Your customer service representatives are some of the most important people in your organization. They’re usually the front line when it comes to dealing with your audience, so it’s critical to keep them engaged and informed about any developments within the business. After all, they’ll play an integral role in shaping the overall customer experience.
One example of a major development is the release of a new app. This type of change can have reverberating impacts on both the business and its customers. Your customer service team will need to be fully prepared. You’ll want to brief them on how to deal with obstacles, how to address customer concerns, and generally educate them on the finer points of the app itself so they’re able to act as both an advocate and a guide to your customer base.
So how do you prepare your customer service team for a new app release? Whether you’re developing an app or updating an existing one, there are time-tested procedures you can follow to maximize your customer service team’s success. Let’s take a closer look at some best practices that will leave them better prepared and, in turn, help them do a better job of keeping your customers satisfied.
Give them a timeline with milestones
A key element of managing a major organizational change is transparency. Before the transition to the new app begins, make sure you give your customer service team a clear timeline of the release. This should include any major deadlines that either you or they will need to hit as well as milestones such as launch dates.
This establishes a clear set of expectations for them. If there’s a training process included as part of the process, you can include that here as well. By sketching out a timeline with major deadlines as a part of it, you’re holding the team accountable. Letting them know upfront how long the transition will take is the only way you can enforce that accountability.
Roll out a training program
You can’t expect your customer service team to help a customer reliably navigate their in-app experience if they don’t understand the app itself. Set aside time for the team to become familiar with the app and how it works. Prompt them to ask questions about the app and their experience trying to use it.
By training your team on the app and its features, you’re putting them inside the mind of your customer. With this experience in mind, they’ll have more of an opportunity to relate to those customers and what they’re going through.
Collect any anticipated frequently asked questions
Your customer service representatives are no doubt going to be dealing with a variety of questions about the app. That’s why you’ll want to anticipate what questions may arise in advance of the release. Once you anticipate the questions, you can plan for the answers. From there, you can give your customer service team pre-written scripts to respond to these common concerns.
The question then becomes, “How do you anticipate the questions that may be asked?” This is where having test groups and case studies in advance of the release could give you a huge advantage. This type of pre-release research allows your organization to get ahead of any potential issues. You can tackle them straight away and empower your customer service team with the knowledge and language to best address customer concerns.
Create a Q&A guide
As an extension of giving your customer service team the answers to frequently asked questions, why not take some of the most common questions and answers and document them in a convenient Q&A guide? This can serve one of two purposes:
- The customer service team can use it to guide their responses to customer concerns.
- You can post it to your website, so customers can access it directly and use it to self-troubleshoot any problems they have. This saves the customer service team a lot of time as it will filter many customer questions. Some may bypass the Q&A guide and still seek help from customer service, at which time your team can still reference the Q&A guide to assist.
Prepare for an increase in shifts/overtime
An app is a valuable tool for your company because it greatly increases the customer experience. One of the drawbacks of releasing an app is that there will be a ramp-up period where users need to familiarize themselves with the new features. During this phase, your customer service team is going to prove invaluable. A well-trained, knowledgeable team is the difference between your customer feeling delighted and your customer left wanting for a better experience.
That said, an increase in app usage will lead to your organization having a higher demand for the customer service team’s hours. This may lead to an increase in shifts and overtime. Make sure you alert the team to these potential scheduling changes. Confirm that they’ll be available to provide this additional time and make sure there are no scheduling conflicts. Also, make sure to carefully examine your internal budget to avoid burning too many hours that you haven’t accounted for.
The bottom line on preparing your customer service team for a new or updated app
There are three themes to keep in mind as you prepare your customer service team for the change of a new app:
- Transparency. Don’t let your team get caught by surprise. Let them know what’s coming so that when it does happen, they’ll be ready to face the new challenge head-on.
- Communication. Give them the information and data they’ll need to perform their roles.
- Proactivity. Choose to be proactive rather than reactive. By anticipating issues upfront, you’ll make the transition as smooth as possible both for your customer service team and, eventually, your customers.
Navigating an app release can be difficult even for the savviest of organizations. That’s why you should partner with a trusted service provider who understands the process and how to execute that process flawlessly. Vermillion Sky has a team of strategists, designers, developers, and entrepreneurs well-versed in creating dynamic apps that users love and teams can easily operate. For more on how we can help, schedule a free strategy call today!