How to Scale Your Customer Service While Your Startup Grows?

By Eman Azzoz - October 28, 2019

Scaling your startup means going from simplicity to complexity. Everything grows, from the number of your employees to the number of your customers.

When your business is a small to mid-sized one, you control everything, audit each detail, meet your employees regularly, interact with your customers closely, value each customer's feedback, and you do put your customers first.

But once things multiply by 100 or more, you can't do all this. You rely on reports and meetings from now to then. There are employees who you don't know, nor did you participate in hiring them, and they may not be aware of your business goals nor your values. The interaction with your customers becomes limited as there are many of them.

Of course, lots of details get lost in the hustle, and unfortunately, you care more about your sales than your customers.

This shift may confuse you and your employees. Your old loyal customers may leave you, your new customer base won't be engaged with you like the old gold one.

One of the main things that get affected while scaling is your customer service. While the number of customers who need to be served grows, customer satisfaction drops. Balancing between how much you serve and how well you serve becomes a roadblock.

In this article, we give you some tips which will lead you in your scaling route.

It all starts with your employees

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Human resources are your most valuable resources in customer service. Thus, preparing your reps mentally and arming them with proper tools is your first step. Here are some tips to make your bigger team a stronger team.

Allow your reps to make decisions while serving your customers. For each new rep, take some time to train and test your employee, once you make sure he/she understands your values, limits, and protocols, you can give them some space to handle situations confidently without taking permission for each new case.

Loyal employees generate loyal customers. Thus, provide a working environment that suits your stuff and appreciates them materially and morally.

When hiring your customer support reps, make sure they understand your business goals and vision, and they have enough empathy to guide a customer-centric business.

Don't put barriers between your customer support team and other departments to keep the collaboration that once existed in your small business.

Don't burn your team with wrong metrics that only care about the volume of closed tickets rather than the number of happy customers.

It's time to create a knowledge base

Once you grow up, you will have enough data to define the frequently asked questions and the issues that commonly face your customers. You can then create or improve your knowledge base.

A knowledgebase is your way of self-service, which saves your reps time and empowers your customers with enough data to help themselves. It also provides consistency over your service.

Collect data and use it

Wrong metrics leads to wrong decisions and actions. Whichever is the number of your closed tickets daily, customer satisfaction is the real metrics in customer service.

While the number of your customers increases, the way you handle their problems changes and becomes impersonal. The data you collect concentrates on numbers and time.

We are here to tell you to keep asking your customers for feedback and do regular surveys to collect the data necessary to reach your customers.

Automation doesn't mean being robotic

Usually, automation is associated with losing your personal touch and human interaction. But it doesn't have to be like that. Automation may be just a tool to facilitate your reps' work and enhance the overall process of serving your customers.

As your business grows, repeatable questions expand, and if you let it be, it will eat your reps valuable time with repeatable replies. That's when automation can be helpful to do these things for you. Bots that answer common questions or guide to a specific person is a good choice when needed.

Done-for-you customer service

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Done for you service

Done-for-you customer service or outsourcing customer service is another choice to facilitate the scaling process. You integrate with professionals in the field who can pave the way for you so that you rest assured while your experienced partner covers you.

What would be actually done for you? And how would that benefit you while growing up?

Everything, from hiring your support team to training it. You can save your resources, and set free from the burden of training and managing new employees. You can also choose your team's working hours as your partner can help from the other side of the world.

That way, you break the ice between your previous small startup and the future grown-up business while depending on those who understand your needs and can fullfill them. And when the right time comes, you can shift to in-house customer service after settling things down.

Final words

Customer service is one of the main factors that affect your scaling process. You should estimate your resources and your needs to keep and attract happy customers.