Optimising Customer Service for Scale
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Optimising Customer Service for Scale

Welcome to yet another Ops Stories roundtable. Every now and then, we put our heads together to dive into an operational topic presented to us by one of our community members. The format is simple and informal - we start with quick intros, the host presents the topic and shares a couple of questions, and then we discuss.

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This time, the topic is brought and conversation facilitated by Mike Strange, Director of Operations at Just Eat for Business (formerly City Pantry). We’ll be talking about how to optimise customer service for scale.

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### Scaling customer-service - not from a mass-hiring POV, but from an optimisation angle.

This roundtable will be an in-depth discussion for insights, ideas, and learnings, on what you’ve come up against when optimising CS. We’re talking channel optimisation, increasing self-serve and troubleshooting, triaging and help portals, phone IVRs, and chatbots, just to name a few.

🤔 Some questions we’ll be tackling:

  • What metrics might you look to influence when thinking about scaling?
  • How do you direct customers toward particular channels and why?
  • How might you create customer journeys where customers can get the answers and support they need without having to speak with a team member?
  • Do you use a help-portal and how have you made it most effective?
  • What are your experiences with chatbots and other automated customer support softwares?

⏰ Agenda:

5:00 - 5:05 pm - "arrive" online

5:05 - 5:15 pm - kicking off with topic introduction (incl. Natasha from Surfboard)

5:15 - 6:00 pm - discussion in small groups

6:00 - 6:30 pm - regroup and align on session outputs

Questions submitted by attendees:

  • Processes to scale a team in a way that isn't demoralising the choice between having specialised team members or generalists
  • What are some non-traditional ways to implement customer service? Retail, e-commerce, and even SaaS all seem like natural industries for CS but consulting and professional services might require different routes to ensuring the same benefits provided by great CS
  • What can personal growth look like in a Customer Service role as a business scales?
  • What metrics do you look to protect when thinking about scaling?
  • What profiles to hire for Customer Ops and when?
  • What role does outsourcing play in scaling, what are the do's and dont's with outsourcing?
  • When is the right time to outsource?
  • When the customer team is small what are the key metrics/ points in a customer journey that you think are worth focusing more on?
  • What opening hours are people aiming for as they scale? 2) Experience of outsourcing and the impact on cost and quality
  • 24x7 support - how to do it correctly
  • Are chatbots effective for b2b inbound leads?
  • Are there any frameworks or strategies to making sure product feedback doesn't get lost in the world of customer service?
  • Best options for multi channel 24/7 support in the UK?
  • Best tools for scale / when to bring on a BPO
  • Curious to learn about people's approaches to decentralising the function in multiple locations to de-risk (esp. considering current Eastern European crisis)
  • Do you use a help-portal and how have you made it most effective?
  • Helping your team members progress and take non-frontline opportunities at scale
  • How can a small company (~70 people) provide enterprise customer support 24/7 around the world?
  • How can we scale without outsourcing teams to another country!?
  • How can you encourage customer to submit tickets via a support centre rather than just emailing Support?
  • How do other companies ensure progression for Customer Support team members? Is it clearly mapped out or dependent on the individual and their preferences?
  • How do you achieve great things on a shoestring budget?
  • How do you deal with forecasting? Best approach to fire fighting!
  • How do you decide what metrics to measure and set targets against? Do either of these change as you're looking to scale?
  • How do you equip new managers (or managers in early in their career) to scale a team effectively?
  • How do you find the right balance of automated vs hand-held onboarding?
  • How do you go about scaling from 12 hour to 24 hour support?
  • How do you strike the right balance between self-service and personalised service?
  • How does scaling in customer support look different for B2B vs. B2C businesses?
  • How to best handle escalations with both the team and team leads?
  • How to increase the effectiveness of a chatbot
  • How to maintain high trust of information whilst minimalising real time customer interactions
  • How to structure a customer success function
  • Interested to hear about live chat, self help and automation
  • Managing CS reps in several time zones and handover between shifts best practises
  • Moving from sharing customer service responsibility in a team in a start up to a dedicated function.

Attendees

Optimising Customer Service for Scale - Attendee List

NamePresent?Notes
Abi Kolade
Alan Hopley
Yes
Alexandra Charalambous
Chris Brogan
Yes
Eli Rezinsky
Yes
Ferdie Richmond
Fiona Abrams
Yes
Jie Low
Yes
Mike Strange
Yes
Natasha Ratanshi-Stein
Yes
Nora Beqaj
Yes
Riley McGhee
Yes
Sarah Touzani
Simon Wright