In the past, customer service was generally conducted in a one-ticket, one-representative process. That method is not an efficient way to conduct customer support. With the advent of modern collaborative customer support software comes the ability for customer service reps to work together on tickets to better serve customers.
Why collaboration is important
Today, customers control businesses. This era is known as the age of the customer because the customer has so many options to choose from, especially in the SaaS space. Businesses need to work hard to keep the customers they have. Collaboration is one way of ensuring clients stay happy and don't seek out a new service or product that fills their needs. When customer service reps work together on tickets, answers are delivered in a more efficient manner. The rep with the expertise to address the issue can either handle the ticket personally, or assist other reps to produce an answer extremely fast.
In addition to customers receiving answers more efficiently, collaboration also enhances the quality of the information provided to the customer. Collaboration allows the reps who have the subject matter expertise to solve the issue for the customer. Because the expertise of each rep can be used, the collective knowledge available rises, making your customer service team a stronger entity overall. For example, if a ticket comes in with a complex question and a junior rep sees it they can reach out to the team for assistance. This not only provides an education for the junior rep, it also provides a faster answer for the customer and avoids them being transferred to another rep (a step often cited by customers as a source of frustration). Instead of just asking one person for an answer, each customer gets to ask 5 or 10, or however many reps you have, with the same amount of effort.
How to work collaboratively
Customer service software is the best foundation for collaborative customer support. When customer service reps have a system that enables them to easily communicate with each other and with other groups, the quality of service surges.
Customer service software should embrace collaboration. Features like internal social networks, internal chat, ticket queues, shared calendars, and the ability to create groups are all built to support collaborative customer support. Look for the ability to assign support tickets to specific teams, and parameters that allow automated routing to the appropriate experts. Also look for some form of integrated internal communication so that reps can collaborate among themselves or reach out to other members of the company if necessary.
"If you really want to take things to the next level, you should focus on cross departmental collaboration."
Collaboration among your reps will help improve customer service across the board. However, if you really want to take things to the next level, you should focus on cross-departmental collaboration. Organizations with the best customer service have strong communication between all departments. For this to happen effectively, you need to have a customer support software solution that can integrate with the other systems your business uses.
For example, if you are a software or technology company, you can increase efficiency drastically by integrating your support software with development tools like Jira and Beanstalk. In fact if you are a software provider, an open API so you can integrate with your own system is a huge bonus. In any business we strongly recommend you sync your customer support with your CRM system, and social media if you use it. Depending on your business processes you may also want to integrate with communication systems like MailChimp or NiceReply, or with document management platforms. Integrating your business systems makes it possible for all departments to share information, and it reduces the amount of duplicate data entry across the company. Integrating your customer service software with other systems enables the automatic update of data across platforms; meaning if customer contact information is updated in your CRM database, it will automatically do the same in your customer service solution. And the icing on the cake? Your customers will be impressed at how well you know them, and will appreciate not having to provide the same information over and over any time they contact a new person.
Collaboration between departments saves your organization time and it keeps everyone on the same page, allowing for the best possible service to your customers. To learn more about how collaboration can improve customer service, check out our white paper on leveraging your team's collective knowledge: