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7 Steps to Make a Great Customer Service Team

7 Steps to Make a Great Customer Service Team

Table of Content

Imagine you're constructing a skyscraper. Your blueprint is set, the foundation is laid, and you've carefully selected the finest materials. Now, you're about to assemble your crew, the heart and soul of your project.

Think of your customer service team as that crew. Building a thriving customer service team is no small feat, it's a complex process requiring meticulous planning and execution. But don't let that deter you.

By following these seven steps, you're about to transform your customer service from an obligatory function into a powerful driving force for your business.

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Key Takeaways

  • Align the definition of great customer service with company values and ensure CEO and upper management support.
  • Exceed customer expectations by setting high standards, going the extra mile, and creating memorable experiences.
  • Understand and comply with legal requirements while shaping team protocols to excel beyond regulations.
  • Select and support the right channels for customer support based on customer preferences and the nature of the product or service.

7 Steps to Build a Thriving Customer Service Team

Embarking on the journey to build a thriving customer service team begins with clearly defining what great service means for your company. It's crucial to align this definition with your company values and ensure it's supported by your CEO and upper management.

Next, you need to hire the right people. Look for customer service representatives with the skills to deliver this level of service consistently. Remember, your customer support teams are the frontline of your business. They're the ones interacting with your customers daily, shaping their experience with your brand.

Now, it's about training and equipping your team with the proper tools to provide a positive experience. Create a reference guide with answers to common customer questions to streamline their workflow. Utilize customer satisfaction data to measure your team's performance against your service standard.

Lastly, you must integrate support into your product and company as a whole. This ensures customer satisfaction isn't just a department's responsibility but a company-wide commitment.

Step 1: Define "great customer service" for your company

Having assembled your customer service team, your first task is to clearly define what 'great customer service' means for your company. This definition will become the standard against which you measure your team's performance and will shape customer interactions and the overall customer experience.

Start by aligning your definition with your company values. You're not just shaping customer expectations; you're also defining your company's identity. If your values emphasize innovation, for instance, excellent customer service might mean providing cutting-edge solutions to customer problems.

Engage your entire team in crafting this definition. Their collective insights will ensure a comprehensive understanding of what providing excellent customer support looks like in the context of your business.

It's crucial to ensure that your CEO and upper management support this defined level of service. Their backing won't only reinforce its importance but also foster a culture where exceptional service is a shared responsibility.

1 Deliver on your company values

To ensure your customer service truly reflects your brand, it's essential to incorporate your company's mission and values into every interaction. This step is crucial in building your customer support team and fostering a shared vision among all team members.

By centering your customer service align on the organization's goals and targets, you enable your customer service teams to deliver on your company values. It's not just about resolving issues; it's about making every customer interaction an embodiment of what your company stands for.

In turn, this approach helps to build a customer service culture that not only meets customer expectations but also enhances your brand's credibility. When customers see that your company's values aren't just empty words but are reflected in the actions of your customer service teams, they're more likely to trust and stay loyal to your brand.

It's also important to remember that delivering on your company values is a continuous process. It's not a one-time task but an ongoing commitment that requires regular reinforcement and assessment. So, keep reinforcing those values, keep measuring performance against those values, and keep making necessary adjustments to ensure your customer service teams are always aligned with your company's mission and values.

2 Consistently exceed customer expectations

While keeping your company values at the heart of every customer interaction is essential, it's equally important to consistently exceed customer expectations. To build a thriving customer service team, you need to set high standards. This doesn't just mean meeting customer expectations, but exceeding them.

Your customer service team should go the extra mile to surprise and delight customers. This could be as simple as a follow-up call to ensure a customer's issue has been resolved, or a surprise discount on a future purchase. By going beyond what's expected, you create memorable experiences that leave a lasting impression.

One effective way to consistently exceed customer expectations is by anticipating customer needs and providing proactive solutions. This means not just reacting to problems as they happen, but predicting them and offering solutions before the customer even has to ask.

3 Examine legal requirements

Before diving headfirst into creating your customer service team, it's crucial to examine any legal requirements that might apply to your industry. Part of building a thriving customer service team involves understanding and complying with these legal stipulations. If service level regulations apply, ensure your customer service support adheres to them.

Consider this examination of legal requirements as more than just an obligation. Use it as a unique opportunity to offer premium services. For instance, if there are specific government regulations for customer service in your industry, shape your team's protocols to not only comply with these but to excel beyond them. This commitment to customer service will set you apart from competitors.

