The Complete Guide to Building a Customer Support Team
Building a customer support team should be a priority for every company. Since agents communicate with customers directly, they can turn unhappy customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
However, if your customer support team is not performing effectively, it can have a negative impact on your business.
In order to help you put together a quality customer support team, we created a guide for you that will guide you through the customer service organizational structure.
Table of contents:
Why is an Organizational Structure Useful for Customer Support?
Having a customer organizational structure within companies allows professionals to deliver the best customer service possible, meeting business goals and satisfying consumers.
Customer service businesses can have a variety of organizational types, depending on their size, functions, and managerial preferences. If you’re interested in providing better customer service and experiencing a clear management structure, you may benefit from learning about customer service organizational structures.
In this article, we define customer service organizational structures. We discuss their benefits and types, and share steps to teach you how to building a customer support team within your company.
Having a customer structure can allow companies to:
- – Offer more employment opportunities. Companies with customer service organization structures often have more job opportunities, ranging from entry-level positions to management roles.
- – Facilitate a teamwork environment. This organizational structure often encourages teamwork by establishing teams to be responsible for each task, fostering an environment of collaboration and accountability.
- – Ensure smooth daily operations. Because each professional understands what they’re responsible for, companies with customer service organizational structures are often less likely to repeat tasks or have miscommunications.
- – Organize a fair hierarchy. Many customer service organizational structures have a hierarchy system that allows professionals to consult more than one supervisor. This helps share managerial responsibilities and ensure fairness in management decisions.
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It is absolutely essential that you establish an environment where all of the parts of the customer service hierarchy work together to provide customers with better experiences. This can be done by providing each member of the team with detailed duties and responsibilities.
It shows all team members that there are plenty of opportunities for them within the company if they plan to grow from one department in the hierarchy to another. The chart that you create will define all of these positions, which will help foster teamwork and cooperation among all the various departments.
When customer service employees understand their specific job functions and duties, they can perform those duties, knowing they are a vital component in the smooth operation of your business.
The customer service organizational structure also creates a system of checks and balances within the department so that no group dominates or has more power than another group. This also ensures interdependency, which fosters a sense of ownership at the workplace.
What is a Typical Customer Success Organizational Structure?
There are several types of organizational structures that customer service departments can use when building a customer support team, such as:
- 1. Small Business or Startup: economic and enterprising. When working in a startup environment, people in the organization need to wear many hats, and your support team is no exception. In this service structure, the team will need to have the necessary tools to automate various processes of customer support. This includes things like routing support tickets, monitoring the various support channels, responding quickly to feedback, and posting content that helps improve customer satisfaction.
- 2. For a mid-level business: growth-oriented. When your team is oriented towards growing the company, they will align the goals of the customer success team with the broader goals of the company. For example, you can orient these teams around a specific product, a region in the world, a marketing channel, and anything else.
- 3. For a large enterprise: support across multi-level, targeted touchpoints. This support team structure is for companies who have plenty of researchers to devote to integrating the support team into the organization as a whole. In fact, they can utilize the same approach as mid-sized companies, structuring customer support using geographic areas, sales channels, and buyer journeys. However, these businesses can get even more granular in their approaches.
Key Steps for Structuring Your Customer Service Team
When you have decided which custom service department structure is best for you, it’s time to put that plan into action. Here are some tips for you to consider when building a customer support team structure:
- 1. Identify the roles, teams, and tiers. Every member of your team needs to know their roles and responsibilities and how they fit into the overall structure of the department. Be sure to plan out how many teams you will need to have and how they will work to complement one another. This includes the three tiers of an IT support team structure.
- 2. Create opportunities for growth and mentorship. When you first take on new team members, they will need proper support and training. However, the training process should not end there. Be sure to conduct periodic reviews and give your team members plenty of opportunities to grow. A great way to accomplish this is by giving them a mentor who will guide them on their journey.
- 3. Help your customer support team. As the number of people in the company increases, it can become a challenge to keep the momentum going. This is where you need to empower your team with all kinds of career advancement opportunities that show them that there is room to grow within the company. This paves the way for peer mentorship and cultivates a more sustainable organization as more senior members advance and new hires arrive.
When implementing all of these processes, there certainly is a lot you need to think about. When doing so, keep in mind that the interpersonal and organizational practices that are implemented will only be as effective as the tools your agents have at their disposal.
Will the software they have allowed them to automate repetitive tasks? Does it integrate with phone support, social media, live chat, and other channels your agents are responsible for servicing? Increasingly, these questions determine the difference between acceptable customer support and great customer service.
