29. December 2020 Blog

Why should you be monitoring your customer support, and how?

Want to ensure your customer support runs like a well-oiled machine? Monitoring customer support in your company is one way to help do so. Read on to find out how.

In today's highly competitive world, attracting customers is becoming increasingly difficult. Having a great product or service is no longer enough - you need exceptional customer service as well. In fact, providing clients with a great experience might now be worth even more than a good offering.

Based on Walker's research, customers value a positive experience with a company more than their prices and products. Furthermore, 86% of shoppers are willing to spend more if they have a better customer experience.

Add to this that 87% of people are happy to share their good experiences of companies with family and friends, and you may think it sounds like getting new customers has never been easier.

Sadly, it's also much easier to lose customers. 89% of consumers admit to having moved to a competitor after a poor customer experience

What’s more, 67% of customers specifically mention their bad experiences as a reason for churn.

If a single bad interaction between your support team and a customer can turn them away from the company, you need to double down on improving your customer support. And monitoring customer support is one of the best methods to help you nail your customer support strategy!

Why do I even need to monitor my customer support team?

80% of companies believe they offer excellent customer support, but only 8% of customers agree. Well, it's hard to know what works and what doesn't if you don't keep tabs on your team.

By monitoring customer support agents in your company, you can identify any shortcomings or problems before they snowball. This is especially important in today's hyper-competitive marketing world, when repeatedly making the same mistakes might mean the end of your business. If your agents have any issues that get in the way of their productivity, regularly checking up on them could  help solve those problems.

Monitoring customer support gives you tons of data about:

  • your customers
  • your agents

Combining the customer experience with insights from your agents gives you an incredible amount of information that you can use to improve both their performance and your consumers’ satisfaction. 

How can you obtain this kind of data with which to improve your strategy? Here are our top tips:

#1 Ask your customers for feedback

Social media comments or reviews can provide a lot of insight into how your support team is doing. Customers are usually quick to pinpoint which parts of your support are working poorly and suggest ways to improve them.

The thing is, 79% of consumers who shared complaints about poor customer experiences online had them ignored. On the other hand, 69.5% of consumers would take the time to write a review or give feedback if a company asks them to do so.

It's therefore worth reaching out to your customers and asking for their opinions.

But how to ask a customer for feedback? Do you just ask for a general review? Plenty of customers might not exactly be interested in spending their time writing a long analysis.

A better way is to create a survey or questionnaire with specific questions related to your business. For example, you could ask them what is the biggest problem when it comes to the customer support that you currently provide.   

#2 Ask your support team for feedback as well

When it comes to knowledge of what works and what doesn't in your company, your agents are probably the best source of information. Since they are on the frontline when it comes to dealing with customers, support staff are likely to know the most about any potential issues plaguing your company.

So don't hesitate to ask your team for their opinions.

  • Do they have problems that occur often?
  • Are they understaffed?
  • Do they have any suggestions or ideas on how to improve the support?
  • Or maybe they have some useful tips about how to deal with difficult situations when on a call? 

Adding these tips and suggestions to your company's monitoring strategy will make it easier to spot any issues causing dissatisfaction among the support team, which increase the risk that agents might quit. But that's not all - it will also help boost your agents' motivation and their trust in the company.

If they feel like their opinion is valuable and their suggestions are considered, they are far more likely to share any tips or issues with the management. 

#3 Set goals and metrics on how will you measure your agents 

After gathering feedback from your clients and your agents, you now have plenty of data about your company's work and what areas need improvement. Now it's a good time to think about how you can improve the situation, and set goals to help you track the progress. But without a straightforward way to measure and analyze your development, you will be pretty much wandering aimlessly. To help you find the way, you need to track Key Performance indicators (KPIs) regularly. 

But which KPIs should you pick, when there's so many of them around? The metrics you choose should all be related to your company’s goals. For improving customer support, a good idea would be to have a look at the following metrics:

  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) 
  • Average Wait Time (AWT)
  • Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • First Call Resolution (FCR)

Since picking the right metrics out of hundreds can be the cause of a headache, we wrote a detailed article about how to find and pick the best KPI metrics for your business, without causing chaos in your data.

#4 Let technology help you with monitoring customer support

Are you regularly checking calls and social media comments you receive on all channels that you use? Do you rather do this rarely, or  even never? It does seem like a ton of work to be done.

Well, if you had to track all mentions of your brand on the internet manually, that would indeed take a long time. But nowadays, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to get all of the data you could need. 

For example, you can use a social listening tool to track posts, comments, and reviews that mention your company (especially negative ones). Another incredibly useful tool is a virtual call center tool such as CloudTalk, which you can use to monitor, record, and analyze your agents' calls.

CloudTalk helps thousands of companies grow better every year. Start 14 days free trial. 

Those tools are especially helpful since phone calls are still one of the most commonly used support channels. You can:

  • record and later analyze the calls
  • listen to ongoing conversations and whisper additional information to your agent if necessary
  • use recorded calls for training purposes later on, for example when an agent dealt splendidly well with a rude customer

#5 Update your training programs

Monitoring and analyzing the data coming from your channels is sure to highlight the areas in which your agents need to improve - like handling difficult customers, let’s say.

But rather than wait and hope that the team will learn for themselves, a better idea is to update your training schedule to address those issues. That way, your agents will feel more confident in their abilities and may naturally improve their performance. 

Another great idea to ask your support agents what issues or topics they would like to be trained in and what areas of their work they think need improving. Do they need more practice on interpersonal skills or maybe with using the available tools? If any issues are getting in the way of them offering support to callers, these should be added to their training as well. 

#6 Monitor your support for exemplary work too

Regularly monitoring customer support in your company will allow you to identify any potential issues or shortcomings in your strategy, but that's not all. You should also use monitoring to spot and reward your agents' achievements.

One of the most commonly mentioned reasons for low motivation of support agents is that they feel management doesn't notice their hard daily work. And quite often, this is reflected in the way they handle customer support. Meanwhile, hearing praise for successfully dealing with a rude customer or achieving a weekly goal is a fantastic way to keep their motivation high.

I know this sounds obvious, but aren't we often all too focused on the problems while dismissing the positives? So besides monitoring your support team for any lapses in quality or trouble brewing, use it to give recognition for your team's excellent work during the week.

Conclusion

It’s a fact that nowadays companies rival each other more in terms of customer support efficiency and quality standards than on price or product features. To have the very best customer support in your company, you can't neglect to monitor your customer support team.

Like they say, prevention is better than cure. With a regular "check-up" on how your team is doing and how your customers see your business, you can spot any potential problems before they become a full-blown crisis.