Ensure your definition of customer service aligns with your legal obligations too. Remember, building a customer support team that thrives involves more than just meeting the bare minimum of legal requirements. It's about leveraging these to offer exceptional customer service. By doing so, you'll create a team that's not just legally compliant, but one that's built to exceed customer expectations at every turn.

Step 2: Decide which channels to support

Having ensured your customer service strategy aligns with your legal obligations, it's time to consider how you'll connect with your audience; choosing the right channels for customer support is your next crucial step.

You need to decide which channels to support, focusing on the platforms your customers are most comfortable using.

Your customer service team needs to be where your customers are. Analyze the channels your existing customers use to contact you. Are they reaching out via email, social media, phone, or live chat? Customer service and customer conversations need to occur where your audience feels most heard.

It's also essential to understand the nature of your product or service when selecting support channels. Some products might require more hands-on support, like phone calls or video chats, while others can be handled efficiently through email or messaging apps.

You don't need to be on every platform. In fact, it's better to provide quality support on a few channels rather than spreading thin. Start by supporting the top one or two channels and expand as your team grows.

1 Find out what your customers are using

To deliver outstanding customer service, it's crucial to know exactly what products or services your customers are using and how they're interacting with them. This knowledge allows you to anticipate their needs and tailor your approach, leading to a more satisfying customer experience.

Start by identifying the products or services that different customers are using. This could be done through direct inquiries, analysis of purchase history, or usage data. Then, gather customer feedback to better understand how they're interacting with your product or service. Are they using all its features? Are there aspects they find difficult or confusing? This feedback is invaluable in helping you find answers to these questions.

Next, analyze this data to understand what features or aspects of your offering are most popular. Are there trends among certain customer demographics? Do some products or services have higher satisfaction ratings than others? The answers to these questions can guide you in refining your customer service approach.

Through this process, you'll gain a deeper understanding of what your customers are using, enabling you to provide a more personalized, effective service. This, in turn, will contribute to building a thriving customer service team.

2 Make the call

Making the perfect customer service call involves several key steps:

  • Defining the characteristics of a successful call, such as clear communication and maintaining a polite and empathetic tone.
  • Establishing guidelines that dictate the approach to different scenarios, ensuring consistency in service delivery.
  • Training your team to have a deep understanding of the product or service and equipping them with the skills to handle any situation that may arise during a phone connection. Regular role-play sessions can be beneficial for practice.
  • Monitoring the interactions by assessing the effectiveness of the calls. This can be done through customer feedback and call analytics, which provide insights into the success of the calls.

3 The pros and cons of online customer service channels

Let's dive into the double-edged sword of online customer service channels, looking at both their upsides like accessibility and convenience, and downsides such as potential miscommunication and difficulties in conveying empathy.

The pros of online channels are many. They provide the best option to serve customers quickly and efficiently. With customer service tools like chatbots and social media management, you're set to give a quick response to customer inquiries. This convenience often trumps the time requirements for phone or in-person interactions.

However, the cons shouldn't be overlooked. Miscommunication is a common pitfall, as nuances can be lost in text-based interactions. Furthermore, empathy—a cornerstone of effective customer service—can be challenging to convey online. Another downside is the potential for customer frustration due to lack of personal interaction. While online channels offer efficiency, they can sometimes fall short in providing the warmth of a human connection.

Hence, while online customer service channels can revolutionize your customer care, a balanced approach is essential. Consider the pros and cons carefully to ensure you're truly providing the best service possible.

4 Capitalize on your existing skill sets

Harnessing the unique talents and skills within your customer service team can dramatically enhance the quality of your service delivery. Recognizing and capitalizing on the existing skill sets of your team members is a pivotal step in building a thriving customer service team.

Your team's diverse skills and experiences are invaluable resources. Don't let them go untapped. Encourage your team members to apply their unique talents to improve customer support. You'll be surprised how much they can contribute when they're given the opportunity to use their strengths.

Aligning roles and responsibilities with individual strengths and proficiencies within the team is also key. This not only boosts morale but also increases efficiency and effectiveness. It also enhances the overall performance of your customer service team.

Incorporating these steps into your strategy can significantly improve your customer service delivery. Remember, it's not just about having a team; it's about having a team that's equipped to succeed. So, capitalize on those existing skill sets. They're your secret weapon in building a thriving customer service team.

