In a company’s early days, the customer service department can consist of a single person (probably the owner) handling phone calls. It relies on customer feedback to improve the product, and as it becomes more successful, the company swells and customer service inquiries surge. What made sense for this company way back when as a small start-up no longer fills the bill for an epic enterprise.
How would you adapt customer service offerings to meet the ever-changing needs of a growing company? You do it gradually, adding more and more options and channels in anticipation of customer demands.
To develop a customer-centric business that lasts, you should, starting from Day 1,
- Use all hands on deck, even if that’s just two employees, to collect customer feedback
- Establish customer service systems that can handle more requests in the future
- Learn how to manage multiple channels of communication (phone, email, chat, etc.)
- Add self-service options and more agents
- Put all common issues into a knowledge base for agents to tap
- Learn what customers want instead of simply responding to hot-ticket problems
- Invest in a software solution that supports the channels and services you actually use
As the Harvard Business Review describes, you have to shift your thinking about customer success as you grow. What worked in your earliest start-up days won’t stand up to big-business needs later, but the seeds you plant early on will bear fruit someday. Consider some of the solutions that can get you there.