Managing customer service as you grow is difficult. Not only is training new customer service agents tough, but as you scale, you’re going to be constantly bringing on additional agents. So training alone can become a full-time role if you are not strategic about it. Also, if you don’t manage customer service well as you scale, the customer experience can significantly drop, which hurts sales and causes you to shrink.
In short, it’s critical that you must have strong systems for managing customer service as you scale.
But how do you do it? What do successful big brands do to break through the customer service bottleneck as they scale?
These brands use some variation of a customer service playbook to define how great customer service is done for their brand. They define everything from processes to templates and tone, and then they use the playbook to train and manage the team as they grow.
Having a playbook enables you to rely less on special skills when you hire and focus more on culture fit. In addition, the people you hire will be able to learn how to run customer service based on the playbook. This makes scaling WAY easier.
At HelpFlow.com, we run 24/7 live chat and customer teams for over 100 e-commerce stores. Our team works deeply in the systems of the brands we support, and we get very involved in helping them improve their customer service operation.
In this post, which will likely become a series, you'll learn what a customer service playbook is and how to think about using it in your business. Then, in later posts will then go much deeper into specific parts of the playbook.
Let’s get into it...
A playbook is essentially a single place where you define how everything is done regarding specific parts of your business. For example, for customer service, your customer service playbook would have training information about the systems the team uses, an overview of key processes the team executes, and resources to use when executing those processes.
The playbook can be structured in many ways, either as an online wiki that the team uses or even a complete process documentation software suite.
It’s also important to understand that the playbook evolves over time. There are specific types of information that should be included from the beginning, but the playbook is never really "done". Instead, it’s something that gets edited and added to constantly so that it’s a more and more effective asset for your team.
As I mentioned, the playbook gets updated over time but below are the initial sections that should be included.
The document should be structured with a clear table of contents that can be clicked to navigate to specific sections and have effective headings, subheadings, and bullet points. This makes quickly navigating the document easier.
Those are the basics of what to include in a playbook, we will go much deeper into specific sections in future posts.
The playbook should be constantly updated, so it is accurate and always improving. With small tweaks to your workflow with your team, you can make sure the playbook is an asset you can use with the team constantly rather than just some other document to be updated.
This could be covered deeply in another post, but here are the basics:
By creating a playbook and including the information above while also having a playbook owner responsible for edits and updates, you’ll have a strong foundation you can use to manage the customer service team and easily scale the customer experience that made you successful.
Because this topic is so in-depth, we will definitely dig into specific sections of the playbook in future posts. To get updates as these posts are published, be sure to follow us at HelpFlow.com
If you have any questions as you start to create your playbook, feel free to reach out. Even if we never end up working together, we’re happy to share additional tips as you build this resource for your business.