Step 3: Hire the right people

When it comes to building your customer service team, it's crucial to hire the right people, focusing not only on their hard skills but also on their soft skills and alignment with your company's values. The right people will be those who can provide ideal support to your customers, and whose personal values align with your mission.

During the interview process, it's important to identify the hard and soft skills your support team needs. Hard skills might include technical knowledge or language proficiency, while soft skills could involve communication, empathy, or problem-solving. You'll also want to define what qualities and attributes your new hire should possess. This might include a positive attitude, a willingness to learn, or the ability to work in a team.

To further fine-tune your hiring process, consider using behavior-based interview questions. These can help you assess whether a candidate is a good fit for your team. Additionally, remember to hire for diversity and inclusion. By bringing in different perspectives, you can create a vibrant, dynamic support team.

Lastly, ensure the roles you need to fill and your recruitment process align with your company's culture. This will help you attract and retain the right people.

Step 4: Measure the right data

To build a robust customer service team, you need to determine and track the right metrics that accurately reflect your team's performance. Measuring the right data is crucial as it provides a clear picture of how your support department is functioning, and where improvements can be made.

Common customer service metrics, such as customer satisfaction rate and resolved cases, are key features to consider. These metrics matter as they directly reflect your team's effectiveness in ensuring customer satisfaction. By focusing your reporting on these areas, you'll be able to identify any recurring issues and pinpoint areas for improvement.

It's not enough just to track these metrics, though. You also need to actively use this data to make informed decisions and strategize your team's growth. Evaluate the reporting features of different customer service tools to make sure they align with your goals.

Step 5: Pick your tools

Choosing the right tools for your customer service team is key. You'll need to consider factors like functionality, user capacity, types of conversations, and platform support. This includes evaluating different internal tools such as help desk software and social media tools.

The help desk is critical for handling customer inquiries and answering customer questions efficiently. Social media tools, on the other hand, enable your team to manage customer interactions on various platforms.

Consider a media management tool to streamline these processes. It's crucial to pick a tool that can handle the volume of conversations your team deals with daily and is compatible with the platforms your customers use most.

Finally, a live chat function can be a game changer. It provides real-time support, helping to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. But remember, don't spread your team too thin across multiple channels. Prioritize quality support on a few key channels based on your customer's preferences.

In the end, the tools you choose should enhance your team's ability to provide top-notch service. So choose wisely and make sure they're the right fit for your team and customers.

1 Selecting customer service software

Selecting the right customer service software is a crucial step that requires careful consideration of factors such as functionality, user capacity, types of conversations, and platform compatibility.

In the process of selecting customer service software, you need to consider the channels your customers usually use to reach out to you. This will help you choose the right software that aligns with your customers' preferences, hence improving the customer experience.

You also need to integrate other apps that your team uses with the customer service software. It's essential that the software integrates seamlessly to make your team able to handle customer inquiries efficiently. When it's time to integrate support tools, think about the ones that will work best with your chosen software.

Lastly, don't forget to assess the reporting features of different software options. This will allow you to track both your team's efficacy and customer satisfaction levels. In the end, the right software won't only improve your team's workflow but significantly enhance your customers' overall experience.

2 Internal tools and systems

After settling on your customer service software, it's crucial to understand and effectively use your company's internal tools and systems. These tools are integral to building a thriving customer service team. They're designed to optimize your team's efficiency, productivity, and support professional capabilities.

But just having these tools isn't enough. You must train your team to use these effectively. Best practices should be established and communicated openly. This includes understanding the purpose of these tools, how they integrate into customer service processes, and how to troubleshoot common issues.

Your team structure should also be considered in this integration. The right tools can enhance open communication among team members, fostering a collaborative environment. This in turn will improve your customer service quality.

3 Individual tools

In your quest to build a thriving customer service team, don't overlook the importance of individual tools, as they can make a significant difference in speed, accessibility, and overall efficiency. These tools aren't just for show; they significantly improve your team's workflow, helping them provide top-notch customer support.

Consider each tool's functionality, the number of users it supports, types of customer conversations it can handle, and platform compatibility. Sometimes, you might need to integrate these tools with other apps to ensure smooth operations. It's all about picking the right tools that allow your team to work well and answer key questions promptly.

Remember, small improvements in speed and accessibility can have a substantial impact on customer service efficiency. Efficient tools not only save time and energy for your support teams but also enhance the customer experience.

Investing in individual tools is one of the critical steps towards building a robust customer service team. So, don't skimp on these. Choose wisely, integrate seamlessly, and watch your customer service team thrive. After all, providing effective customer support isn't just about answering queries; it's about doing so efficiently and promptly.

