When it comes to improving customer service, efficiency really does make the world go round.
Not only does greater efficiency help make your customers happy, it also helps streamline your agents' time and effort.
The more efficient your customer service team is:
- The more tickets they can go through
- The faster they can get through them
- And all while giving your agents more breathing room to focus on doing a great job and delighting your customers.
But it doesn’t stop there. According to a report by Zendesk, 73% of business leaders say that better customer service leads to better business performance in general.
That’s not surprising when you consider that 93% of consumers say they’re likely to make repeat purchases with a company that offers a great customer service experience, according to one HubSpot report.
Below, we’ll cover tips on how to improve customer service efficiency and take your support team to new heights.
How to Improve Customer Service Efficiency: 7 Tips
Customer service efficiency doesn’t just have to do with how you manage tickets, it starts with knowing your customer and ends with the follow-up.
Here are seven tips for improving your customer service efficiency:
1. Start with the right KPIs
To produce tangible improvements, you need to have the right KPIs in place.
When it comes to improving CS efficiency, some of the key KPIs to track are:
- Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR)
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Average Response Time (ART) and First Response Time (FRT)
- First Contact Resolution
Mean Time to Resolution (or MTTR), for example, is key as it’s all about gauging your “resolution efficiency” or ability to resolve requests quickly.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), on the other hand, is a metric that tells you how effective you are at satisfying your customers.
Each is an important part of efficiency as it relates to customer service. Together– along with the other metrics mentioned above– they offer a holistic view of your overall CS efficiency.
2. Add empathy to your training initiatives
Have you ever called customer support only to feel like the person on the other line doesn’t care at all about what you're going through?
Worse, they seem like they just want you to say, “I’m good” and get you off the phone?
Now how about the opposite: you start a support call and the rep uses phrases like:
“I’m so sorry you had to deal with that…”
“I completely understand, let me see what I can do for you…”
If you have, you know what it feels like– it’s an entirely different experience.
More to the point, however, it’s an experience that makes you more willing to cooperate on support calls and afterward leaves you feeling more satisfied (no matter the outcome).
Both are great things when you’re trying to improve your overall CS efficiency, whether you’re trying to make your customers happier or move through more tickets.
The answer: train your agents on empathy.
Empathy training allows your agents to better understand what your customers are feeling, which in turn allows them to better fulfill their needs and help them leave their support call satisfied.
3. Crave negative feedback
Ever considered buying something on Amazon you weren’t entirely sure was a good product, so you went to the three-star reviews to get an honest opinion?
The truth is that a good majority of customers will deal with quite a lot if they’re obtaining value from your product or service, and never say a word about the things they disliked about your service experience.
It’s the ones who are willing to speak out when they’re not happy with something that are the ones who will give you your real gems of insight.
Negative feedback isn’t always more honest than positive, but it has a higher likelihood of telling you about something that you could improve.
Maybe it’s your response time, or it’s not offering self-service options when customers don’t want to wait around and just want to know how to solve an issue themselves.
Maybe a particular type of issue elicits negative feedback more frequently. It could be that technical issues generate negative feedback far more often than your common account issues.
Whatever the case, not shying away from negative feedback– in fact, craving it– is a good policy if you’re looking for your particular weak points in terms of your CS process.
4. Focus your team with goals
Goals might sound like something that wouldn’t impact the efficiency of your customer service team.
However, even a simple monthly goal that you get the entire team behind can do just enough to motivate everyone to give that extra effort.
In addition to this, adding individual performance goals can also drive agents to want to do their best, whether due to being competitive with themselves or simply the knowledge that their performance is being tracked.
5. Use AI to streamline your entire process
Nowadays, you can’t have a conversation about improving efficiency in anything without talking about AI.
Fortunately, customer service has been one of the biggest benefactors of AI thus far.
With a powerful generative AI tool like Gleen AI, you can do things like:
- Offer 24/7 access to a convenient support option that allows customers and prospects to input their own questions instead of having to sift through hundreds of knowledge-base articles
- Collect requests from multiple customer support channels and funnel them into your CRM automatically
- Assign requests to an agent without lifting a finger
- And even assist agents by giving them easy access to a database of premade responses of your making
6. Consider CS performance management software
It’s hard to maximize efficiency if you’re not tracking performance.
Tracking the right KPIs is by far the most important thing as we spoke about earlier, but beyond that, there is more that you can do.
One option is to consider CS performance management software, which typically allows you to do things such as:
- Monitor agent performance
- Set up goals that are trackable by both parties from a dashboard
- And offer feedback from within the tool
No one tool is created equal, so you’ll need to do your due diligence to find one that works for you. However, it can be a great way to jumpstart improvements related to your team’s performance.
Just make sure to consider it carefully against the tools you’re already using, as the last thing you want is to overcomplicate an already complicated set of tools.
7. Use recognition to encourage your team to do their best work
According to a report by Gallup, recognition boosts productivity, engagement, and even company loyalty.
However, in their analysis, they found that on average only one in three U.S. employees say that they’ve received recognition for their work in the past seven days.
Recognition is a kind of untapped potential. If the majority of your employees aren’t used to receiving regular recognition, they may not be performing at their best.
You can do all you can to track the right KPIs, implement software, and all the other important things that do make a real difference, but ignore your people and you’ll end up stifling your return on those investments.
Spend some time figuring out how to help them thrive. What do they need to do their best? What quirks can you be mindful of or strengths can you help elevate?
Each person on your team is going to be different, but one great place to start– and something we all want– is recognition.
Improve Your Customer Service Efficiency with the Power of AI
There are a lot of places you can start if your goal is to improve the efficiency of your CS or CSM team.
We hope these tips help you get started in the right direction to begin seeing tangible improvements.
One of the fastest ways to improve your efficiency is to implement the power of AI into your processes, as we touched on earlier.
Many of these tips will take time to show results or they simply won’t work in a silo, they need to be combined with other initiatives.
However, with a custom generative AI chatbot like Gleen AI, you can immediately see results by way of a higher deflection rate, 24/7 uptime, and greater convenience for both your customers and agents.
Click here to schedule a demo to see what Gleen AI can do for you or start creating your custom generative AI chatbot today.