Customer Support Best Practices

Once you have your support team ready, it’s essential to follow a set of best practices. To avoid a poor customer experience, teach your support team about customer journey maps. These are a visualization of the customer experience from start to finish. They can demonstrate either cyclical or linear routes.

Every organization may have a different customer journey map. It’s vital to build yours from the customer’s perspective. Your employees’ knowledge of your customer base will prove highly valuable in this exercise, shaping the journey map from the initial research phase, all the way through the point of purchase.

With a customer journey map in hand, you can focus on particular customer needs during different stages of the buying process. It also can help to demonstrate the gaps between your company’s desired customer experience and the experiences it’s actually delivering.

For a bit of inspiration, here are several companies that are famous for their customer service:

  1. Trader Joe’s
    Trader Joe’s is well-known for their budget-friendly prices and organic products. But they also like to go above and beyond the call of duty. For example, they once delivered groceries to an elderly shopper before an impending storm.
  2. Rackspace
    Rackspace isn’t just any cloud computing company They are well-known for their amazing customer service. A customer was once on the line with a Rackspace employee who overheard the customer telling another person that they were getting hungry. Sure enough, the Rackspace employee put them on hold, ordered them a pizza, and it was delivered 30 minutes later. Talk about service!
  3. CVS
    The popular drugstore chain has operated its “Good Samaritan Van” in 9 major U.S. cities for the past 30 years, helping stranded motorists of all stripes for free.

It goes without saying that superb customer service can create lifelong customers. What really differentiates a business is its ability to effectively communicate with their customers, and a state-of-the-art helpdesk can ensure constant, effective communication.

Let’s now take a look at internal support best practices.

Internal support best practices.

You might have taken good care of your customers, but who’s taking care of your employees? Employee satisfaction is just as crucial as customer satisfaction. When your staff is happy, they provide better customer service. On the other hand, if they’re upset, their performance declines—it can be a vicious cycle.

When an employee has a problem with any work-related matter that might present itself, you want them to be able to reach out to your internal support team for help. Just like your external support team, there are a few best practices for the internal side:

  • Understand the purpose of the team.
  • Post a daily schedule for the helpdesk.
  • Ensure that expectations are clear.
  • Maintain a conversational tone.
  • Use customer service tools.
  • Be aware of employee goals.
  • Set service standards.
  • Offer options and multiple communication channels.

You’ll also want to measure the support your company is offering. Regular analysis of the following key performance indicators (KPIs) will help to determine your success rates and pinpoint any areas for improvement.

  • Response time
  • Ticket count
  • Resolution rate
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Customer retention rate
  • Net promoter score (NPS)

Workflows and automation.

You can achieve a substantially higher level of helpdesk support efficiency by automating repetitive tasks, or creating what are commonly referred to as “workflows.” Workflows, which rely on robotic process automation (RPA), are essentially digital representations of physical processes that are meant to reduce non-essential work.

Support levels.

Of course, not all customer or employee problems are created equal. Thus, there are varying levels of helpdesk support—the more robust the support, the higher the corresponding number:

  • Level 0 support: These are automated solutions and answers that users can access without any need for human interaction.
  • Level 1 support: Helpdesk calls are filtered, and users are provided with basic troubleshooting and support.
  • Level 2 support: Primarily reserved for installations, repairs, and other escalated issues that Level 1 support is not equipped to handle.
  • Level 3 support: Level 3 support provides needed expertise for more complex issues and questions.