In our list, we're going to cover the ways technology can accelerate your processes, remove margins for error, and free your team up to focus on what they do best. Then, we'll explore some areas you can single out for extra training to raise the performance of everyone involved.
1. Organize your CRM
A multifaceted CRM is the bedrock of all your customer service case management software. This is the place you keep track of every request, all saved on the cloud and easily accessible for all. And that's the magic to it. Each of your team members can access any case you have in an instant with all your clients contact details, interaction history, and any personal notes that may come in helpful.
The best tools come with a range of extra features to give you more information, speed up response times, and ultimately provide a better service. For example, you can create email templates for common issues and send them out in an instant. Then, with email tracking, you can see if and when your customers have opened your email to find out if they've received your message. So before you do anything else, get familiar with your CRM and all the functions that can streamline it.
2. Implement workflows
When customers get in touch with your contact center, they expect their request to be taken seriously and dealt with professionally. Therefore, among the top customer service case management best practices is to follow a strict workflow that, when performed correctly, offers increased chances of a satisfactory resolution. Some of the tasks in your workflow can be automated, as we'll see later, but each must be checked off before its deadline for successful case management solutions.
A brief customer service case management template could be: Acknowledge your customer's request Assign the ticket to the relevant expert Reply within one hour Ask your client if they have any other questions Close the deal with a thank you message When integrated with your CRM, your workflows help you to track task completion, ensure quality control, and maintain a good brand reputation by efficiently managing cases.
3. Monitor and analyze your performance
As we've hinted at in the previous two tips, there are myriad ways you can track your team's performance as well as the cases themselves. Gathering data and acting on it is essential to improving any business process, especially in customer service case management.
So if you're the kind of manager that loves continuous improvement, equip your CRM with analytics and set aside time to look into them.
Analyzing your team
To work out where the strengths and weaknesses are in your team, consider gathering data on the following areas:
- Cases closed per day Successful vs unsuccessful cases
- Customer ratings
- Time on calls
- Response time
- Upselling rate
To delve deeper into your team's efficiency, leverage time management tools for calls.
Monitoring your cases
Customer service managers
- Average time taken on calls
- Workflow steps completed
- Average time for workflow
- Abandoned case rate
With your collated data, you can then improve performance either with additional training or improved customer service case management best practices.
4. Automate small, repetitive tasks
One of the top advantages of customer service case management software is the ability to outsource much of your team's work to technology. No, we're not saying fire your team and hire robots instead.
In fact, automations enhance your team's performance and morale by taking care of the small repetitive jobs. This leaves your team more time to focus on the personal side of things.
As an example, when you receive a case, an automated CRM can fire out a receipt email and assign a ticket to one of your team members. Then, as you complete each task in your workflow, the dependencies will automatically assign the next.
If you want to get really techie, set up an automated chat bot. It will take care of the first interactions of a case, before handing it off to the most relevant agent. Then, once your case is closed, your CRM can ping an email to your customer with a feedback form to boost your analytics.
5. Open up multiple channels
Most contact centers have email and phone channels, and they're not too popular. So to set yourself apart, include other options such as chat bots in your customer service case management strategy.
Instant messaging services are hot property for customer service departments. Your users avoid the tinny music waiting for their call to connect, and are reassured that their email hasn't been sent off into the ether never to be read or replied to.
But the benefits don't stop there. Your team gets to avoid poor phone lines, tricky accents, and verbal abuse, while at the same time streamlining your service. You can only really focus on one phone call at a time, but with instant messenger, you can have multiple chats going at the same time.
Professional website builders will allow you to install a widget on your website for customers to fill in. You can program your chat bot to cover the initial steps, getting a name and email address, then automatically pass the chat onto your team.
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6. Cover all your social media platforms
Part of improving your strategy is to meet your customers where they are. If they can't find you easily, expect an online review crisis.
To get started, add social media channels to your customer service case management software. You'll see incoming requests in real time, and you can respond in an instant from the same platform. Your CRM will record every interaction, just like with phone and email cases, and populate your database with any missing information.
Customer service via social media opens up yet another channel that is practical and comfortable for your users. The benefits include clear, simple communication, strengthened customer relationships and easy use — all without disrupting your performance, data, or analytics.
7. Hire the right people
Now we've looked at some software-based tips, it's time to see how you can improve your customer service case management through your team’s interpersonal personal skills. First stop: hiring.
Building the right team from the beginning will save you a lot of headaches in the future, but it's no easy task.
You want to find people who love what they do. It's easier to train someone who is motivated than to inspire a quality sales agent whose heart is not in it. This makes sense from a financial standpoint too. It's well known that losing an employee costs more than hiring and retaining one.
