Numerous clients have encountered it at least once. When you call a business with a question, the person who answers the phone is extremely nice and says, “Sorry, I can’t help you with that, let me transfer you.” The person you speak with after that says the same thing, possibly even the one that follows.
Maybe someone who can help you solve your situation ultimately answers the phone. Or perhaps you feel frustrated from talking on the phone for a long period and decide to hang up. In any case, a disorderly system that results in a poor customer experience can overcome the best efforts of the customer service staff.
As a customer service expert, you are aware of how frustrating it is for the customer, but you also comprehend how mishaps like that can occur. You frequently need to look outside of your customer support staff to provide an answer for large businesses with hundreds of employees and dozens of departments. Furthermore, buyers underestimate how challenging external collaboration is.
In this RisePath article, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on how to coordinate efforts between teams to expand customer support.
Three difficulties in working with internal departments
Going outside the department for information presents a unique set of hurdles to meeting your service level agreement (SLA), no matter how diligently your agents are committed to doing so.
Things inevitably take longer when you have to rely on someone else to assist a customer. Additionally, the number of steps you must take might significantly slow down the process if you don’t have a robust strategy in place for getting in touch with the appropriate individuals.
You must determine the appropriate contact.
The customer’s question must be directed to the appropriate department, and the agent must determine who to ask within that department. That’s a challenging task for large corporations with numerous departments and thousands of staff members.
You need to locate their appropriate contact details.
The next step is to figure out how to contact the individual whose job title appears to be the most pertinent. It takes time to retrieve the appropriate data, even if you have a clear database or directory with phone numbers and emails. Additionally, if you leave a message for someone who likes to use email for all professional conversations, you might not be able to reach them right away.
You have to start over if you don’t find the ideal person the first time.
In the worst situation, the person you’ve contacted replies to you with a message stating that they are unable to assist and that you should contact another individual. The consumer is still waiting impatiently for your response while you restart the entire process. Even if your second attempt succeeds in reaching the intended recipient, you will already be dealing with a disgruntled client.
A more effective internal cooperation system
In this situation, you are aware that response times are out of your agent’s control, but your customer won’t care what caused the delay. They just see a business that offers subpar customer service, which is the last thing you want.
You need a reliable method for connecting with the appropriate person each time a customer service query calls for assistance from another department if you want to position your support staff for success.
1. List the key departments with which your customer support team must coordinate.
When a customer is waiting on your response, it is the worst time to try to identify the appropriate person to contact in another department. At that time, under pressure and with limited knowledge, your agent is frantically trying to find a solution. Instead, collaborate with your team to make a list of all the many departments you occasionally contact for assistance with customer support issues.
A retail e-commerce business may regularly need to get in touch with the warehouse for shipping-related inquiries, the product department for size inquiries, and the billing department for payment-related concerns.
Making a list in advance – when you are not under time constraints, gives you time to develop a better system for determining the best way to get in touch with each department when necessary.
2. List the most frequent problems that need cooperation between those departments.
Consider all the situations you handle that call for the cooperation of each department on your list. You won’t have to rely exclusively on memory for this if your team maintains good records. Find particular instances of times you contacted the department by looking through your previous tickets.
Now proactively get in touch with that division to determine the best procedure for receiving prompt responses when you need them. They can offer advice on who to contact and how to get in touch with for each kind of concern. The ideal way to communicate with a warehouse staff member who moves about a lot is by email, which they can use on their mobile phone while on the road. For example, if Joe is the one who can provide you with information regarding the status of cargo, therefore you should have his best contact information.
3. Make it easier to contact the appropriate individual.
Having all of that knowledge is beneficial, but you now need to determine the best strategy to guarantee that every agent can locate it when they require it. It’s nice to have a reliable central database with all the appropriate internal contact information. Better yet, include that data into the main system your team uses to monitor tickets and address consumer inquiries.
Make it possible for customers to quickly send a message to the appropriate person for each department in the customer support software when they contact your team with a question they need outside assistance to resolve.
Because you took the effort to identify and load the correct contact information in advance, it gets to the proper person faster. This enables you to keep all correspondence connected to the ticket in one location. Additionally, just because you sent the message using the software you use every day doesn’t imply the recipient has to learn how to use a new piece of software in order to view it. As they would with any other email they receive, they can examine and reply to your message via email.
Create a scalable internal collaborative method.
Your need for personnel outside of your department to deliver exceptional service will only increase as your business expands and the expectations and inquiries from your customers become more sophisticated. You may lessen growing pains as your business expands and ensure that your customer service team can always acquire the information they need to give quick, dependable service by setting up a good process now for getting in touch with the proper person every time.
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