[MUSIC PLAYING] MATTHEW PATTERSON: Welcome back to this third and final module for creating great customer service experiences. In the first two modules, we covered why customer service matters, defining great service for yourself, and setting up your team and tools. But what about when everything is going well? You're making plenty of sales, you're bringing in new customers. That's fantastic, but it does create new challenges, because the systems and the processes that work for a small team often stop working when you try to add more people and more jobs to be done.
So today, we're talking about how to scale up customer service as you grow to be able to support lots of new customers without having to hire an army of customer service staff. Customer service can feel a bit like doing your washing. It just never ends. You answer one question, you close it out, and there's another one immediately to answer. And that's always going to be a part of the story. But you can take a more active role in the volume, the type, and the format of your incoming support requests.
The first step is to really understand your incoming support, what is it about, where's it coming from, and why. And tagging or labeling your conversations is a pretty simple way to look at that big massive requests and break it down into categories. You'll helpdesks tagging and reporting capabilities are going to be your best friend here. But be warned, it's easy to go too far in tagging. If you find yourself adding a tag for billing feedback, beaver fan mail, maybe pull it back a bit. Start with the big handful of buckets.
For typical e-commerce store, those might be product for questions about specific items you sell. Website-- for feedback, or problems with the website, the store, or the usability. Shipping-- anything to do with delivery, and returns, and so on. And payments-- pricing, refunds, credit card problems, discounts. Even if you just stop there with those buckets, you'll get some really useful knowledge after a month or two of consistently tagging every conversation.
Are your shipping options causing tons of issues? Does the website itself create a lot of support? There might not be any surprises for you at first. But if you keep tracking month to month, you can spot when that breakdown changes. And that can be super helpful in figuring out, for example, if your product page designs have worked or if created more support. Tagging manually-- that will work. But the more you automate, the less effort it takes for your customer service team.
And the less effort they have to expend, the more likely they are to do it manually when they need to. So use workflows and rules to process incoming requests and categorize them automatically. Most helpdesk will have help on how to do that. Those big bucket tags are great from reporting, but another type of tagging is for process. So you might tag urgent questions with an urgent label so that the team knows to prioritize them, or maybe you tag questions from VIPs, or questions about refunds, so they can be handled by particular groups or particular people.
And when something's big and broken, or an events happening, tag those together so that you can update them all easily and report on them later. And tag can be useful for people who aren't doing the service directly, too, especially people in charge of your product or your marketing areas. Some types of questions get asked over and over, and one way to improve customer service would be to get really efficient at spotting those questions and sending out the same answer really quickly.
But the better approach would be to identify those questions, share with the team, and fix the underlying cause so they don't happen so often. Unfortunately, it's pretty common for customer service teams to feel isolated from the rest of the business. And so they concentrate on controlling what they can, how quickly they handle those questions, how well they work with customers. But that can mean really useful information like, this feature on our store is confusing a bunch of people, can get trapped inside support and never gets fixed.
Because they're so good at answering it, it's just not visible to anybody outside of the support team. As a business owner, you should always be looking to build a clear path of feedback from customer service into the rest of the team. I mean, the resources for this lesson there's more details on how to do that. But in short, give your staff the time and the training to spot those issues, give them a tool or a system to pass it on, and then take action with the information they share with you.
It is much better to kill a question off than to get really good at answering it. Of course, you can never get rid of everything, so it's important to optimize their processes for the questions that you will inevitably get starting with your contact form. A really successful customer service interaction starts before it even reaches you. Your web sites kind of contact us page is a staple. But with a little design tweaking, you can make it do a lot more work for you saving your time and your customer's time and effort.
Some ideas for an effective contact page, it should be findable. Don't give it a cutesy name. Don't hide it away. Put it in your primary navigation, so people who want to get help don't get even more upset trying to find out how to contact you. It should humanize you. If you're investing in customer service as a way to differentiate yourself, make it clear that your customers can talk to real people, maybe use photos. Start a human connection write on the contact page.
It should centralize your support options, bring your self-service options like, a knowledge base, your customer forums, and your support channels, like an email and chat all into one page, so they can be easily found. Use design to guide customers. If self-service is the best way for a customer to get help, use design to make that the most obvious option on the page. And it should ask what you need to know.
It's so frustrating when a customer question comes in but they haven't given you enough information to help them. Change your form so that it asks for the right information upfront to save everybody some time. And it should set expectations. Give people an idea of when they should expect an answer. Like when you go to Disneyland and they tell you how long the wait for the ride is going to be. It's much easier to do that for an email reply. Small tweaks to your contact forms can really multiply out into huge savings over time.
You're really helping your customers get help quickly. Of course ideally, they wouldn't even need to wait for you at all. And that's what self-service is all about. And totally coincidentally, self-service is also the topic of our next lesson. [MUSIC PLAYING]