What Are Customer Service Workflows And How to Build The Best One?

What Are Customer Service Workflows And How to Build The Best One?

July 23, 2024

What Are Customer Service Workflows And How to Build The Best One?

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Build customer loyalty. Scale cost-efficiently.

Gone are the days when price was the only differentiating factor when customers weighed different solutions. Customer experience (CX) is the new revenue driver, and repeated positive experiences will lead a customer to make repeat purchases or advocate for your business. 

The customer experience management market is expected to grow from $19.34 billion in 2024 to $70.20 billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 17.5%, according to Fortune Business Insights. This highlights the growing importance of CX in business strategies. Besides that,

However, to ensure an excellent and seamless service process, you must build robust and productive customer service workflows to ensure your agents and CX teams are always equipped to win and retain customers. In this article, we discuss how you can proceed. 

What Are Customer Service Workflows? 

Customer service workflows refer to processes that help you achieve your customer support goals through a sequence of steps. They act as a pre-defined blueprint of steps that easily integrate into and support your customer service operations. 

The process eliminates the need to create new action steps for every customer interaction, enabling agents to be more productive and deliver faster and more effective query resolution. 

Consider the scenario of creating a standardized, high-quality onboarding experience for every customer. Now, instead of mapping out a new onboarding plan each time, you’d want to follow a consistent approach that is rooted in proven techniques, like this one:

  • Customer signs up for your product 
  • The customer receives an automated welcome email/message
  • Guided product tour with the onboarding team
  • Schedule routine check-ins
  • Celebrate customer-centric milestones 

Importance of Building Customer Service Workflows

Improves efficiency 

Automated workflows promote efficiency in customer service operations by streamlining processes, saving agents valuable time and energy otherwise spent on repetitive manual tasks.

According to Salesforce, workflow automation is a top priority for 95% of IT and engineering leaders. This is further iterated by the fact that 74% of IT leaders have saved 4 hours each week by implementing workflow automation.  

Builds accountability 

You can design the workflows to assign specific queries to specific agents automatically. This defines responsibility and ensures that every query gets an adequate resolution without requiring multiple follow-ups.     

A unified system with tighter integrations 

These workflows also streamline customer support operations by consolidating all your tools and solutions into a single unified platform. Seamless integrations across your tech stack allow agents to manage all customer interactions in one place. 

Agents can perform multiple tasks, such as making and receiving calls while accessing a complete history of the customer’s interactions with the support team—resulting in faster query resolution. 

Proactive response 

Customers always appreciate prompt and hassle-free solutions to their queries. A customer service workflow helps eliminate operational bottlenecks hindering smoother service delivery. 

Agents don’t need to spend hours trying to figure out what works best—they have ready-to-use, plug-and-play workflows that help them focus on delivering a high-quality response. 

Performance overview for agents and teams 

Dynamic reporting and analytics integrated into the workflows offer a comprehensive view of agent and team performance. This allows for assessing productivity levels, identifying areas where service quality can be enhanced, and implementing strategies for continuous improvement in customer service operations.

Types of Customer Service Workflows  

Here are some of the most commonly used customer service workflow examples that might be helpful for your business: 

Issue resolution workflows 

These are crucial for retaining customers and improving customer service operations. 

Here’s what a customer service workflow diagram for issue resolution looks like: 

  • Issue resolution workflow starts with ticket generation when the customer raises a query 
  • Sorting and delegating issues to relevant agents/teams 
  • Solving issues and/or escalating to senior teams or other technical teams/experts 
  • Deliver the solution or lay out the next steps for customers to follow
  • Schedule follow-up or communicate a timeline for follow-up for less critical issues 
  • Close the ticket on conclusion of the issue 
  • Send feedback forms to customers to evaluate the quality of support 

Chatbot workflows

Chatbots are the ideal channel for round-the-clock support as they facilitate customer self-service experiences. 

Here’s what a customer support workflow diagram for chatbot operations looks like: 

  • The customer types something or opens the chat window
  • The chatbot greets the customer and sends a menu with predetermined options/questions  
  • The customer picks an option from the menu to raise a query 
  • The chatbot accesses the knowledge base to respond to customer queries 
  • The customer makes a choice that triggers actions to resolve the issue 
  • Feedback is gathered from the customer

Customer order workflows

Customer order workflows are integral to the customer experience, particularly for e-commerce businesses. This workflow is automated from the purchase of the product to the final delivery/receipt of the product to the customer.  

This is what a  customer service workflow diagram for customer order processes would look like: 

  • The customer places an order 
  • Order is initiated within the order management system 
  • Order confirmation is sent via email/SMS 
  • The warehouse team is notified about the order 
  • The tracking number is initiated to be shared with the customer
  • Product is delivered 
  • Product feedback workflow is initiated

Product feedback workflows

It is essential to have a customer service workflow dedicated to product development and improvement. How is your product faring? Which features are in demand? Which features need an upgrade? Did the customer face any problems in using your product? 

