8. December 2020 Blog

Building a strong e-commerce support team

During busy periods of time such as Black Friday or Christmas season strong support team may appear very precious. Do you want to get to know how to build such a team?

Customer service, without doubts, is key to your customer's heart. Keeping a high level of support service is crucial to maintain a favorable opinion of your brand among customers. 

Building a strong team is challenging. No matter if this is a support, sales, or marketing team. For e-commerce, it is even more important to create a powerful support team. There are no sales assistants who will be helpful while shopping. All questions are directed to support agents. To make your efforts successful, you should focus on people and consider how to create a team, not a group of separate agents

Do you still unconvinced about the power of your support team? Microsoft provided research in which 97% of responders admitted that customer service is crucial to them. It is an enormous part of the clients. And that was four years ago. We can assume that now this percentage may be even closer to 100. So what should you do to make your support team stronger than ever? Keep reading, and make some notes. 

Focus on empathy 

You may find it obvious, but empathy is one of the features that should undeniably characterize a good support agent. First of all, customers expect understanding and help. For this to happen, agents should put themselves in the shoes of the clients. And here, among other characteristics, empathy will be useful more than ever. It is tough to learn. So that is why you should pay attention to this aspect of their personality while interviewing potential candidates.

It is better to hire an empathetic person and spend more time on technical training than a technically well-trained but non-empathetic person.

Build a team that will consist mainly of:

  • people who are ready to help
  • empathetic by nature

This will allow you to avoid poor customer service. And that could cost you losing your customers. For nearly 50% of them, bad customer service and the inability to meet their needs are the reasons for the transition to competition.

Tools may be helpful

Yes, your team is primarily people. But it doesn't hurt to help them with some tools. One of them is CloudTalk. It is beneficial in call centers. For example, it allows you to set the availability of each agent. Thanks to this, the whole team knows which agent is available and who already has someone on the line.

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After Call Work feature is also very handy. It is based on the fact that the agent can record all information related to a given call. And there is a determined time for it - no need to compromise an agent's productivity and working time. 

There is also a Call Back feature, thanks to which such things as unanswered calls do not exist. If agents are busy and someone tries to reach them, CloudTalk records information about such calls. This allows agents to quickly call back the customers who have tried to contact them. 

Thanks to tools or software, your agents' work will be more efficient, and they will be more productive. The more automated their job is, the better result they will reach. It would help if you made your employees' work easier, and tools can be a huge part of this. 

Provide some training

Training and workshops are essential to keep evolving and spreading wings both in private and business ways. So organizing a few opportunities to learn for your agents would be a great idea! 

#1 Products offer

When you hire new employees, you should conduct extensive training about the offer of your store. Each employee should be as familiar as possible with the products and know the offer inside out to provide the best service to your customers.

If your offer changes seasonally, the training should also be seasonal. You can’t allow happening a situation where the employee knows nothing about the customer's product. It is not the quality of service you want to provide. 

#2 Software programs and tools

Whenever you implement some technologies or software, you should provide training to your employees. This way, they will operate much faster, making work more efficient. The support team must know how to use technological goodness.

It is also crucial to teach newbies how to use current systems and how to make the most of them. In such cases, you should also wait for feedback. It is essential to make every aspect clear to keep new employees productive. 

#3 Soft skills

There are many soft skills workshops out there. Such skills are useful in working with the client. What are soft skills, really?

It is a combination of:

  • social
  • interpersonal skills
  • traits of character

They can be improved, but in a completely different way than hard skills and competencies. There is no ready-made recipe for success here.

Soft skills are based on psychological aspects, and they are, for example, communication or work organization. Such workshops with psychologists or specialists in social sciences can prove very fruitful. The more your agents are trained in soft skills, the better quality of services they will provide - especially those who work in a call center.

Build a team and be part of it

For the team to run smoothly and be effective, bonds between employees must be established. Remember that you also belong to the team, and you should not distance yourself from these people. Integration is important, both on the employee-employee line and the supervisor-worker. In this way, communication within the team will be seamless, making customer service much faster and more effective.

How to make it done?

  • You can go out together as an entire team, e.g., for a Friday karaoke party.
  • Perhaps you have a hobby that you would like to share with your team? It's also a very good way to make some bonds.

There are many options, each of them will be good if only it takes place outside work. The more harmonious the team (in a private way), the better they get along at work, which translates into results. Numbers are showing it clearly - a happy employee can be up to 31% more productive at work. So it is definitely worth the effort. 

Offer remote working 

If your business operates globally, customers need customer support at all hours of the day (and night). After all, for some, your 3 a.m. is 8 p.m.

In order for every customer to be satisfied, not only those from your time zone, you should provide customer service 24/7. It is difficult, but not impossible. Usually, the business hours last 8 hours during the day, most common are 8-16 or 9-17. And what about other parts of the day?

If you want your agents to be available at different times, you should offer remote work. It will make things easier. They will not have to look for transport to work at unusual hours or spend time preparing for work. They can just stay at home and still be a good customer support agents.

While the period of the year like Black Friday or Christmas time, you should provide customer support 24/7 even if you are not a global company. Such a crazy time of the year needs some outstanding moves. In months like November and December, customers are frantically looking for presents for their family and friends. You should make them sure that they will find help any time they need, too. And it would be available at any time. 

In case of night shift - they should be extra paid. And they should be remote, too. In this way, you will provide the most convenient and safe way to work at night. And be efficient at the same time. 

To sum up

To build a reliable support team for e-commerce, you need a solid background. And we have provided you some. Keeping your team engaged and, first of all, pleased to work in such a squad should be a priority for you. And that will be reflected in the quality of service your customer support team provides. 

What is the most important lesson from this text - a good team is wholesome, not separate agents. Treat them well and raise team spirit. They will pay you back in the great quality of their work.