Boster Bio will put a heavy focus on customer support quality improvement in 2021 and raise the bar for customer support standard going forward. Customer support includes sales, order handling, billing, technical support, and any other forms of customer-facing communications. This initiative intends to build a comprehensive guideline for how to give good customer support and supplement this guideline with ample examples of what are considered good and bad customer support.
This initiative will be rolled out in three phases, below are descriptions and expectations for each phase:
1. Rapidly adopt basic best practices
duration 1 week
Some easy to follow Customer support best practices will be given . These best practices are expected to be followed immediately. Failing to follow these guidelines results in mid to major demerits depending on impact.
2. Continued improvement of advanced skills
duration 2 months
Trainings and guidelines will be provided for such skills. Even though team members are not expected to master them right away they are expected to make continuous improvements on these skills. Exhibiting mastery of such skills in work will be considered as merits. Chronically lacking such skills over long periods of time would be considered as demerits.
3. Take initiative to go above and beyond
After the first 2 months
Going forward employees are strongly encouraged to take initiative and improve the overall customer support system. Some examples will be provided in the code of conduct details . The spirit is to encourage participation and effort so all efforts will be rewarded and efforts that lead to significant impacts will be rewarded heavily.
New employees in customer support positions will go through the same training mentioned below and at the end of their probational periods, a fitness review will take place where the management team decides whether they are good fits to the position they would be in.
Phase 1: Rules To Follow, 7 Days
Existing employees in customer facing positions are expected to adopt all the basic best practices one week after receiving receiving these instructions. after one week, The person responsible for monitoring will start reporting good and bad emails from all monitor accounts based on these guidelines. The basic best practices are a simple guidelines that are easy to follow and failing to follow these press practices are considered medium to major demerits. More details see the KPI section.
Phase 2: Advanced Skills, 60 Days
During the first two months after receiving these instructions, existing employees are expected to gradually improved and perfect skills described in phase two. Rapid improvements in empathy, upsell, Brand promotion, opportunity identification, and skillful use of positive language (see details in the instruction manual) will be considered as merits. More details see the KPI section.
Phase 3: Take Control Of Your Work/Career
After the first two months, any efforts in helping improving the customer support system are considered merits, weighed based on their impacts. We encourage the spirit of participation, thus any effort will be rewarded, well efforts that led to great impact will be rewarded heavily.
One independent contractor will be the designated enforcer for this code of conduct.
The designated monitor of email communications
This person will be going through all outgoing and incoming
emails of every customer facing email address. This person will report incidences that bear merits or demerits. This person will be responsible for
deciding the weight of merit and demerit of each situation.
Email addresses being monitored include but not limit to: account, orders, sales, support and logistics. Currently no phone calls or live chats will be monitored.
Selected positive and negative examples will be shared in the
workshop for the team's collective improvement.
Held during monthly meetings and at extra times schedule by the management team
the workshop will be held to answer any questions and discuss suggestions from the team. Team members are encouraged to share experiences, takeaways, tips, challenges and improvement/prevention plans they face with the rest of the team. the amount of contribution is expected to be proportional to the reported merits and demerits of the team member. If a team member has large amounts of unaddressed demerits by end of the workshop, it will result in a major demerit.
PS: Though the management team will try to observe as much as possible, it is up to the employee to make these positive
A team member attains a (tier is dependent on impact) merit
if he/she shows initiative on or contributes to
Mastery of advanced communication skills covered in phase two
creating solutions for new challenges
help out a fellow coworker
Identify new opportunities of any kind
Constructively contributing to resolving a difficult situation
create guidelines for previously unaddressed situations
create resources to help resolving common situations more efficiently
any other way that benefits the customer support team or the customer support process
The merits system and KPI
How customer support performance will affect each employee
Sub header should be expanding on the main idea , delete if not needed
Merits are positive, demerits are negative. There are 3 tiers to each—minor, mid and major. Each merit or demerit is associated with a certain type of behavior. Repeated behavior of the same type will not result in multiple merits, rather it will escalate the merit/demerit tier. For example, failing to address the customer by their name or signing off your own name will result in a minor demerit at first, and after continuous offences, escalate to mid and eventually major demerit.
3 minor merits/demerits are considered to be equivalent to a mid merit/demerit, 3 mid merits/demerits are considered to be equivalent to a major merit/demerit. Merits and demerits can offset each other, Netting 3 major demerits results in a warning letter and puts the person on a 3-month probational period. A warning letter during the probational period, or 3 warning letters in 2 years of time, results in a fitness review where the management team decides whether an employee is a good fit to the position he/she is in.