Work hand in hand with your HR department when selecting profiles and for in-person interviews. You're looking for enthusiastic, easy-going people who have the confidence to spark up conversation with anyone. Take the time to run through hypothetical situations and role plays to see how they handle themselves. The stress of the interview should give you an indicator of how they will manage a long working day.
8. Onboarding: Educate and train your team
Now you've got your team together, it's time to get them up to speed. The onboarding process is an essential part of hiring as it gives your new recruits the best chances of slipping right into their new role. Try your best to make it engaging, but don't forget to include:
- Company background and values Knowledge of products and services
- Customer service dos and don'ts Company-specific language
- How to speak to customers
- How to write to customers
- Common (and not-so-common) scenarios
Group onboarding sessions are especially useful for customer service case management because as everyone has had the same training, you can be sure of a uniform response from all your team. Even better, as questions arise and answers advise, each team member learns from others' experiences and perspectives, which strengthens the learning process. The result of your onboarding is a group of excellent individuals who work seamlessly together as a team.
9. Foster a rapid response time
Time is of the essence in this world, so you need to make it part of your customer service case management.
Slow messaging breeds mistrust among your customers — and these customers talk. Therefore, you have to pull out all the stops to speed up your cases. First off, drum in the message to your staff from onboarding and frequently throughout. You don't want to come across as too pushy, so highlight the greater good of fast response rather than laying down the law with no context.
On the technical side, you can analyze the speed of your responses, calls, and instant message interactions. When you start seeing patterns, whether it's an individual lapsing in motivation or a certain kind of request causing a blocker. With this information, you can go back to the drawing board to find faster solutions.
10. Keep your team motivated
Sure, your onboarding process was a success, but nurturing your team is an ongoing process. If their interest dries up, it will be clear in their interactions, so a key part of customer service case management is keeping your team happy.
Offer regular appraisals
People like to receive guidance when they're feeling lost and they love to hear when they're doing a good job. That's why appraisals are so important to motivation. You can offer extra training for those who need it and set target-based incentives for your more ambitious workers.
Allow them to specialize
The real go-getters on your team will always be looking for ways to improve professionally. A great way of accommodating their tenacity is by giving pathways to specialize. Offer extra training in a specific area that your eager agent can control. Where possible, assign all relevant tasks to your high-performing specialist — another one of our great customer service case management best practices.
A motivated team is a productive team, so when you sense that drive is dropping, you have to take fast action.
11. Work on your opening gambit
It may seem simple, but aligning your team with the same opening line maintains professionalism and offers your customers a warm reception. The first impression you show dictates the play for what is about to come, so it's smart to analyze responses and find what works.
Your introductory phrases aren't just for phone calls either. Part of your customer service case management is ensuring that your phone calls match your emails and your chat. To stay professional, you can't neglect any of these areas.
It's true that some customers will launch complaints with bad intentions, but there's no use fighting fire with fire here. By keeping your cool and addressing every customer the same, you're in a good position to defuse potentially hostile situations.
12. Treat your customers as people
If you're looking for an efficient way to make a bad situation worse, there's no better way than lacking respect. However, if you want to avoid stressful interactions and negative reviews, route one is to treat your customers as people.
Start by fostering an environment where your team listens attentively to each case rather than jumping to conclusions. This helps to make customers feel that they are being heard — and in some cases, that is all that is necessary to close a case. For more complex cases, active listening will give your team all the information they need to provide the right case management solution where necessary.
Key skills to focus on include:
- Paraphrasing a customer’s request back to them
Asking follow-up questions
Providing extra information they may not be aware of
Revise the customer profile in your CRM
Including personalization tags on emails
Offering more than customers expect
All of these customer service case management efforts will help to establish firm, trusting relationships with your customers, which leads to more sales and repeat business.
Our tips have covered a range of managerial techniques you can use to structure your customer service department the way it should be. However, without the right technological backing, your response times will be slow, your cases left open, and your team burnt out.
That's where Bitrix24 comes in. With an extensive CRM, slick communication channels, and a range of efficient automations all on one platform, your team will thrive. It's free to get started, so what have you got to lose? Sign up today to revolutionize your customer service case management.
What is case management for customer service?
Case management in customer service involves organizing the details of all your customer interactions to offer a better service. Managers monitor every case from start to finish and analyze them for improvement.
What are the successful customer service management strategies?
Successful customer service manager strategies include:
- Hiring the right talent Continuous analytics and training.
- A powerful CRM Structured workflows Implementing automations.
- Practice through role play.
- Being active on all channels.
- An ethos of offering added value.