5 tips on how to optimize processes
Inefficient processes in Customer Support can increase your headcount or slow down the response/resolution times to your customers. Especially in a very dynamic environment, new processes are needed often as the business (or even the world!) changes and new features to your product are introduced. This means that checking existing processes should be a regular part of running support operations.
There are few ways to know which processes should be improved:
If your operations are small and the amount of processes is not high, you might want to go through all processes on a regular basis.
You can use ticket categorization in your ticketing system to show you reoccurring tickets, and you can start by checking processes for those.
Take a look at also the CSAT score of tickets; are there any complaints? If there are complaints, e.g., about the length of the ticket handling, that can be a sign that the process needs to be adjusted.
Additionally, you can ask for feedback from your support agents about the processes that are not very smooth.
Once you have decided which process needs an additional look, open the process flowchart and think about the following questions:
Question 1 - can you avoid a step in the process?
Sometimes, steps in the process (or whole processes!) become invalid after a time. Maybe the specific step was set up initially for controlling reasons and can now be removed? Maybe other areas in the process have improved so that some steps are no longer mandatory?
Question 2 - can you make steps easier?
Some processes must contain certain steps, e.g., to be security compliant, which can add extra steps to the process. Take a look at each step of the process. What are the steps? How long does it take to complete each step? Are they easy and straightforward to do? Are there unneeded checks involved? Is the right team/tier performing the task? Can you avoid sending the task to the other tiers in your support organization?
Question 3 - can you automate anything?
When you go through each step in the process, think about whether there is anything you can ease by technology/automation available in your company now? Can you create or adjust workflows in your ticketing system to do certain tasks on behalf of a support agent? Can you build a “magic button” that performs a set of certain actions on behalf of a support agent?
Question 4 - can you make input better?
If you have checked that the process is still valid and there is nothing that can be improved in the process itself, take a look at the very first step in the process.
When you get the ticket from the customer, does the ticket contain needed information for the customer support reps to proceed right away? Is there anything you can do to improve external or internal documentation to make it clear what is required to perform the action? Can you set better expectations towards the customer about completing the task to avoid questions during the process?
Question 5- can you improve customer experience?
If there is nothing you can improve in the process steps, think about the customer experience in the process. Is the customer well aware of the status of his ticket in the process? Are the right expectations about the solution time set? Can customer do their part in the process easily and effortlessly?
Having a working process in the customer support department helps your customers to receive faster responses and solutions, while also reducing frustration on the support agent’s work, as they can proceed with the recurring tasks easily. Sometimes collecting tasks to do them in bulk can fasten the work without compromising customer experience.
Which one of the support processes will you take under a loop now?