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Your Weekly Customer Service Maintenance Checklist

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When it comes to support, just 15 minutes of maintenance per week could save you a lot of time and headaches.

If keeping your car in good shape is important to you, then you take good care of it.

You regularly wash it, change the oil, swap out filters and get checkups to catch any problems before they happen.

It’s called preventative maintenance because it prevents you from having to deal with major issues down the road.

The same is true – at different levels – for a lot of things: appliances, shoes, computers, teeth (and the rest of your body).

And the same should be true for your customer service operation.

While it’s easy to get lost in the everyday shuffle of handling support tickets, there is “preventative maintenance” that you can and should be doing.

It doesn’t take very long to do – just 15 minutes, once a week – and it can save you time and money, along with helping you deliver better support to all of your customers.

Below are the seven maintenance tasks that all support teams would benefit from doing weekly, along with a (free) downloadable checklist to help you turn this process into a regular habit and keep your support team running smoothly.

1) Review Last Week’s Product Updates

As a support agent, there are few things more important than staying on top of every update made to the product that you’re doing support for.

Failing to do so can end up with you accidentally giving the wrong information to your confused customers.

Collaborate with your development team to ensure that all product updates are logged in one place. For many teams, that place is a tool like Pivotal Tracker.

At Groove, we’ve created a separate room in Slack, called #production, where all changes to the app are posted.

It’s always a good idea to monitor changes as they happen, but it’s easy for updates to get lost in the shuffle when you’re focused on the day-to-day grind of handling tickets.

Once a week, set aside time to review the prior week’s changes to ensure that you’re up-to-date with the current state of the product.

2) Tidy Up Your Knowledge Base

While a knowledge base is a great way to cut down on incoming emails and help your customers get faster support, simply having one isn’t enough.

In a survey by Coleman Parkes of nearly 3,000 online consumers, an overwhelming 91% said they would use a single, online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.

The problem is that only 37 percent of respondents currently even bother trying to use self-service options, because they perceive them as inaccurate or incomplete.

Keeping your knowledge base up-to-date is critical to building enough trust with your customers that they’ll actually try using your knowledge base before emailing you.

Once you’ve reviewed the prior week’s product updates, ensure that they’re reflected in any relevant knowledge base articles, and delete any old articles for features that have been removed.

3) Update Your Common Replies

Just like a knowledge base, common replies can help you save a lot of time. Rather than typing the same response over and over again, you simply save frequently used messages and insert them with a couple of clicks.

But just like a knowledge base, common replies only save your time and help your customers if you keep them up to date.

As part of your weekly maintenance checklist, take a few minutes to update your common replies with any new updates.

4) Check Your Ticketing Trends

If you don’t have a system to track trends in your support mailbox, either in your help desk or simply using labels in Gmail, you could be missing a big opportunity to save yourself a great deal of time.

By labeling incoming tickets and tracking which issues are happening over and over again…

…you give yourself the insight you need to choose topics for new knowledge base articles and common replies that address the questions your customers are asking more and more.

Each week, take the time to quickly glance at new trends to determine if any new articles or replies need to be created.

5) Look at Your Metrics and Goals

Tracking customer service metrics is great, but it means nothing if you don’t act on those numbers.

Make it a habit, during your weekly maintenance, to check your support metrics from the week before.

If you spot any red flags – for example, if average reply time is creeping up – you’ll know what you need to focus on improving for the coming week.

6) Test Your Partner Integration Guides

You’re not the only business that’s constantly updating their product.

If you have partner integrations, chances are high that your partners are making frequent changes as well.

Most of these changes won’t impact you, but when they do, it’s important to be aware.

If a partner changes the interface and navigation of their app, this could completely change the way your customer needs to interact with that product when they’re setting up your integration.

I recommend creating a list or spreadsheet with the product update blogs for each of your partners, and checking once per week for any major changes.

7) Track and Respond to Online Mentions

Excellent customer service isn’t just about responding to support tickets that come in. It’s about helping all of your customers be more successful with your product.

It’s not uncommon for customers who are having issues with your product to voice their concerns online, whether it’s via social media or elsewhere.

While monitoring your social media accounts is the first step in catching online mentions, things can still slip through the cracks.

That’s why, once per week, I check Open Link Profiler for any links to Groove, so that I can reach out to people who write about us to thank them, or to make sure that they get the help they need.

Download the Weekly Customer Service Maintenance Checklist

With so much going on every day in the life of a customer service professional, it can be easy to forget about “maintenance” tasks that keep your support operation running smoothly.

We’ve put this checklist into a downloadable PDF that you can keep on hand. Click here to grab it.

Click to download checklist

Print it out (or keep it on your desktop), and make a note in your calendar to go through the checklist once per week.

Both you and your customers will be glad you did.

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About the Author

Len Markidan heads up marketing at Groove. He’s focused on helping startups and small businesses build better relationships with their customers.

Read his latest posts or follow him on Twitter

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