How to Create an Optimal Customer Support Workflow

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​​When it comes to optimizing the success of your business and the satisfaction of your customers, customer service workflow is an essential part of the process.

Organizing and streamlining precisely how your team handles incoming complaints, tickets, purchases, and new clients gives your agents and users the tools to accomplish their goals efficiently.

Customer Support Workflow

Understanding what a customer support workflow is, the varieties of customer support, and why each is essential will make a big difference in how you plan your workflow.

Customer support is one of the most important qualities users look for when shopping online or looking for the right service for their needs.

What Is A Customer Support Workflow?

A workflow is a visual representation of a process. In this context, we’re talking about customer support, which can come in several different forms.

A customer support workflow is a way to organize and optimize the experience your users have from the moment they have a question or make a purchase. It can allow your agents to be as prepared as possible for what comes up.

Why Are They Important?

Visually organizing the process of a customer service experience helps you and your team understand the process. It can help provide a step-by-step checklist to record and analyze the user experience.

Workflows also increase consistency as your representatives follow the same guidelines and paths; granted, every issue is different, and agents must be flexible.

Not to mention that organizing and developing your customer success processes in advance allows your company to anticipate issues before they arise and optimize the system with in-depth analysis.

Questions To Ask Yourself

While developing customer service workflows, here are a few questions to ask yourself that may help construct the most successful systems:

  • What steps can be automated?
  • Which forms of customer support are most popular with your users?
  • What are the most successful ways for your agents to handle user issues?
  • Is your customer support system easy to use?
  • Are there any unnecessary parameters that can be optimized?
  • Is your company meeting consumer demands?

Different Workflows to Consider

As we mentioned, there are several different forms of customer service your users may choose to approach your business through.

Between AI Chatbots and human customer support representatives, the path your clients choose will depend on their demographics, your product, and each channel’s ease of use.

Customer Support Representatives

Users report that human interaction is often more appreciated than automated responses through chatbots. This means that optimizing your customer service team is essential for maintaining user satisfaction.

A workflow for customer support representatives might look something like this:

  1. User contacts business with complaint or issue.
  2. The business collects details of the user and issue.
  3. The user then waits for the human Customer Service Representative (CSR).
  4. The CSR asks for details on the user’s issue and goals.
  5. The CSR supplies assistance to user.
    OR
  6. The CSR escalates the user’s issue to the proper team.

AI Chatbot

Chatbots might initially have a less than stellar reputation but with the advancements in artificial intelligence, they’ve become major players in the customer service world.

They’re now able to comprehend a users question beyond matching keywords with articles. AI Chatbots can now help users get simple answers without waiting for an agent.

Their workflow would look similar to this:

  1. The chatbot offers its service to the user.
  2. The user now types in their search query.
  3. The chatbot analyzes questions and scans indexes for relatable and concise answers.
  4. The chatbot returns with answers or clarification questions.
  5. The user selects the available answer or clarifies the query until satisfied.

Customer On-Boarding

Bringing on new customers is huge for growing businesses, but it doesn’t just happen with a snap of your fingers.

Whether you’re welcoming a new client to your service or offering information to a brand new customer of your product, and on-boarding workflow could resemble these steps:

  1. The user purchases your service.
  2. Your business connects with the user to begin the process with helpful information.
  3. Your Success Agent contacts the user.
  4. The user and Agent develop an optimized strategy to cover user goals and expectations.
  5. Your Agent then assists in the implementation of your service.
  6. Your new user begins to use the service.
  7. Your Agent supports the user in future experiences.

Customer Purchase Tracking

While this is focused on companies that sell specific products instead of a functional service, purchase tracking can boost the customer experience when it comes to shopping.

Users enjoy knowing when and where their product is in the process, whether it’s a pizza tracker or a UPS shipping tracker.

But it all starts with your company, and optimizing purchase tracking can reduce the time and potential issues when it comes to delivering the goods.

A customer purchase tracking workflow would be something like:

  1. The user makes a purchase.
  2. An auto-reply confirmation is generated.
  3. The purchase invoice is delivered to the finance team.
  4. The finance team sends a confirmation to the supply team.
  5. The supply team confirms inventory.
  6. The supply team collects and delivers products.
  7. Tracking updates are sent to the user.
  8. The User receives their purchase.

Steps For Optimizing Customer Support Workflow

In order to take advantage of a visual workflow system, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Acknowledge Every Step In Each Process

One of the major benefits of creating a customer support workflow is that you get to layout and look at the road map you’re setting forth.

By doing so you establish the key steps that can’t be missed and also get a chance to acknowledge if there are any critical steps missing.

Reviewing your workflow and system like this is a great way to make sure you and your team are doing everything you can for your users.

A helpful tip when it comes to set up a workflow initially is to use templates. Not every workflow will need to be created from scratch, nor will they follow all of the same steps.

However, you can save yourself valuable time by having an appropriate and familiar structure ready to go whenever you do need to build a new workflow.

Anticipate Issues

Just like steps that might be missing, a workflow presents the opportunity to anticipate issues and create backup plans.

Whether it’s a resource limitation or system problem, creating a workflow that includes possible challenges will ensure that your team is prepared for whatever situation arises.

Knowing problems that may arise ahead of time is obviously an advantage your team will be grateful for, as well as your users. By preparing yourself and knowing what to do in stressful situations before you’re in one, you streamline your resolutions and bring satisfaction to your users faster and more successfully.

Visualize The Workflow

Utilizing an organizational program such as Excel is a great way to put together, visualize and share a customer support workflow with your team.

Putting every step into a document allows you to troubleshoot as you plan and update on a regular basis with everyone who needs to know what’s going on.

Analyze and Update

Customer support workflows are certainly not set-it-and-forget-it. They require regular updates depending on what your business, product, and users are reporting.

Gathering data is made much easier when working with a workflow. This includes documenting issues and errors, organizing thoughts, and optimizing customer success strategies.

Create A Different Workflow For Unique Customer Support Channels

It may seem initially tedious but having separate plans for every form of customer service is going to boost your ability to prepare your agents and the experience your users will have.

As we’ve talked about above, there are various customer service workflows, and none share a path.

Creating a unique, visual plan for every branch in your customer support will provide you with an organized and efficient system within your entire department.

In Conclusion

Customer Support Workflows are simply documents that allow you and your team to visualize the steps that you follow whenever a user reaches out.

They can apply to essentially every form of customer service, from human representatives to artificial intelligence chatbots and more.

Of course, you always hope that your product is easy to use and always successful, but the users will always have questions no matter what. Businesses that develop and maintain healthy customer support teams set themselves up for success.

Having your workflows mapped out allows your team to anticipate issues before they arise and have an efficient road map for how to handle them.

Sources:

Types of Customer Service | Freshworks

Basic Team Support Workflow Example | Team Support

Biggest Customer Service Challenges | Document360.

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