Warning letter definition: https://www.upcounsel.com/employee-behavior-warning-letter
Netting major merits at end of year results in a boost in the year end bonus. When promotional opportunities occur, employees with more merits are considered first.
Merits/warning system will cover other aspects of the company operation, not limited to customer support.
Code of conduct details
Phase 1: rules
to follow, 7 days
1. Basic email writing etiquette
a.address the customer by name
b.apologize to or sympathize with the customer if they have wasted anytime, experienced any loss, frustrations or inconveniences.
i.e.g. "I'm so sorry this happened to you it must be very frustrating
c.if the customer is upset pass it to the sales team immediately
d.always communicate expectations from the recipient, some examples below. Note that weather we expect the recipient to do anything or not, we need to tell them what we expect from them.
i.please get back to me at your convenience/by a certain date
ii.for the other issues we will follow up with you in X amount of time
iii.thank you for working with us for the time being you do not need to take any additional actions
e.Do not be vague about the expectations. Avoid using terms such as “more information” or “as soon as possible”, Be specific about what we what, what they can expect to receive from us, and when to expect. if no specific timeframe is available use estimates.
f.don't be rude or insensitive, avoid using terms such as “that's simple”, “submit”, Or sending links to resources or attachments to customers To sort out on their own without explanation.
g.NEVER ask a customer a piece of information that we have. This is especially important, Quite prevalent in our current customer support, and is considered a major demerit. Some examples
i.asking the customer for product SKU when the customer has described in detail of what they want
ii.asking the customer for order reference information of a certain type when they have provided enough information for us to located it ourselves
iii.asking a customer for tracking information when we should have records of it.
h.Always addressed all threads in the customers inquiry. if you do not have the answers for something, acknowledge it and tell the customer we will get back to them about it. do not ignore the customer’s inquiry by only answering part of his/her email.
i.sign off the email with your name
2. Service level agreement
must acknowledge receiving the email within 12 hours. whether you have the solution or not you must reply the customer preferably right away and no later than 12 hours acknowledging the the receiving of the email and communicate what to expect.
3. Prioritize your workflow and mitigate risks proactively
a.if an email cannot be helped within a short amount of time acknowledge receiving it and get back to it later after you have processed all the emails.
b.Get help from others on specific inquiries or processing your general workload if you expect to be unable to complete all critical tasks in time due to either a rush in business inquiries or non-work related commitments. Try to arrange it ahead of time if possible.
Phase 2: advanced skills, 60 days
1. Assured the customer
if a customer needs our help (pre-sale or post-sale), assure the customers They are in good hands and that we will solve their problem.
2. Special treatment
If the customer expresses any issues, acknowledge the problem(s) and assure them that they are being treated specially
a.if the problem requires attention escalated to your manager
b.if the customer seems upset Pass it to the sales team as a special notification
3. Pass opportunities to sales team
similar to the above if the customer expresses a business interest give our thanks for their interests and tell them they are being treated specially and one of our customer success managers will take care of them
a.if it is a real opportunity, create such opportunity in our CRM
b.If the opportunity is indeed very valuable pass it to the sales team as a special notification
4. Do some sales work when appropriate
if a customer is considering buying a product (such as requesting a quote or asking questions about the product), convince them our products/services is a good fit for them or pass it to the sales team
5. Be appreciative
Thank the customers if they have pointed out a true problem, Or have spent time trying to help us. Thank the customer if they have spent time and efforts complying to our requests such as collecting information for troubleshooting or finding a piece of information that they did not know to include in the initial request.
6. Give off positive energy
Congratulate the customers if they shared something positive about themselves. Use positive language. here are some articles about that
b.Example of Using negative language: I can't get you this product until next month it is backordered an unavailable at the moment.
c.Example of using positive language: that product will become available next month I can place the order for you right now and make sure that it is sent to you as soon as it reaches our warehouse.
7. Don't be a conversation ender
Always be the last one to contribute to the conversation.
a.if the customer said something that ends the conversation, try to recommend them some related products and services for cross-sell.
b.if the customers reply positively to the above thank them.
8. Be a lifelong learner
Show the willingness to learn about our own progress overtime. pay attention to others answers to the customers and take notes your perspective handbooks. Try to avoid pushing the same questions two others to answer over and over again.
Phase 3: take control of your work/career
1. create guidelines, tips and best practices
If a situation arises that reveals a problem that is not covered in existing guidelines, take the initiative to create guidelines for the team to use in these situations going forward.
2. Create resources
Identify common increase your problems and create resources to help the team address these more efficiently.