How to Build a Customer Support Workflow

Good customer support is essential, whether pre-sale, assisting potential clients with issues during or before a purchase, or after, ensuring they have a positive experience with your product or service. 

Attracting new customers takes time, money, and energy. All of which can be in limited supply when you’re a small business owner! It also costs more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones, so solid after-purchase support is even more vital.

In this video, ProcessDriven CEO Layla Pomper talks about creating a winning support workflow, provides options for different business styles, and shares how member support is handled right here in her company. 

Not a video person? Short on time? Check out the details below, complete with timestamps to quickly find the information you need. 

The Customer Support Process Your Way

Step 1: Define your resolution process (timestamp 01:10).

Define what you want or need to happen when customer support issues arise. You’ll see Layla’s flowchart at the timestamp above. It begins with the customer’s problem and ends with a closed support ticket. Your flow will likely be similar. In this stage, the goal is to define each step needed to connect our start and stop points.

Pro tip: Be sure to include an option for self-service support in your workflow. Consider solutions that can be implemented without human intervention so your customers can resolve their problems immediately. Self-service support options include FAQs, knowledge base libraries, video content, AI-driven chat, and community forums. 

Step 2: Define your metrics (timestamp 04:00). 

Metrics are the measurement of your workflow’s success. Customer satisfaction is a good starting point, but it’s not necessarily the only metric to consider. If you have a high-volume business, you may prefer to track speed or tickets per customer initially. As your business evolves, you’ll likely want to track several aspects of your support process, but for now, choose the one that’s of the highest priority. 

Step 3: Define your channels (timestamp 05:30).

How does your customer initiate a support request? Identify which channels are used to start the support process. The most common options include email requests, discussion (in-person, chat, or phone), and forms (support tickets). 

Each channel has its benefits. Email is quick and easy, discussion offers a high degree of personalization, and forms keep things standardized, potentially increasing your automation options. If you’re just starting a new customer support process, we encourage you to choose just one for now and refine it before adding new options or adopting a hybrid model.

Step 4: Pick a program (timestamp 09:00).

Now that you’ve defined your process, metrics, and channels, it’s time to choose a support program. There are many software programs and apps to choose from. You can determine which is right for you based on your needs, preferred channels, and, of course, budget. There’s no right answer, so explore all the options and select what feels right for your work style and business type. 

Most customer support programs fall into five categories (timestamp 10:30): 

  • Communication Platforms: Software that facilitates communication – think Gmail, Outlook, or Slack. Or you can look at multi-channel communications programs like Missive (affiliate link).
  • Ticketing: Help desk software or platforms explicitly built for support tickets – ZenDesk, Intercom, and HelpScout are well-known players in this space.
  • Spreadsheets/Databases: Most of us are familiar with spreadsheets and their limitations, but they are still viable for tracking and responding to support requests – Excel and Google Sheets are examples. 
  • Work Management Solutions: This software is a multipurpose option that combines databases and task lists. Due to its flexibility and many integrations, you can create a custom ticketing solution that’s highly specific to your business – SmartSuite and ClickUp (affiliate links) fall in this bucket.
  • Analog: If you want to keep it old school, you can choose an analog option. That is, physically writing something down, like on a whiteboard, notebook, or sticky note. This works best for single-person operations or teams that share a physical space, like a break room, where everyone can see messages or what’s on the board. 

How Does ProcessDriven Handle Customer Support?

Now that you have several options to consider, you may wonder how we handle support requests here at ProcessDriven. We provide two ways for existing and potential members to reach out for help; email and support tickets (timestamp 16:30).

Our internal and external support ticket process is managed in ClickUp, so not only are requests centralized and easily accessed by our help team, but new tickets can move through the workflow using features like Status change, Assignees, and Due Dates. This also allows us to search support history to see if we’ve previously addressed similar problems or helped a member in the past.

When we receive a request via email, it is administered through Missive and channeled into a collaborative inbox that our support team can access.

In addition to all the free content you can find on our website and YouTube channel without logging in, we also offer members access to our support library and FAQs for another quick self-help option.

How Do We Measure Support Success?

Remember the metrics we went over earlier? At ProcessDriven, we measure several of them, including speed, tickets per member, and, of course, quality (member happiness with our resolutions).

Hopefully, you now have an idea of the different options available for customer support, what a strong support process looks like and how to measure it, and some tips for implementing or refining this process to work for your unique needs. 

You can also apply the process methodology outlined in the video to help systemize other areas of your business, or if you’d like to work with us, become a ProcessDriven member for access to our collaborative community and library of resources. 

If you have questions on how to create a customer support workflow, let us know in the video comments. 

Until next time, enjoy the process! 

Ready to feel fully in control of your business so you can hire, scale, or sell your business with ease? Check out ProcessDriven Foundations™️.

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