“The goal is to improve time management skills by encouraging agents to complete time-consuming tasks quickly, not to work them to death.”
Customer support teams are always busy. Managers have teams and major issues to deal with and agents have tons of customers to work with who don’t understand the resolution of their issue isn’t always a life or death scenario. When agents have to work with multiple customers every single day, they can’t afford to have any hold ups.
Time is always of the essence. If agents can stay on top of their tickets, they don’t have to worry about rushing through issues and leaving open the possibility of them remaining unresolved, they can put themselves in a good position to offer a positive customer experience every single time.
Here, we’re going to break down the five best time management hacks for customer support teams.
Helpdesk Automation Software
The answer to your time management troubles is within the name of this software: automations. Helpdesk automation software providers are interested in making the lives of the customer support team much easier by offering them powerful tools that take care of mundane, time-consuming tasks that keep agents away from more important tasks.
Some of the more general automations that comes with helpdesk software are focused on ticket management. Tickets, if you don’t know, are the issues that customers inquire about. Some tasks agents can automate are sorting tickets, follow-ups, trigger-based responses, ticket assignment, and report generation.
Regardless of the size of your business, helpdesk software can play a significant role in improving time management and productivity.
Gamification is a useful technique businesses can implement to increase productivity. It is not only essential to sales teams, but can actually be quite effective for customer support teams as well. There are many ways your business can incorporate gamification into their strategies too.
For example, a business manager can offer an incentive for any agent who gets the most tickets resolved at the end of the month. That incentive could be a day off or a free lunch.
Another example is by simply creating a leaderboard so everyone can see how everyone else is doing. Sometimes a little friendly competition can go a long way when it comes to doing simple tasks like being on the phone all day. Again, you should offer an incentive at the end of a predetermined time period to ensure agents aren’t working harder for no reason.
The end-goal should also be legitimate and fair. If you’re offering an incentive for the completion of a task that’s completely out of an agent’s hands, they’re going to know that the odds are stacked against them. The goal is to improve time management skills by encouraging agents to complete time-consuming tasks quickly, not to work them to death.
Delegate Work Evenly
When it comes to time management, the goal is to prevent situations that are going to keep employees from working as efficiently as possible. One all-too-common occurrence is giving too much work to some employees while others are sitting around with not much to do.
If you’re a support manager and you’re not delegating work evenly between customer support agents, one person is going to be flooded with work while other, just-as-capable agents are sitting around doing nothing. That one person with tons of work might be the only reliable person in the office, but even the best get overwhelmed. If you’re not taking advantage of your entire team, the inability to increase productivity lies in your hands.
Task Management Software
Take advantage of task management software like Asana to make sure every support agent can see who’s working on what and when certain tasks are due. Without it, it’s hard to tell who’s overwhelmed with work, who doesn’t have enough to do, and who’s falling behind. If people are falling behind, that means they have extra work to catch up on before they even get to the day’s tasks.
If that happens often enough, it leads to a bottleneck where everyone is focused on playing catch up instead of being in a position to take on more work. Software like Asana ensures everyone is on the same page with each other, which ultimately leads to better time management.
Asana can even be broken down into teams to ensure there are no overlaps. That way, two people aren’t working on the same issue simultaneously.
Internal Communication Software
Slack is probably one of the most popular internal communication software providers for businesses for good reason. If you’re a part of the generation that grew up with AIM, you know how much easier it is to send a quick message to someone across the office than getting up, walking over, finding them if they’re not at their desk, and then having the discussion.
Slack also offers an app for people who want to communicate on their phones. Also making it possible to stay connected with other agents in and out of the office. When integrated with Asana, agents can create tasks in Slack that automatically get uploaded to Asana.
This also helps eliminate back and forth between agents and managers, which can keep agents from doing their more important tasks.
The Final Word
The key to time management is making sure tasks that can negatively affect productivity are taken care of quickly. Bottlenecks during busy points of the day, week, month, and year can set businesses back significantly. If businesses aren’t careful making sure support agents are working steadily, and they’re not overwhelmed, the entire business process can come to a halt.
Eliminating bottlenecks by implementing task management, helpdesk automation, and internal communication software and delegating work evenly among agents are all easy ways for customer support teams to stay on top of time management.
Businesses that can’t keep up with workloads often have underlying issues that can’t be fixed by working harder. In this age, it’s time to start emphasizing working smarter, not harder.
It is about build instant trust with your customers so that they can continue to work with your brand. These time management hacks get right to the source of any potential issues for customer support teams before they manifest into bigger issues that slow ticket resolution rates.