas that can provide optimum benefits by being scalable.

Here are a few tips that can help you build a scalable customer support service:

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1.    Start By Assessing Your Audience

You should start off by assessing your audience. Unless and until you know the type of your audience and about their expectations, it will not be possible for you to make appropriate decisions when it comes to whether you must expand or not.

For building a customer-centric scalable experience you should study the wants and requirements of the customers all through their association with you.

It is very much crucial that you deliver services according to their expectations. On the other hand, you must also keep in mind that their positive experience should be consistent all through the relationship.

Once you have a thorough understanding of your target audience, their behavior, and expectations you can work on those areas that need scalability and ensure business growth.

2.    Increase Efficiency With Help Desk Platform

To increase the overall efficiency as well as the response time of your team you can invest in help desk platform. One of the biggest advantages of this platform is that it integrates all the communication services into easy to use, single interface.

This system helps your customer support executives to record, categorize and respond the complaints of the customers faster than before.

Moreover, a help desk platform helps your team to detect the recurring problems so that they can address them efficiently and in a timely manner.

Thus, with such a platform you can provide efficient service as well as a fast solution to all their common problems.

An investment in help desk platform ensures that your customer support agents are able to identify the key issues quickly and offer predetermined and standard answers within no time.

3.    Provide Multi-Channel Customer Service Options

 One of the main keys to building up a scalable customer service is providing them multiple channels for communication.

If you ensure 24/7 availability to your customers, on various platforms of their preference such as phone, e-mail, live chat, CRM or help desk they will be able to contact you easily round the clock which will surely improve the customer satisfaction ratio.

4.    Arrange Training For Your Customer Care Agents

Employees represent the company and hence it is important that every interaction that is carried forward through them is accurate, polite and up to the mark.

And for that, it is quintessential that you train your employees on regular basis. Give advanced training to your old employees and make preliminary training mandatory to the new employees.

You can integrate regular interactive training sessions and occasional refresher courses in your company’s working policy so that your employees offer nothing but the best in terms of service and solution to your customers when they converse with them.

5.    Show That You Care

When you make your customer care service faster and easily accessible it gives out the message that you care about your customers. It is a common thing for a caller to wait for a long time to get through a company’s customer support agent.

When you make an exception and your agent becomes immediately available to take the call it makes all the difference in the perspective of the caller towards your company.

It also serves as a deciding factor whether they would revisit your business or shift to the competitor.

Case Study

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To understand the importance of scalable customer support strategy, let us consider the case of an insurance company and how it improved its work efficiency after implementing latest call center software solutions.

The company we are studying here is an insurance firm named Capitol Insurance Corporation that has a large market and good credit in the market.

It had a powerful management team, well-trained staff, and efficient systems and competently provided all types of insurance-related services.

These services included promoting the insurance products such as Medical, Life, Personal, Disaster, and Corporate policies, providing before and after sales service including claim settlement and loan availability as per the policy term and deposit.

The insurance company had a strong sales team that was equally active both online as well as offline and marketed themselves aggressively through its portal.

Also, there were several independent people who were a part of the Onsite Sales team working on commission basis. The team was using an indigenous call center system for managing the sales calls and to be in touch with the prospective clients as well as the existing policy buyers.

The lead generation and promotional activities of Capitol Insurance Corporation were highly effective as they had multiple products catering to various needs of the customers.

With a good number of prospects and a workable technology at their behest, the insurance company fared quite well initially.

The company met their revenue and customer targets regularly for the first few years and based on the growth statistics of the past was about to plan an expansion policy.

But something was not working in the company’s favor and the management soon realized what the problem was.

Problem

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Although the target was being reached and there was no problem meeting the revenue goals, the company found out that expansion would not be a good idea as it was not prepared or positioned to go beyond their current achievements.

And it was because; the old customers were not coming back.  There was a significant drop in the number of repeat buyers who seemed to be turning towards the competitors for fulfilling their insurance requirements.

It certainly surprised the management because Capitol Insurance Corporation was offering much better insurance products at the reasonable premium rates.

So why were the customers not returning after the first-purchase and not renewing their policies? To find out the reason behind this problem, the company launched an extensive Customer Feedback Survey and also set up a research panel that would find out the causes behind this mysterious behavior of the customers.

The findings suggested that:

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Weak And Inefficient After-Sales Service: The customers were impressed with the strong products from the company, the initial communication strategy, and approach. However, when it came to after-sales service and order fulfillment, customers had a negative opinion and found it to be weak and inefficient.

Irresponsible Customer Care Service: Customers were of the opinion that the company was more interested in making profit and sale and once the sale was closed the agents never looked back or cared for them. It was evident that there was a wide communication gap between the policyholders and the sales team.

Arrogant Sales Agents: Many customers complained that the agents were arrogant and did not talk with them properly after the deal was closed. The management thought it was more because of the strong position of the company in the market which made the sales team feel that they could get away with such behavior and still gain business.

Competitors’ Approach Was Much Better: The study also revealed that the competitors were much ahead when it came to their methods of customer care service and were using the best call center software to strengthen it.

One thing was obvious that Capitol Insurance Corporation was lacking in most of the things related to Post-Sales Service whereas the competitors despite of having minimal products were able to maintain their existing customers.

Solution

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After evaluating the above report the company decided to come up with an extensive customer service strategy. The main intention was to encourage the existing policyholders to renew their policies.

Also, the goal was now to make efforts to sell more policies to a lot of customers by approaching them sagaciously thereby enhancing per customer profitability ratio.

Expansion Of Renewal & Retention Team: The management came to the conclusion that they must focus on the renewal aspect and hence decided to expand the existing renewal & retention team which was much small as compared to a team of agents selling the policies.

Implementing New Telemarketing Software :  The study also revealed the shortcomings of the customer service department. To cover up the loopholes, the company decided to integrate the most updated call center solutions in its customer support system.

The company discovered that the new telecommunication software provided special features such as Call Recording,

List Management, Customer Details, Customer Interactions History, and overall Call Management. This new software was highly upgraded version and matched the features of the Call Management system used by the competitors.

Training For Agents:  The company decided to integrate into its policy regular training sessions so that the new, as well as the old agents, were updated about the changes in the policy, introduction of new plans and more.

They were also intimated about the feedback from the customers, their expectations, regular problems and complaints based on the data revealed by the new call center system.

Result

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With constant efforts from the after-sales team, call center agents and the management, the company was able to gain the confidence of the clients which in turn increased the number of people opting for renewing their policies.

Importantly, with the implementation of the new call center support software, the company could easily understand the grievances of the customers and accordingly made changes in their plans, and strategies thereby providing customized and efficient service to them.

Conclusion

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Thus, the above case study shows that if you make changes in your working style, approach and plans according to the needs of the customers, the business is bound to grow. That is why, it is very much important for every business firm, irrespective of its size to have a scalable customer support strategy.

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