Here’s a customer service workflow diagram illustrating how product feedback workflows are recorded: 

  • A product feedback form is sent to the customer, acknowledging their effort
  • Feedback is routed to relevant channels or segments
  • Necessary modifications are implemented into the product 
  • Final communication is sent to the customer about implementing the product feedback

How to Build a Customer Service Workflow: A Step-By-Step Guide

Here’s a step-wise strategy to create a customer service workflow for your customer-facing operations: 

Step 1: Create a simple diagram of your workflow 

Unlike the linear diagrams given above for common customer support workflow diagrams, most workflows are much more complex. Each step has multiple ‘if this, then that’ scenarios that need to be accounted for, and it involves the following steps: 

Review the current processes 

Get started by taking stock of your current workflows. Define each step and the conditions that should be met for the process to be complete. Spotting loopholes in your workflows early on helps retain customers and generate higher CSAT scores. 

Alternatively, poorly designed customer service processes are a recipe for disaster. They can result in long wait times, inadequate resolution, and even agent burnout—each of which points to customer churn.  

What are the decision points? 

Decision points refer to the locations within a workflow where a process branches out. We have already mapped out a few customer support workflows relevant to different scenarios. However, in practice, these workflows are more nuanced and dynamic, which is where decision points come in. 

Decision points are where the workflow branches out into if/then scenarios. Here, a ‘then’ action is automatically initiated depending on the 'if' condition.    

What are your constraints? 

Constraints within the customer service workflow processes refer to regulatory requirements and financial compliance based on service level agreements and time frames. 

Step 2: Determine who interacts with your workflow 

Multiple stakeholders are involved in completing every workflow. You must clearly define who will interact with queries at each step of the workflow. This typically involves customer-facing teams and front and back-office departments supporting customer service functions. 

When building your workflows, consider the following aspects: 

Clearly define stakeholders and their roles 

To go deeper, identify how each interacts with the customers. Whether the customer experience teams carry out onboarding calls or the tech team ensures quick turnaround on bugs and other tech issues, each individual is a vital workflow component. 

Without clearly identifying each contributor's role, your customer support machinery will become a directionless web of actions. 

The departments where process stakeholders work 

Cross-functional collaboration across departments is essential for smoother movement within a customer service workflow. Let other departments involved in the workflow know how to prioritize and enable the resolution of customer service requests. 

Step 3: Identify your data requirements 

Knowing what data will be required to drive these workflows is an equally important step. Within automated systems, the support team must know where all the essential data is stored and how it will be synchronized between different stakeholders and departments.

How will data be connected? 

Define how the data handoff between various stakeholders and departments will take place. Consider the scenario where an existing customer wants to add more features to their package. The process must ensure that all the necessary data reaches the product or other relevant departments.  

What does your tech stack look like? 

The software you choose must be compatible with the tech stack other teams use to ensure an automated and error-free flow of information between different systems and departments.      

Step 4: Use workflow automation tools 

Integrate your workflows using automation tools. These tools enable users to create and customize workflows without switching between tabs and/or windows. 

Plivo CX's drag-and-drop workflow builder allows you to effortlessly create tailored customer journeys across all communication channels in just a few clicks. With enterprise-grade security and integrations like Shopify and Salesforce, the platform streamlines communication and enhances customer experience.

Step 5: Test and refine 

Finally, the efficacy of every workflow is tested using real scenarios. At this stage, you must be able to answer the following questions: Has the customer support workflow truly advanced you toward your customer support objectives and/or improved your support team’s efficiency? 

Optimize customer service workflows by A/B testing multiple variants. Compare performance under identical scenarios and conditions to identify the most effective version, ensuring continuous improvement and the best possible customer experience.

Best Practices for Creating Customer Service Workflows 

Let’s take a look at some of the best practices you can implement to drive higher ROI with your customer service workflows:

Opt for the right tech stack 

Don’t rely on your CRM or voice software for customer support communications. Deploy an integrated customer support platform to your customer support workflow processes. Consolidating all your important tools into a single interface will simplify the creation of new workflows. 

Embrace continuous improvement in customer service processes

Given the ever-growing expectations of customers today, your customer support management should be able to stand the test of time. Conduct regular process audits and upgrade your customer service workflows to meet the needs of modern customers. 

Follow a customer-centric approach 

When building your customer support workflows, keep your customers front and center. Maintain a consistent, high-quality experience for them from the start and throughout their journey with your brand. 

Enhance Customer Service With Plivo CX’s Drag-And-Drop Workflows

The right solutions, such as building a customer service workflow, can be your gateway to establish more reliable customer service processes and boost customer satisfaction. 

Plivo CX's drag-and-drop workflow builder simplifies the creation of powerful automation workflows for customer journeys. Its intuitive interface allows users to connect components, configure them within the workflow, and even trigger workflows remotely using APIs. 

Also, features like easy handoffs to human agents and skill-based routing enhance efficiency. Plivo CX prioritizes enterprise-grade security and integrates with various platforms like Shopify, Zoho, and Salesforce. 

Whether you need solutions for e-commerce, automated flows, or proactive customer service, Plivo CX’s comprehensive resources and features empower businesses to streamline communication and improve the customer experience.

Book a demo now to learn more! 

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