Scaling up a successful customer support team is no simple task. It takes the right combination of product, processes, and people to hit the mark. 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. Let's explore the three components of scaling a best-in-class success team that is positioned to build and retain stronger customer relationships.
The key components of scaling up your CS:
- Build a team of the right people
- Operationalize the processes
- Apply the right technology
Build a customer success team around the right people
Getting the right people on your CS team is the first step to successful scaling. Building out a talented, dedicated, and highly engaged customer success team, from CSMs to your chief customer officer (CCO), is foundational. Beyond that, there needs to be a company-wide understanding of the value of strong customer support.
“Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers.”
This means that your teams, beyond just those sitting on support, need to put customers at the center of their work. That starts by cultivating a deep understanding of your customer base and the stages of their customer journey. By investing time into understanding your customer’s unique lifecycle, you’ll set up your CS teams to create long-term relationships, increase retention rates, and cultivate more opportunities for upsell and expansion.
The building blocks to a successful customer experience team:
- Hire CS team members that will put the interpersonal customer relationship at the center of all that they do. Put simply, this means hiring people that are great with people. Most everything else is teachable, but empathetic team members with an innate ability to connect with people is what will set your support function apart.
- Prioritize adding a human touch to all customer interactions. Consumer expectations are at an all-time high. Timely, accurate responses to customer questions is the new norm but human touch is the differentiator. Automate where need be but never lose sight of the power of human interaction.
- Garner company-wide buy-in on your customer experience team mission. Your customer’s experience of your company doesn’t start and end with a one off interaction with a CSM; it’s the voice of the branding on your site, the touchpoints with salespeople throughout the buying process, and the long term relationship you build from there. There needs to be consistency and customer-centric thinking at every step of the way.
Operationalize the processes
Perfecting your process takes iteration and patience. But once you get it right, operationalized processes become the backbone of a best in class customer experience team. Segmentation of your customer base, automating parts of the process, and tracking the right metrics are all key components of building a thorough CS workflow that will address any and all of your customer needs. Few people understand this like Gabriel Ginorio, Learning and Development Manager at Thrasio (a top-tier acquirer of Amazon third-party brands that has tripled in size since 2019), who explains it this way: “Build processes, not patchwork.”
You see it all the time at startups in the SaaS space, reinventing the wheel every time they outgrow a patchwork solution. It’s an easy pattern to fall into and one that will hinder scalability.
Take your onboarding process: you hire a new rep in a remote setting, can you say with confidence that you have a ramp up process in place robust enough to know that rep will be operating at full capacity within their first month? Do your newly hired customer support reps have access to the information that they need to hit the ground running?
Posing this questions early and often will help you to pulse check where your processes are at all and build from there. Check out this Guru Card with quick tips on identifying and scaling repeatable processes:
Apply the right technology
People and process are critical, but without leveraging technology you’ll slow down your team's ability to scale successfully. Implementing the right tech to support your customer success teams does not mean automating every customer interaction through a CSM. But utilizing certain tools can help you to streamline those repeat tasks that eat up hours of your day.
In a remote world you must ensure that all of your teams across every department have access to the information and documentation that they need to do their jobs. If you’re an SME, how much of your day is held up answering repeat questions in Slack or Teams? Do you feel secure that your team has the access to the product, messaging, and processes information that they need to create amazing customer experiences time and time again? If that gives you pause it might be time to consider implementing a knowledge management tool to consolidate and liberalize your company’s internal information.
Find out how Noom implemented knowledge management to scale their exponential growth:
Supporting your CS teams with collaborative knowledge management will streamline your remote onboarding process of new hires, centralize your comms in one searchable tool, and give team members time in their day back to re-focus on what’s most important: delighting your customers with amazing experiences every step of the way.