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3 Ways to Surpass Customer Service Expectations Even With a Small Staff


One advantage of running a small family-based business from home is that you can give your customers highly personalized service. In the beginning, you may know each of your customers by name, and your customer base is small enough that you can give personal attention to each service inquiry. But as your business grows more successful and scales up, you begin to attract more customers, and your customer service workload increases proportionately. You find yourself more pressed for time, with customer service vying for attention with other parts of running your business and your home.

At a certain point, to maintain the quality of your customer service as well as your own quality of life, you will find yourself needing to adopt new support strategies. Here are three ways you can continue to deliver superior customer service as your home-based business scales up, even if you have a small staff.

Leverage Automation to Free Up Time

A proven way to save time on routine work tasks is leveraging automation. However, automation can be tricky when applied to customer service, since you don’t want to gain efficiency at the cost of losing a personal touch with your customers. The trick is to strike a balance between automated, efficient handling of routine service tickets that don’t require live help and manual support for tickets that do need a human touch.

A key to striking this balance is to choose cloud contact center software that allows you to integrate automated and live customer service options through a single interface. A cloud contact center provides a digital service center that manages all your customer tickets no matter what support channel they come in on, whether via automated channels such as knowledge bases, chatbot and IVR or live channels such as live chat and phone. When a ticket is opened, the contact center’s software automatically compares the ticket information with your customer database to gather data relevant to the customer’s needs. In conjunction with artificial intelligence, this can be used to rapidly identify whether the individual’s issue can be handled by automated tools or whether they need to be routed to human support. It can also automatically determine which human agents are available and which represent the best skills match for helping the customer.

Hire Remote Support to Boost Productivity

Another advantage of a cloud contact center is that it makes it easy for you to hire remote support staff without requiring you to have additional on-premise office space. Because your contact center is virtual, you can scale up at will by hiring as many remote workers as you need, allowing your core staff more time to focus on productive activities that grow your business. You can choose to hire full-time or part-time assistants, or you can outsource to an agency that locates qualified candidates for you.

When hiring remote workers, it’s important to start with a thorough description of exactly what qualities you’re seeking in a candidate, both so you know exactly what you want and so you can write an effective recruitment ad. Look for candidates with strong communication skills, self-motivation, a team work ethic and appropriate experience. Also be specific about what type of compensation you’re offering. You can then begin using referrals, online sites, agencies and other resources to begin searching for candidates. For best results, use video interviews, and give your best candidates a 90-day trial run to assess their performance.

Create Customer Service Procedures for Quality Control

In order for your service representatives to deliver your customers the best possible care, a best practice is to create a customer service training manual that documents the procedures your representatives should be following. This ensures that your representatives have exact instructions on how to handle typical customer service situations that arise in your business. It also serves as a training tool when you’re onboarding new representatives.

A good customer service training manual should lay out policies and procedures on topics such as how to greet customers, how to handle frequent ticket items such as password problems and payment processing problems, and what to do about issues such as product complaints and refund requests. It should include an FAQs section that serves to highlight the most common service issues and appropriate responses. To help train your representatives, develop scripts and role-play scenarios so they can gain practice handling typical issues. Make sure your manual is readily available to all representatives through your contact center and can be accessed immediately when needed.

Leveraging automated tools such as a cloud contact center will help reduce the amount of time your team spends on routine service inquiries, increasing your ability to help customers who need live support. Employing remote workers to supplement your in-house staff will allow you to extend live support to more customers. Using a customer service training manual will help you ensure that your representatives provide consistent quality of customer care. Together, these strategies will help your thriving business maintain a high level of customer service quality without overloading you, leaving you time to focus on growing your business and enjoying the fruits of your labor with your family.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog

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