How To Create Standard Operating Procedures For Your Customer Service Team
If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, you already know that customer service is the backbone of your business. It’s what establishes trust and creates customer loyalty that allows your business to grow and scale over time.
Surprisingly, though, most business owners today don’t have standard operating procedures, or SOPs, for their customer service team, which can lead to disaster when there’s inconsistency in how the team handles and resolves issues.
By writing customer service SOPs, you’re setting your team and your business up for success while ensuring that each customer has a positive, seamless experience that they can shout from the rooftops (okay, maybe not the rooftops – Google reviews work pretty well, too).
Below, we’ll take a deep dive into SOPs and how they can streamline your e-commerce business’ customer service experience.
What is a standard operating procedure and why is it essential for e-commerce businesses?
Simply put, a standard operating procedure is a set of instructions that guides how a process in your business should function. For example, your e-commerce business should have SOPs for both common and uncommon customer service processes such as fulfilling orders, completing returns and exchanges, and helping customers resolve questions or issues with order tracking.
These SOPs are essential for any e-commerce business regardless of whether you currently outsource or plan to outsource your customer service team.
Without SOPs for your customer service team, you can run into several issues, including:
- Slower resolution times – If you don’t have a clear process (one that is established and documented) for basic inquiries like processing refunds and helping customers track their orders, response and resolution times will slow and decrease the quality of your customer’s experience.
- Longer onboarding – Without these documented processes, new hires may struggle to perform their job duties accurately and efficiently.
- Increased errors – The last thing any business owner wants is to upset a customer because a team member made a preventable mistake. When everyone has the SOPs for how to tackle issues that may arise, the likelihood of mistakes affecting customers dramatically decreases.
- Difficulty scaling over time – The reality of owning an e-commerce business is that you can’t do it all alone if you want to scale. By establishing SOPs now, you’ll make it easy for new team members to jump in when you need them and help you maintain your business’ strong reputation well into the future.
How to write a standard operating procedure?
You can start creating standard operating procedures at any point in your business either on your own or with the help of an experienced team member. Though you can find tools and software online to help you create and format them, the way our team begins creating this asset for our clients is by starting with what we at TalentPop call a macro file.
In some ways, a macro file is similar to a person’s medical history, only that the patient in this case is your business. It is a comprehensive download of past customer service inquiries that helps inform how your team has been able to efficiently resolve issues and problems in the past for customers.
This data, which paints the full picture of how customer service should operate, usually includes the responses, policies, and processes that went towards finding the resolution for each ticket and therefore anticipates future issues that may reoccur.
All of this data collected over time is a macro file that informs and establishes procedures to make customer service easier and more streamlined across your business.
A Standard Operating Procedure Example for JAXXON
Before working with TalentPop on their SOPs, the jewelry brand JAXXON was facing multiple challenges, one of which was difficulty in standardizing and optimizing its customer service experience.
Without SOPs, the brand didn’t have clear-cut processes for customer inquiries such as exchange requests and discount policies. The lack of documentation led to inconsistency in how support tickets were addressed, and the brand quickly realized it was time for the team to outsource the creation of these vital processes.
Our team started by downloading 250 of the brand’s past tickets and reviewing all of the data associated with each one. In an easily-scannable spreadsheet, we then wrote out the suggested replies for JAXXON’s customer service agents to use followed by our suggested SOP.
In the standard operating procedure example below, you can see parts of the macro file that contains the various SOPs and how we structured them.
By building an asset like this for your own business, you can ensure that a customer support agent can quickly and easily understand your brand and step into the customer service role to help your customers.
Outsource customer service & SOP creation with TalentPop
SOPs are crucial to keeping your customer service processes running smoothly, but it’s not an asset you can create overnight. As an e-commerce business owner, you have your hands full with scaling your business, and it isn’t always possible to make time for SOP creation.
If you need help navigating the obstacle course of running a successful e-commerce business, outsource your customer service with TalentPop and our team of highly-trained support agents.
Here at TalentPop, we help our clients build SOPs that their in-house team, as well as our trained customer support agents, can use to help them easily resolve service tickets.
From saving our clients money on onboarding and training to retaining more customers by answering inquiries faster, there are so many benefits to working with our reliable team of experts.
Let us help you scale your business by getting on a call with one of our knowledgeable team members today. We can’t wait to work with you!