7 Quick Wins to Improve Your Customer Service Department

While a carefully considered long-term strategy is the best way of improving your customer service department’s performance, sometimes you just need a few quick wins to keep things ticking over. Whether it’s to raise employee morale, improve customer service or demonstrate to new bosses that you’ve got what it takes to run the department, these seven quick wins will help you realise immediate improvements in performance.

  1. Focus Your Attention On One Improvement

The most important thing to remember when aiming for quick wins is that you can’t get caught up in long-term strategy or large-scale change. If you do, you’ll have to begin investing considerable time, resources, and human capital in carrying out structural changes that may not benefit your organisation for months or even years.

To avoid this, it’s a good idea to focus your attention on making a single improvement. Rather than looking at the organisation as a whole, zoom in and inspect a single part of it. Focus on the minutiae of the processes that constitute that part of the organisation and start looking at ways that these simple component parts can be improved upon. While these small improvements aren’t going to change the world, they will benefit your business, and they will provide you with a demonstrable quick win.

  1. Give Staff A Say

Typically, it is necessary to impose grand, sweeping changes from above. Managers are able to alter the direction of an entire business because they have a more complete view of the organisation and aren’t compartmentalised to the same extent that those lower down the hierarchy usually are. However, this distance – which is necessary when determining long-term strategy – can also be a weakness when it comes to making the small changes that often result in quick wins. For that, you need someone on the ground. Someone who’s a little closer to the action.

That’s why it’s often a good idea to open up discussions about what quick fixes can be made to those who work on the frontlines. Having direct experience of the processes or procedures that constitute a day’s work, they’re far more likely to be able to offer up insightful suggestions on how things can be improved. Alternatively, try finding out what customers think with a few quick customer satisfaction survey questions.

7 Quick Wins to Improve Your Customer Service Department

  1. Use Your Faqs To Inform Self-Serve Options

If you’re looking for quick wins, it’s necessary to leverage the information you currently have at your disposal to improve existing or new services in a cost-effective manner. The perfect example of this is using the FAQ section of your website to identify enquiries that could be automated by a chatbot service.

Here at Inform, we’re capable of designing, building, and implementing a new chatbot within 6-8 weeks and at a relatively low cost, too. Working closely with clients, we use existing customer service data, as well as information collected from FAQs and other sources, to construct bots that cut costs, improve the customer experience, and allow human agents to focus on more important tasks. It’s a cost-effective quick win that can be implemented within a relatively short time-frame.

  1. Make Use Of Regular Incentives

Incentivising work can be difficult to get right.  Rewarding success can foster a healthy sense of competition but this can also slip over into something more toxic, making it difficult to maintain the previously positive atmosphere between team members. However, when implemented in the right way, incentivisation is a fun and effective means of getting that little bit extra from your team.

Managers need to approach competition with tact. Rather than setting arbitrary targets (which can seem threatening), it’s best to try and foster some friendly competition between different parts of the team. How you reward successful employees is entirely up to you, though it may also be a good idea to consult your staff on what they think is appropriate.

7 Quick Wins to Improve Your Customer Service Department

  1. Give Your Frontline Employees More Responsibility

Too many customer service departments refuse to give their employees the level of responsibility they need to make decisions. One of the quickest and easiest ways of improving customer service is to allow human agents to take important decisions. It slashes waiting times and reduces handling time by cutting out the back and forth that occurs when an agent has to request authorisation from a supervisor and allows for a more natural and empathetic form of customer engagement. Of course, if such a system is to work, there must be safeguards in place to ensure this responsibility isn’t abused and employees understand what is expected of them.

  1. Delegate Work Processes Supervisors

As we've already said, it’s often helpful to study individual processes for small inefficiencies that can be ironed out quickly and easily. However, examining every process independently would be enormously time-consuming and likely a waste of resources. Instead, take a quick win approach to the issue.

This quick-win approach involves appointing work process supervisors who are responsible for overseeing, documenting, and making recommendations on how to improve specific work processes. Rather than tackling this issue in a centralised and hierarchical manner, it’s possible to delegate the responsibility to employees.

To ensure this works as it should, it’s important to select employees who are both up to the job and have considerable experience of the process(es) for which they’re responsible. It’s also necessary to limit the scope of the supervisory role. Remember, we’re not looking to enact grand, structural change. Instead, we’re looking for small inefficiencies that can be resolved quickly.

7 Quick Wins to Improve Your Customer Service Department

  1. Take Another Look At Your IVR Scripts

Finally, you can often improve the performance of your automated Telephony by taking another look at scripts and the way in which callers are routed. Improvements in automated Telephony performance can result in reduced handling times, fewer drop-outs, and happier customers. Search specifically for moments where callers repeatedly hang-up or ask to be transferred to a human agent. These are your pain points and the best place to start making valuable improvements to your telephony service.

What Next?

There are a number of customer service quick wins that can improve service and benefit your organisation. However, it’s important to implement these ideas within the context of a larger long-term strategy. Too great a focus on quick fixes and you’ll neglect the underlying issues that could cause problems in the future. As with most things in life, it’s necessary to strike a balance – what your organisation needs is a healthy mix of quick wins and long-term strategic planning to optimise your customer service provision.

Have a question or want further information on improving customer service? Our expert team have been providing customer contact solutions for over 25 years. Call us on 01344 595800 or drop us a line.