writes copy 20 Jul 2021

3 critical lessons I learned while scaling RingCentrals customer support team

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There are many things I wish I knew when starting out with my small customer support team at RingCentral, but in the end, we figured it out. I'm going to share some critical lessons I learned along the way that I wish I had known at the outset, so that when it comes to scaling your own support team, you'll have an idea of what to expect.

When I first started with RingCentral, we were working with a small-scale support team undergoing rapid growth. Our main goal was to maintain an excellent level of customer service with smart operational decisions.

You have some choices when it comes to scaling up customer support:

  • Increase your employee headcount to cover the increase in customers. This is an expensive option, and onboarding employees too quickly can result in lower-quality training that results in lower-quality customer service.
  • Operate with a reduced staff and rely on decreased customer interaction. This increases wait times and can prove catastrophic to customer satisfaction.

Hiring the right employees is critical. You want to find people with the right foundational skill sets and not necessarily the technical know-how to execute the job.

But the real strategy to embrace, and the one we instituted at RingCentral, was investing in the employees we were onboarding and ensuring all our existing processes were running efficiently.

While automating processes and developing new strategies to address customer support is essential, building an efficient and empowered support team is the real key to scaling your customer support operation.

Hiring the right employees is critical. You want to find people with the right foundational skill sets and not necessarily the technical know-how to execute the job.

A foundational skill set combined with robust training enables employees to thrive with whatever is thrown at them, like adapting to remote support in the past year. An enabled employee can resolve support issues faster, making your whole operation more efficient. That's a real win-win.

As you scale and onboard employees, make sure they know their importance '” emphasize the stakes in their role related to the business and value that responsibility. We want our employees to feel engaged, so we offer them opportunities to pursue passion projects tied to business initiatives and the opportunity to shadow across different organizations.

As you adapt to growth by scaling your support team, you'll develop operational elements and firm work streams that increase efficiency, enabling you to further grow without the need to hire additional support.

It's been a team effort to get to where we are now, so keep that in mind as you plan your growth scaling. Your support team is your most important asset.

Lesson 1: Go beyond simplistic support

While it's convenient to buy into the accepted truth that customer support consists of only two departments '” inbound and outbound, at RingCentral, I encouraged diversity within our support teams.

With different skill sets come support agents who bring something unique to the table. While developing our support frontline, I soon learned that talents could be utilized in a query-specific function. By placing the support associate in the most suitable role, we increased job satisfaction for employees while remaining highly focused on the customer experience.

Here's an overview of the teams we developed:

Professional services team

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