Delighting customers with exceptional support

Great support teams rely on the following –

  • Well defined roles and teams
  • Streamlined processes for driving productivity across the case life cycle
  • Automation for efficiency of repetitive tasks
  • Established internal and external targets
  • Deep visibility into support team activities

1. Organizing your support team
Define Roles and Profiles of your support team members

Example: Support Team Role Hierarchy for a audio/headset supplier

Organize your support teams based on your case handling process:

  • By Function (Refunds, General Query, Technical Support, ..)
  • Conventional Level 1, Level 2, Level 3
  • By Product
  • By Customer (VIP, High Value, Standard, ..)
  • By Channel used to create the case (chat, phone, email, social media, customer portal, ..)

Example: By Function

2. Setup your support processes

Automate case creation
  • Emails: Create cases from emails
  • Portal: Set up your portal so customers can log issues
  • Twitter
  • Phone: One click create
  • Chat: One click create
  • Adhoc Creation
Establish ways to assign cases
  • Automated assignment:
    Example: Case Title/Summary contains “warranty”, assign to the Warranty Handling Team

Configure workflows to automate case assignment

  • Based on Case activity (how many and who are viewing / editing the case)
    Example: it would not make much sense for an agent to tackle a case that is already being viewed and/or edited by others (and while cases that have no activity are still there)
  • Who is currently available (to handle out of shift and out of office agents)
  • Agents with the least load and agents currently accepting cases
  • Round robin
  • Reassign cases when agents:
    • are out of office
    • are not available (not logged in)
    • Depart.or become inactive
Accepting a case

In Vtiger, a case has to be accepted by an agent before pertinent communication with the contact (who the case is associated with) can happen.

What cases should I work on?

Configure List Views to help you prioritize cases.

Cases can be prioritized in many ways. Criteria could include :

  1. Escalated cases (cases that have violated SLAs)
  2. Cases Reopened
  3. Cases due in 1 Hour
  4. Based on organization / requestor of the case (VIP customer, High Value customer, ..)
  5. Based on product
  6. Based on channel
  7. Cases needing attention (customer has responded)
  8. Cases waiting to be accepted/assigned
  9. Priority

(In addition, addition filters can be applied on top of these – for example: #1: 2nd filter could be priority)

Working with Cases
  • Supervisors can visualize all the interactions pertaining to a case and get a quick snapshot of what all has happened
  • Agents can rely on summary view to work on cases – including communicating with the contact associated with the case

Visualize important data about the case in Header and Key fields

Typical Vtiger Case Flow

Staying on top of important things with smart alerts and reminders

Agents and supervisors can rely on smart reminders and alerts (via email or in the dashboard) to stay on top of important events.

Examples:

  • When a case is assigned is assigned to you
  • When a case is inactive for a certain number of hours
  • When a case is updated
  • When your name is mentioned
  • Follow a case in your team that is also relevant to you (although you may not be the owner of the case, you may be helping indirectly)

Configure Notification Center

Customizing Vtiger for your support team needs:

Custom fields can be added to cases to fit your needs.

Example: You can add a field called “case type” that captures the specific activity the case is associated with.

This can be contextual.
If a case is assigned to “Product Support” and case types handled by this team could be

  • Warranty
  • Tech support
  • Accessories
  • General Query

So, when a case related to warranty is assigned to the product support team, the case type can then be set to Warranty with a workflow.

Warranty handlers can then short-list cases that are warranty related. The same logic can be applied to Finance and Accounting, and Logistics related cases.

Custom field can be an integer, string, etc.

Add Custom Field
New values to default fields can be added.

Example:
If a case cannot be resolved, and it needs to be captured in the state, a new state called “Not Resolvable” can be added.

Add new values to default field

Default fields can be renamed
Example:
In a payroll outsourcing company, “Wait for customer” can be renamed to “Pending Customer Action” etc.

Rename default fields

Customizing Layouts
Visualize and highlight fields (including custom fields you have added) that matter most by leveraging header fields and key fields and choose to hide other fields that are not important.

Customizing Lists
List views serve a very important purpose for support agents allowing them to see cases that need most attention.

3. Achieve efficiency through automation

Some examples of automation

  • Closing inactive cases that are Waiting/Resolved for more than 72 hours
  • Dynamically assign SLAs based on case type, customer, channel, ..
  • Case assignment to groups and agents
  • Notify contact on case creation
  • Alert agent and supervisor on a case reopen
  • Increase priority of a case on reopen
  • Alert supervisor and/or group when a high priority case from a VIP customer remains unassigned or yet to be accepted for 2 hours
    SLA violations and escalations are covered under SLA

Configure workflows

4. Manage internal and customer expectations (SLAs)

  • SLAs (Service Level Agreements) allow you to set targets for response and resolution times => these could be agreed upon with a customer or could be for internal use
  • SLAs make support teams target driven and accountable
  • With foresight support agents can be alerted of impending SLA violations and help in effective prioritization
  • When SLAs are violated, it can be escalated to concerned stakeholders to ensure timely actions are taken
Business Hours

SLA’s can be associated with your business hours.
There is a timer associated with each case. Essentially this is a clock that runs to measure how long it takes to resolve a case. When there are established business hours, it is logical and fair to run this timer only during business hours especially when there are SLA targets configured.

In the context of SLAs, business hours is an important dimension to ensure agents are not penalized for cases opened on Friday night with a resolution time of 12 hours – especially if an agent’s work hours is M-F, 9-5;

Business Hours in an SLA controls when the time ticks for a case. As a business, you can decide work hours to be M-F, 9-5 PST. So, outside of these hours, the timer will not run.

Alternatively, you can choose to use calendar hours and the timer starts running on case creation until resolution.

Configure Business Hours
Configure SLAs

Waiting States

When work on a case cannot continue, it is placed in Wait. When awaiting input from a customer or a 3rd, party, the timer will stop so that the agents are not penalized for things that are out of their control.

5. Understand what is happening and why it is happening with Insights

When your support team performance is not aligned with your organizational and/or customer expectations, it is valuable to know the underlying factors influencing this. It is also important to know why some teams and agents perform well consistently.

With support insights, support supervisors can visualize the overall health of support teams.

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