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What Are Customer Service Workflows + 5 Workflows Your Team Needs
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Life is always easier when you have processes in place. Consider something like a morning routine: waking up at 5am, hitting the gym by 6am, having breakfast at 8, and then heading to office by 9am. In this case, you’ve clearly defined everything you need to do after waking up – once you start actioning it, you become consistent over time.
It’s the same with customer support. When you have well-defined customer service processes, or workflows, in place – it becomes relatively easier to provide good quality support at a consistently high level.
That’s because you and your customer support team know exactly what to do when something happens.
In this article, let’s dive into what customer service workflows exactly mean, and what are some workflows you can setup for your business.
Table of Contents
- What is a customer service workflow?
- Benefits of creating customer service workflows
- 5 customer service workflows your team needs
- Wrapping Up
What is a customer service workflow?
A customer service workflow is a step by step process designed by the company to ensure that all customer support functions are performed efficiently, without error. Think of it as a blueprint that makes the lives of the employees easier by giving them a standard, repeatable sequence to adhere to.
Benefits of creating customer service workflows
There are several benefits to creating customer service workflows for your organisation:
- Workflows can help you identify and fix the pain points and inefficiencies that may be frustrating your customers.
- The process of onboarding new team members becomes smoother because there’s a system they can fall into. They already know the course of action and what’s expected of them in each instance. This allows them to hit the ground running quickly.
- When you create a workflow you scrutinise the process closely which helps you learn about any steps that can be automated partially or completely. This frees up your team’s time and allows them to focus on more complex and impactful tasks.
- Lastly, by having a documented system in place, you’re able to create a consistent experience for your customer each and every time.
5 customer service workflows your team needs
Here are five important customer service workflows you’ll need in order to enhance your team’s productivity and boost customer experience:
1. Customer Support Workflow
When you think of customer service, the first thing that comes to mind is complaint handling – a customer reaching out to find a solution for any issue that they may have faced. No matter what kind of product or service your company provides, there’s one non-negotiable – a timely and satisfactory solution.
An example of a customer support workflow would look something like this:
- The customer gets in touch with the problem they’re facing.
- A support ticket is raised and a level of severity is assigned to it. This step can be fully automated.
- The ticket is assigned to a support agent.
- The agent contacts the customer and tries to understand the issue.
- If possible, the agent will try to solve the issue on the first interaction itself. If not, they explain the next steps and/or redirect the customer to another department within the company.
- Once the problem is resolved and the customer is satisfied, the ticket is closed and a feedback form is sent to the customer.
This is the fundamental framework, no matter what channel you’re using to resolve customer complaints.
2. Product Feedback Workflow
The product feedback workflow essentially collects and documents feedback from your customers while also letting them know that their feedback is valued.
The workflow here is simple and looks like this:
- Customer receives product or service.
- Send an email requesting their feedback/review of the product/service.
- Thank the customer for the feedback and document it, so that it can be used to fine-tune the product/service.
Hiver, for instance, lets you create personalised feedback forms to share with your customers.
3. Customer Order Workflow
The customer order workflow is important as it dictates the buying experience. Not wanting your customers to have a tough time when they’re already trying to buy your product or service is a no-brainer.
Consider the example of an e-commerce business. A customer order workflow, in this case, helps you finetune the process of shipping, returns, billing, or any mistakes made during delivery.
An example of a customer order workflow for an e-commerce company would look like this:
- The customer places an order which is received by an order management system.
- Send an email/SMS confirming the order to the customer.
- The order is then sent to the accounting software and the warehouse.
- Dispatch the product to the customer.
- Create a tracking number and share it with the customer.
- The customer receives the product and the order is closed.
The customer, upon receiving the product may have complaints or may be facing an issue with it, in which case the customer support workflow comes in for issue resolution. A workflow for digital products/services would look similar with steps such as shipping removed from it.
4. Customer Onboarding Workflow
A customer onboarding workflow involves nurturing new customers to ensure that they are set up correctly and are comfortable using your product. You take into account the customers’ goals and deliver instructions on how to best use your product to achieve them.
A customer onboarding workflow for a SaaS company would look like this:
- Send a welcome email containing useful resources like how-to guides and product FAQs.
- Customer logs in to your product for the first time.
- Offer a product walkthrough to the customer to help them get started.
- Reach out 2-3 weeks after the customer begins using the product to discuss how they’re finding the product.
- Send follow-up emails with additional tips and pointers or any feature updates.
Now, you might think this only applies to a B2B company, but that’s not how we see it. For any business, how you onboard a customer sets the tone and the foundation for the relationship. Be it an e-commerce site, a gift shop, or a tech company. Here’s how the workflow would look for an apparel brand:
- Send out a welcome email when the user signs up on your website
- Set up a personalised profile for your customer after collecting information such as address, contact details, communication preferences, and what kind of product categories they’re interested in.
- Do a quick walkthrough of your website showing the user how to navigate it seamlessly. For instance, show them where they can wish-list items and where they can check their shopping cart.
- Provide attractive incentives like discount coupons or free shipping to encourage the user to make their first purchase.
- Send follow-up emails to collect feedback and send personalised recommendations or special offers.
In both cases, you’ll need to determine whether or not the customers are responding or engaging with your communication. If not, it would make sense to change the frequency of your emails or optimise the content of those emails.
5. Cart Abandonment Workflow
We’re all customers ourselves and sometimes we add items to our shopping cart online and for whatever reason decide to either delay the purchase or abandon it altogether.
Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem for businesses online. You’ve got the customer on your website, and you’ve got them to the point of making a purchase. But then, at the very last stage, they drop off.
Having a high cart abandonment rate could be indicative of a problem with your buying process or high shipping/delivery costs or even something like refund policies.
Having a workflow for when a customer abandons the cart at the final stage is a great way of recovering lost sales:
- The customer browses your website and adds a product to the cart.
- Customer gets to the final stage i.e. the checkout page and abandons the cart.
- Send an email and/or SMS informing the customer that their purchase was incomplete or that they’ve left items in their cart.
- Provide alternative cheaper options or special offers.
- If the customer does complete the purchase, collect feedback on their buying process to understand improvement areas.
By having a shopping cart abandonment workflow as shown above, you might be able to reduce the number of potential customers that are dropping off. Additionally, by collecting feedback after the purchase is complete, you gain valuable insights on how you can iron out the buying process to make it easier for your customers.
Look, it all boils down to creating the best possible experience for your customer, every single time. Having an effective customer support software along with these five workflows in place will allow you to streamline your support processes and diagnose any inefficiencies and redundancies in them.
Answers to questions like “How do we improve the productivity and efficiency of our team of support agents?”, “How do we improve our response times?”, and “How do we retain our customers?” will become available to you as a byproduct of this exercise.
Note that the above workflows are a point of reference for your understanding. They might get more complex and detailed as per your business and its goals.