Step 6: Create your knowledge base

Building a comprehensive knowledge base is your next critical step in strengthening your customer service team. This repository of information is crucial to providing training for your team and assisting customers. You need to build this knowledge base by compiling frequently asked questions and their answers. Include troubleshooting guides and best practices to help your team navigate customer service scenarios effectively.

Organize your knowledge base in a user-friendly and easily accessible format. This will make it easier for your team to find the information they need to assist customers. It's also important to set clear guidelines on how to use and contribute to the knowledge base. Encourage your team to update the knowledge base regularly based on new customer queries and feedback.

Creating your knowledge base isn't a one-time task. It's a tool that should grow and learn with your team and your customers. By providing your team with the knowledge and resources they need, you're empowering them to deliver better customer service. In the long run, a well-structured knowledge base can contribute to a thriving customer service team and satisfied customers.

Step 7: Integrate support into your product and company

Having established a robust knowledge base, your next move is to fully integrate customer support into both your product and overall company strategy. To build a thriving customer service team, this integration must be comprehensive and strategic.

Firstly, ensure that your customer support aligns with your company's products and services. Your product team should work hand-in-hand with the customer service team, understanding their role in enhancing the customer experience. This mutual understanding will facilitate the smooth integration of customer support into your product.

Next, establish systems across your teams to support great service. This means empowering your customer service team to make decisions without constantly seeking permission. A team that's trusted to make decisions will feel more invested in the company's success.

Lastly, integrate customer feedback into your product improvement processes. Feedback is an invaluable resource that can guide your product team to make necessary adjustments. This won't only improve your product but also build a stronger relationship with your customers.

Do the work

Now, it's time to roll up your sleeves and define what exceptional service means for your company. You've assembled your customer service teams and brought on new team members, but the work is only just beginning. Your team is the frontline in providing excellent customer support, and they need clear guidelines to follow.

Start by involving your entire team in crafting a clear definition of great service. This definition will act as a standard to measure your support team's performance. Align this definition with your company's values to ensure consistency across all business operations. This isn't just a task for the customer service teams, it's a company-wide initiative.

Remember, your CEO and upper management must be on board and actively support this defined level of service. This commitment permeates through the company, setting the tone for your customer interactions.

Next, use the right tools and data to check your team's progress and make necessary adjustments. Develop a 'Guide To Customer Service' with answers to common questions. This will be an invaluable resource for your team, ensuring they have the information they need to provide top-notch service.

Get Started

With a clear definition of exceptional service in place and the right tools at your disposal, it's time to jump into action and truly get started on delivering that top-notch customer experience. In today's world, modern customer service isn't just about resolving issues; it's about creating a customer who feels valued and appreciated.

To build a great customer service team, you must first decide on the structure. How many team members do you need? What roles will they play? Who'll lead the team? It's crucial to answer these questions to ensure that the team operates smoothly.

It's also essential to equip your team with the Right Customer Support tools. These tools should help your team communicate effectively with customers and quickly resolve their issues. But remember, tools alone won't create a great service team. You need people who are dedicated to achieving the organization's goals and providing Key Customer Service.

Investing in training is also crucial. Equip your team with the skills they need to handle all types of customer interactions. With the right team structure, tools, and training, you'll be well on your way to creating a customer service team that thrives.

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To ensure a seamless flow of information, we've revamped the outline to follow a clear step-by-step format, retaining the main title as an 'h1' tag, while each step now comes with its own 'h2' tag. Subheadings under each step are labeled with 'h3' tags, making it easier for you to follow along.

In this renewed format, you start by defining what great customer support means to your company. This understanding is crucial in delivering good customer service, which is the cornerstone of customer retention. You need to hire individuals with both hard and soft skills, who can uphold your company's values and exceed customer expectations.

Next, you need to align your service with legal requirements, ensuring that the Best Customer Service you provide is also compliant. The right support channels should be selected based on your customer's preferences.

As you progress, you'll continually enhance your service and customer support, ensuring your team is delivering on company values and exceeding customer expectations, all while adhering to important legal requirements.


You've got this! With these steps, you're well on your way to creating a stellar customer service team.

Remember, it's all about understanding your company's service ethos, leveraging data, and integrating support into every facet of your business.

It might seem challenging, but you're about to transform your customer service from good to great.

So, get started and watch your business thrive.