How to improve customer service efficiency

Increase customer support and improve customer satisfaction

How to improve customer service efficiency

14th October 2020

By Qariem Radix

Do your clients complain they are being left on hold? Do they struggle to find the info they need on your website? Do they choose to speak to a live advisor rather than a digital assistant?

If you answered “yes” – or perhaps worse, “don’t know” – to those questions, you’re in danger of losing your customers or service users due to poor customer support. Customer service efficiency is key to customer support, excellent customer service, business success and growth. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the key points to measuring efficiency, provide tips on how to improve customer service in the workplace, and ask whether customer service outsourcing might make sense for your organisation. 

Customer service efficiency and customer support in the workplace

We’ve all got an idea of what optimised customer service looks like – but your customers’ view might differ from yours. 

Your customers want their interactions with your organisation to be reliable, respectful, swift, and smooth. They want a choice of channels. 

Your organisation wants to build brand loyalty and enhance your reputation – but in a cost-effective manner. So while you share your customers’ concerns, you also want to keep costs low and ROI high. 

How to improve your customer service efficiency

Tip 1: lowering the average handling time (AHT)

An important key figure in customer service is the average handling time, the average processing time for an inquiry. In traditional customer service, this value mainly related to telephone calls. As you surely know from your own experience, a phone call with customer service can take a long time. Often, however, it is not due to the complexity of the request, but rather to inefficient communication between both parties. This drives up the Average Handling Time (AHT) and means that service employees can only process a relatively small number of inquiries. How can you deal with it? In response, companies should use additional channels to process customer inquiries.

Tip 2: Minimize keystrokes

Especially when communicating with customers in writing, every typed character literally counts. Tools like text expanders can be of great help here. Frequently used sentences and expressions are saved, recognized and filled in automatically. In this way, customer inquiries can be processed even more efficiently, and the AHT continues to decline. These measures may only make a difference of a few seconds per processed ticket, but cumulatively they can achieve a clear increase in productivity in customer service.

Tip 3: Solve common problems with A.I

Almost every customer service has to struggle with similar industry and company-specific problems. This leads to an increased frequency of similar or identical requests. Since the solution of these customer problems almost always follows a certain pattern, there is potential for optimization here. A possible and widespread solution is the development and introduction of a predefined knowledge for a specific, recurring problems and questions.

Of course, some customer service channels are more cost-effective than others. 

Once you’ve invested in the tech for an online digital assistant, for example, it pays for itself. So it makes sense to direct your customers to digital channels first, and refer them to live advisors only for trickier or more personal issues where the human touch is paramount.

Take the example of If Insurance. It has decided to prioritise live web chat over other channels. Pop-ups on certain web pages let visitors know they can start a chat immediately. 

If all advisors are busy, customers are invited to fill in a callback form which integrates directly into the company’s phone system. Specially designed tech is used to ensure the form is correctly filled in, thus saving time later on.

How would you prioritise customer service channels for your organisation?

Measuring customer service efficiency

There are several widely used models to measure the customer service experience your organisation offers. The challenge is to decide which metrics are important for your business objectives. 

Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT) are key. They’re usually obtained through feedback surveys, asking customers to rate the service they received. Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are compiled by asking customers whether they’d recommend your service to friends, and are useful for measuring customer experience. 

Comparing conversion rates with abandonment rates – that is, whether a customer succeeds or fails in the task they set out to do – will also give you valuable insights into the effectiveness of your systems. Take a look at the average resolution time for each customer contact too. 

Monitor your social media, and use the relevant analytics for each channel. 

For more ideas, check out these top tips on metrics from a Forbes panel of young entrepreneurs. And remember: measure across all your touchpoints, including phone, live chat, email, and website.


Excellent customer service & customer support

Your organisation can’t do everything. It may well be that your expertise is in healthcare or housing, and customer service skills are not your staff’s forte. Nor are you able to invest in the tech that will facilitate a really great customer experience. 

By outsourcing your customer service to Connect Assist, you can be assured that you’re providing your clients with a seamless omnichannel contact centre experience and support team. Whether they choose to self-serve on your website, chat to an online digital assistant, interact via social media, or request phone support from our advisors, their customer experience will be second to none. 

Contact us today to discuss how we can help your organisation help your clients.


If you need our help in developing more effective, meaningful connections with customers, get in touch today.