The customer service department has a fluctuating workload and a lot of fires to put out throughout the week. Without a clear meeting routine, you’ll typically feel like a firefighter all the time and it’s only getting worse as you grow. Not only is this a frustrating environment to work in, but it also won’t leave you time for deep work that moves the business forward. 
Even with the craziness of customer service, it’s possible to create a predictable workflow and eliminate the feeling of fire fighting each day. You can have a clear time that everything gets addressed throughout the day and throughout the week, which makes for a much better work environment and the ability to do overall better quality work.

To do this, you need to have a solid meeting and execution routine for the customer service department. 

At HelpFlow, we run 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for over 100 stores. With more than 100 agents and continuously improving how we operate for 6+ years, we’ve figured out the best way to run a growing customer service department.
In this post, we’ll walk through the specific aspects of meeting routines that make a customer service department run like clockwork so you can do the same. We’ve adapted this process from the Traction EOS framework used by 1000s of fast-growing businesses.

Fast-Paced Daily Huddles

Fires happen because people think that something needs immediate attention, but usually, it doesn’t. If there’s already a set time each day or specific problems can be quickly discussed and worked through, then they don’t need to be brought up sporadically throughout the day as a fire.

The agenda is simple:

  • What were your priorities yesterday, and were they done or not done? This creates a checkpoint as you work through the week.
  • What are your priorities today?
  • Are there any stucks you need support on, and what help is needed? If he’s just taken one minute or less, you can talk through them quickly now. Otherwise, this is an opportunity to get on the priority list of somebody else to resolve it that day.
By having a lightning-fast and efficient daily huddle for about eight or 10 minutes each day, you can quickly address and resolve the issues of the prior or current day while also having a great culture-building connection opportunity with your team.

Weekly Working Meeting

As your company grows, it can be hard to collaborate ad hoc with different team members throughout the week. Everyone’s busy, and as I mentioned before, an environment of sporadically bringing up issues to work on makes work feel like fire fighting.

By having a set time for one hour or possibly 90 minutes each week where your team can work together in a structured way, you’ll get a lot more done as a team while making it seem easy.

Here’s how it’s structured:

  • Prior to the meeting, everyone prepares issues that they want to discuss to provide the context the team will need and a desired outcome for the discussion. That eliminates the time typically spent in a meeting getting clear on what someone needs to discuss.
  • During the meeting, you spend two or three minutes sharing good news from each team member as a way to build connection, progress on the key metrics of the department for the week prior, and any general headlines were FYI as the rest of the team may need to know about.
  • After the above which typically takes about 15 minutes, the rest of the meeting time is spent working through the issues to resolve in priority order. The key here is to narrow the issues to get to a specific resolution during the meeting and have clear actions to be done by the next meeting.
By having this weekly meeting be a part of the way your company operates for an extended period of time, you will see an insane amount of things getting done, and collaboration is at an all-time high.

Quarterly Planning

In addition to the daily huddle and weekly working meeting, it’s important for you to get clear on how things are going and what needs to be done to improve over time. This can be accomplished through an in-depth quarterly review and planning session.

This could be a post on its own, but here are the basics:

  • Review what’s working and what’s not working from the prior quarter, and distill it down to lessons learned.
  • Put yourself into the future by 90 days and clearly describe what the ideal outcome would look like. What would your metrics look like, what would you have accomplished, what team members or processes would be in place?
  • Finally, determine what specifically needs to be done to get to that point and break it into individual goals for specific team members to work on. The outcome is everyone owns at least one “rock” to help get there.

What’s Next

By layering in a daily huddle and a weekly working meeting into your customer service department workflow, you will illuminate the stress that happens from having to fight fires every single day and streamline how you collaborate as a team. When you do this long enough, your team will be able to accomplish more with the resources they have day to day and also be able to improve the department overtime significantly.

If you want help getting your customer service department to run this effectively, feel free to reach out to us. At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 Live chat and customer service teams to over 100 e-commerce stores and have a lot of experience building and optimizing customer service processes. Even if we don’t end up working together, you will get a ton of value by going through a customer service audit with our team since we have worked with so many stores.

Visit HelpFlow.com today.

Jon Tucker
CEO, HelpFlow.com
Jon Tucker is CEO of HelpFlow, a provider of 24/7 live chat and customer service teams for 100+ eCommerce stores. Launched in 2015, their team of agents has produced nearly $100M in chat revenue for a wide range of stores using a conversion-focused approach to live chat.

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