customer support

6 key strategies to scale your customer support team

Photo of Mikayla Fuller
by   Mikayla Fuller
July 22, 2022

When answering the important questions…‘what does it mean to scale a business,’ and ‘how to scale teams,’ one of the things that many businesses forget about is maintaining a high level of customer support that remains as good as it was in the beginning stages. It’s possible to increase your customer service function while retaining high-quality support, but doing so requires intentional effort and deliberate behavior. Understanding what it means to scale your customer support team is the first obstacle, and the second is creating a strategy to do so. We’ll help you solve these challenges below. 

What does it mean to scale your business?

As a measure of success, scaling is achieved by increasing revenue without incurring significant costs. Though they are similar, scaling is slightly different than growing. Where growing implies all aspects of expanding such as increased budgets, more staff, and adding revenue at the same time you’re adding resources, scaling means adding revenue at a much greater rate than cost. More specifically, scaling is all about optimizing, streamlining, improving, and perfecting processes.

Scaling requires strategy, budgeting, and the right systems, technology, and team members. Businesses can make a step towards scaling in a variety of ways including implementing new technologies and discovering lapses in operations that can be mended or automated. The problem is that scaling a business is difficult; it’s much easier said than done, and there isn’t a clear-cut path to scaling your business. However, there are a few best practices we’ll go over that will, without a doubt, help you get on the right path. 

Why is it important to scale up your customer support team?

The natural tendency of businesses can sometimes be to squeeze customer teams when focusing on scaling, but this is completely the wrong move. If there’s one thing you should invest in, it’s your customers. Businesses that prioritize customer service drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their competition, according to Bain and Company. By including your customer support team into your scaling strategy, you immediately position yourself higher than competitors. Plus, the genuine care you feel for your customers will trickle down into every aspect of your business, increasing your customer satisfaction and resulting in higher holistic success. Great customer support is essential for the success of your business, and it’s possible to increase customer support output without decreasing quality. Let’s chat about it!

How to scale your customer support team

Scaling your customer support without compromising service can be done in a number of ways, but it ultimately comes down to who your customers are and what they expect from you when they need assistance. When reading through these, imagine yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would they expect? 

1. Improve customer service quality 

Measures like CSAT (customer satisfaction score) and NPS (net promoter score) are useful tools for customer support teams to monitor customer perceptions. But the kicker here is that not everyone has the same opinions of what makes excellent service. You will need to define a consistent, internal way to monitor what you consider to be top-quality service. Improving overall customer service quality can include empathy, different types of positive interactions, and clear communication. Finding and training the right team to handle first-rate customer support is a must. For more on the importance of impactful customer service training, check out one of our other blogs here

2. Invest in better programs and tools to help scale

The right combination of software and technology can optimize every aspect of customer support and provide your staff with the tools to bring success. It will make support easier and quicker to create consistently positive service. Some of these tools include: implementing a help desk, prioritizing the queue, employing AI, and integrating customer data. Not every customer will want to communicate in the same way. Some may want to call in, others may want to email or message chat support. Regardless, providing diverse support solutions is preferred to keep your customers their happiest!

3. Improve your knowledge base

Arguably, the best way to scale support is by improving your knowledge base. According to Social Media Today, 70% of customers prefer to use a company’s website to get answers on their own. It will take time and effort up front to think through every question someone could have about your products and services, but the results are a well-rounded and extremely thorough collection of how-to guides, frequently asked questions, and troubleshooting instructions. If your customers can find the answer they’re looking for on your website, they’ll have no reason to reach out via other mediums. 

4. Automate repetitive tasks

A company of any size benefits from automating repetitive tasks. Automation matters for customer services because it improves speed, autonomy, and convenience. Customer service that is truly automated involves implementing software that handles simple, consistent tasks and directing tickets to the right department. It may seem like the use of bots is an impersonal experience for customers, however, chatbots can allow your team to prioritize moments where a personal human touch really matters.

5. Improve your customer service practices and processes

You may already be implementing these in your customer support. Kudos to you! If so, it doesn’t hurt to go in check that everything is optimized and functioning as expected or to ask for feedback on the process to ensure your customers are getting the assistance they need. The key ingredients to any successful service interaction are promptness, politeness, professionalism, and personalization. If customer support doesn’t check all of these boxes, it’s time to adjust the process to make sure that each interaction does in the future. 

6. Scale your team with customer support outsourcing

You may not have the resources to scale your customer support team, or you may wish for your team to be focused on highlighting other priorities. For businesses that are nearing capacity, not wishing to hire additional staff, or are in need of assistance, customer support outsourcing is an option that will yield high results right off the bat. See how Asana Rebel handled 8x growth in 2020 while continuing to deliver multi-language, multi-channel customer support with Influx. 

Mistakes to avoid when scaling customer support

Now that we’ve covered different ways you can scale your customer support team, let’s discuss a few common mistakes to avoid. From the lessons of those before us, we have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, and though you will scale different than other businesses, these are a few things to keep in mind and do your best to avoid. 

  • Scaling too fast 
  • Losing sight of the employee experience 
  • Losing a personal touch 
  • Over-automating 
  • Not sharing data with team members
  • Focusing on efficiency over customer success
  • Ignoring the voice of the customer 
  • Scaling the wrong part of the business
  • Spending too long on recruiting 

How does Influx help businesses scale their customer support?

Support looks different to each individual, and customer service is more likely to turn into a problem the larger a business scales. Big or small, customer support is extremely important for every business, and it’s never too late to invest in customer support. Influx is here to help you scale as you need and provide the support it takes for you to get there. Find out how we can help and get a quote today!

About the author

Photo of Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla Fuller

Mikayla is an avid copywriter. If she’s not out on an adventure, you can find her somewhere with a book in hand.