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Tidy Up Your Customer Service Setup And Start Fresh In 2017

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Get your support organized and uncluttered for maximum productivity next year.

With only a couple of weeks left until the new year—and no, I can’t believe that I’m already writing this, either—many of us are thinking about how we’re going to ensure that next year starts off strong.

Today, I’ll show you a process that you can finish in just a few hours that will help you de-clutter and organize your customer support setup for maximum productivity when you get back to work in January.

Let’s get started…

Step One: Freshen 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.

Make sure that any new features or updates that your team pushed this year are reflected in any relevant knowledge base articles, and delete any old articles for features that have been removed.

Step Two: 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.

Step Three: 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.

Look through any new trends that have appeared or gained traction this year, and determine if you need to update your Knowledge Base or canned replies further.

Step Four: Look at Your Metrics and Goals

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

Look at your metrics from this year.

Set a goal for which metric you want to work on improving at the start of the new year, so you know exactly what to focus on when you get back to your desk.

If you see any red flags—for example, if average reply time is creeping up—this is a great opportunity to make plans to correct them.

Step Five: 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.

Use this opportunity, if you haven’t done so yet, to create a list or spreadsheet with links to the product update blogs for each of your integration partners, and check to make sure there haven’t been any major changes lately.

Step Six: 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, around this time of year, I’ll 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…and to wish them happy holidays.

Start The New Year Off Right

The six steps above won’t take you more than a few hours to complete, but they could save you hundreds of hours in 2017.

Block off an afternoon and do some tidying up…next year’s you will thank you for doing it.

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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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