How To Successfully Scale Your Customer Service Team
Lately, in the e-commerce business space, there are a lot of discussions around growing versus scaling and what the implications of each are for your business, especially as we approach the holiday seasons.
After all, it’s around this time that e-commerce businesses experience the highest influx of new customer service tickets, which leads to many business owners searching for better ways to serve customers and support their teams along the way.
The truth is that though growth is what we all want for our businesses, scaling is the true bar we’re all reaching for – whether we know it yet or not.
But how do you successfully scale an e-commerce business without burning the midnight oil during one of the busiest times of the year?
What Is Growing Vs. Scaling?
To answer this question, we first need to identify the difference between growing and scaling.
In your business, you might be making decisions that are allowing your brand to grow each week, month, or year. However, this standard growth essentially means that you’re probably paying for resources at the same rate you’re adding more revenue.
Alternatively, scaling growth is about addressing business models and design flaws that, once resolved, allow you to increase your revenue without dumping half of it back into additional resources.
You’ll notice that some businesses around you appear to be growing but aren’t necessarily scaling for success, because though their revenue is up year over year, they’ve consistently had to add resources to make said growth possible.
The goal of a business owner, especially in the e-commerce industry, is to drive consistent growth and increase revenue over time with standardized processes and business models that eliminate the need for additional revenue-draining resources.
Identifying When It’s Time To Scale Your Customer Service Team
In an e-commerce environment, you’ll typically see more customer service tickets and inquiries than a service-based business might experience, particularly during the holidays when shopping trends are at their peak.
Therefore, it’s imperative that your customer service team is highly trained and equipped to handle each ticket that comes through your organization. When response times and resolution times are high, the rate of customer satisfaction and repeat customers drops, and scaling becomes a greater challenge.
In fact, in 2022, it’s been found that 60% percent of customers expect an immediate response when contacting live chat, and those who utilize live chat and have a positive experience spend 60% more on average than customers who go through other channels.
With this data, it’s even more important to optimize your customer service experience.
Let’s talk about how to identify when you’re ready to scale and expand your customer service team to better serve your customers:
- You’re seeing an increase in customers: More demand for your products often means more inquiries for your customer support team. If you don’t have enough bandwidth to manage the growth, your business will struggle to keep up.
- You’re offering additional customer support channels: If you are adding customer support channels to your business like live chat and phone calls, you’ll need to establish substantial coverage for each option so that customers are served quickly and efficiently.
- Your team is covering more time zones: When a significant portion of your customer base resides in a time zone outside of your business hours, it’s imperative to maintain the quality and availability of customer service for these customers – especially because 51% of customers want businesses to be available around-the-clock.
Tips & Tricks For Scaling Customer Service In Your E-Commerce Business
Once you’ve identified that you’re ready to scale customer support, the next question is how to do it effectively and without sacrificing the quality of your customer service experience.
1. Establish & update your business procedures
Improve the inner workings of your business to create consistency within your customer experience and better support your customer service team so they can do the best job possible.
- Create SOPs: Without clear SOPs (standard operating procedures) for your business that are updated as needed, it may be difficult for new support agents to seamlessly integrate into your organization and help customers. (In case you missed it, check out our last blog post where we discussed SOPs and how they are essential to your business success.)
- Invite team input: Your customer service agents are often the ones who know your processes best. Welcoming their input on how to improve procedures across their department will create a positive environment in which they feel heard and valued.
- Automate replies: Use chatbots to send auto-replies to commonly asked questions or direct customers to helpful links with content that answers their inquiries.
2. Utilize helpful tech & tools to improve customer experience
A healthy balance of software and technology backed up by human knowledge and experience can keep customers happy while lowering response times.
- Establish automation & workflows: Though we all love the idea of automating customer service tasks, you can also utilize workflows for customer-facing tasks (like automated emails for order updates) that anticipate customer inquiries before they enter the queue. Check out two of our favorite resources, Zendesk and Gorgias, to learn how they can help.
- Give your team the tools they need: Making information easily accessible to your team allows them to quickly scan a document or tool for what they need to help a client with their issue instead of escalating the ticket and delaying the resolution time.
- Empower customers with self-service options: Returns and exchanges are a huge part of any e-commerce business, so making these processes easy for customers to independently perform will increase the number of repeat customers without putting more strain on your team. You can learn more about our favorite resources & strategies for implementing self-service returns in one of our recent blog posts.
3. Strengthen your customer support team
Whether you’re ready to scale your business now or have plans to soon, strengthening your customer support team will never be an action you regret.
- Prioritize training: Without a solid training plan, your team will struggle to keep up with tickets and establish consistency across your organization’s customer support experience.
- Implement a Team Leader: Establishing the role of a Team Leader for weekly QA with your team (like we do here at TalentPop) will create accountability that ensures customer service is well taken care of without adding another task onto your plate.
- Outsource customer support: Outsourcing support with a BPO like TalentPop will allow you to scale and improve your customer support team without breaking the bank or sacrificing customer satisfaction.
Leveling Up Your E-Commerce Business With Outsourced Customer Service
If you’ve reached the point in your business where you’re ready to scale your customer service team, you don’t have to do it alone!
Here at TalentPop, we specialize in helping e-commerce business owners scale their organization’s customer support by creating and establishing SOPs that you can implement with the help of our qualified agents.
Schedule a call with our team today to see if you’re ready to scale and learn how TalentPop can help you bring your business into the future.