Now that you have all the information you need to create the right customer support structure that meets your needs, you will now need to decide whether to outsource this work or set up a team in-house. In the next section, we go into detail about all the advantages that outsourcing offers businesses.
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Why should you choose an outsourced customer support team instead of an in-house team?
In today’s rapidly changing marketplace, businesses often have to make difficult chives when it comes to their customer support strategy.
One of the biggest decisions they have to make is whether to set up an offshore support team or create one in-house. Just like with any decision, there are many benefits to this. Below you can find some of the biggest ones:
- Reduce workload – as mentioned in the beginning, small business owners and staff typically wear many hats. Responding to customer phone calls and emails distracts from more profitable activities like sales. Outsourcing customer service can free up time for you and your employees so everyone can focus on increasing sales.
- Provide 24/7 support. Many consumers expect to reach companies’ customer service departments during off-hours. Call center staff can be available 24/7, providing efficient customer service when your customers need it.
- Multilingual support. Many businesses have customer bases that speak languages other than English. Outsourced customer service platforms give you better access to reps who speak multiple languages. As a result, your customers will feel more confident doing business with your company, knowing their questions will be answered properly without communication barriers.
- Lower costs. Organizations running their own contact and fulfillment departments often experience higher costs. Outsourcing converts fixed costs into variable costs and allows you to budget effectively. No need to invest in employee training or purchasing expensive technology. Outsourcing your customer service to a trusted vendor can help you save on capital expenditure, time, and extra effort.
- Access to a larger talent pool of candidates. Professional outsourcing providers have dedicated teams to provide outstanding customer service, which can give your business a competitive edge. This personnel has diverse expertise and skills across different industries and technologies. That can help you achieve superior quality and unmatched proficiency in customer service.
- Increased efficiency and competitiveness. Outsourcing your customer service ensures your customers receive the help they need when they need it. This will make them happier and will leave you less stressed. Top service providers also have the capacity to absorb dramatic demand shifts, enabling quicker ramp-ups and ramp-downs than in-house centers.
Pexly’s Top 5 Tips for Building a Customer Support Team
Building a customer support team is best done with a clear plan. You can wing it, but you will find yourself having to undo mistakes at tedious length later.
Whether you’re starting a support department from scratch, or have been managing a customer support team for a while and want to ensure it is structured to succeed, these five tips can help you create a solid foundation.
- 1. Define what a “great customer experience” is. Nearly every company claims to provide great customer service. But not all customers have a great experience, so clearly, there’s an opportunity for improvement.
- That improvement begins with defining “great.”
- When building a customer support team, you need to decide on the specifics of service quality you will provide. And include your entire team in crafting that definition. Once you have defined what “great service” is for your company, you have a standard against which to measure your support team.
- 2. Decide which channels you will support. When you’re committed to providing great customer service, it is tempting to say, “We’ll be available on every channel all the time!” But small teams almost certainly can’t provide consistently great support across all possible channels and time zones.
- It’s far better to provide quality customer support on a few channels than to spread your team too thin and give inconsistent service. So how do you choose which channels your support team will monitor? Well, find out which channels your customers are using the most and prioritize those.
- 3. Hire the right people. Providing high-quality, reliable customer support means that finding and hiring a great customer support team is crucial. Some key questions you should ask when hiring support team members are: what is your ideal personality?
- What skills should your support professional have?
- 4. Track the right data. Many customer service activities are easy to measure. Your customer service software will produce detailed reports, but it can’t tell you which numbers really matter to your team and what you need to do about them.
- 5. Choose the best tools. Battling with slow or unhelpful tools is a costly waste of your support team’s time and energy that would be much more usefully spent helping customers. However, customer service tools are often low on the priority list for companies that have limited budgets.
Customer service is not like a project that has a beginning, middle, and end. It is ongoing work that must adapt over time as the market, your customers, and your team change and as you learn. You may decide to add new channels of support, select new tools, or set new targets.
But always remember to define good customer service for yourself and build out from there. Your execution will need to adapt to the changing environment, but your principles of customer service will hold true.
Trust Pexly With All of your Customer Support Needs
If you are looking to set up an entire offshore customer support team or hire a few agents to help you augment your current in-house team, Pexly can handle the entire project setup and actualization process.
We have extensive experience actualizing projects of various complexities and sizes. And we are confident that we can find a solution that meets your exact needs.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.