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Establishing a customer service department

Author jd_60610
#1 | Posted: 1 Nov 2005 08:27 
Hello all!

I have been tasked with establishing a customer/client service department for my company. We provide U.S. immigration legal assistance via the Internet. I haven't been able to find many resources relating to customer service in the legal field. I'd be grateful for any tips, suggestions and/or resources you could provide on metrics, creating buy-in throughout the organization, flow charts for problem resolution, client communication, etc.

Thanks in advance! Have a great day.

Author rashu
#2 | Posted: 26 Nov 2005 01:20 
Hello all
I am looking for information on how to make a new service center for my company. Looking for information but still have not found anything appropriate.

Waiting for response.


Author sf2k
#3 | Posted: 28 Nov 2005 09:41 
Some tips. Mainly comments on client communications:

If you're online based, consider online chat services like phpopenchat, crafty syntax (both open source) or others .

Generally chat programs on commercial sites increase website support contact by about 1/3. Helps really pinpoint where website content should go and include. (suprisingly less and less detail per page) This is especially the case on deep websites with -1- luke-warm search capabilities or -2- never-updated-FAQ sections. Without these last two the chat system would keep humming and become impetus as well as metrics points in these two website improvements.

Sometimes a metric can be as simple as the total number of clients who have stayed with you over two months divided by the total number of clients who have registered in two months. By making your metrics department based and not specific employee based, the idea machine to solve problems becomes more team orientated and not survival motivated.

Always think of the Present with customer service. Not so much what's coming later or what you did in the past, but right now, what can you do. Yes. No. Thank you. I can escalate that. The more clear this message the more real business you are going to do with the clients you want. It's the Internet, everyone has already been to two other sites than yours, and the less wasted time between you means that the real clients appreciate your focused dedication.

If I say to you dell.com... what is the word that comes to mind? Probably computers. No matter what dell does with hdtv sales, people think computers. Try also focusing your brand, but once done, notice how hard it is to change.
Identify your primary and secondary businesses. Find others whose primary business is your secondary business, likely a partnership will emerge. Stick to your core business, update as necessary.

Email correspondance as a fixture INSIDE management THROUGH the customer service center. No point in a manager mass-emailing the client base only for every client to ask individually to an unprepared call center/chat center regarding missing information or how an email has nothing to do with them. Send the idea through to customer service, let them handle the response/fallout from it as they can. Review with management on a monthly basis how CS Dept can help them reduce emails to the company, not templates. Do this at the beginning and it will become habit for everyone soon enough. This has other good secondary communication benefits like knowing who is in customer service and what liabilities need to be considered.

It is helpful to put contact into email ticketing systems. RT Tracker by Best Practical is also great. Very easy to link tickets, escalate them to other departments, easily read the client history etc. Your staff can better prioritize their time.

Whatever fraud considerations you make about a client try to do them at the point of registration. This criteria may not make much sense in a legal website, but everyone has filtering criteria of some kind. The effort here means less time later on with higher management whose time costs more. Often the perspective of the csr is to get them to signup, instead of also listening for clues about the perspective client themselves. May or may not apply to you, but well worth it otherwise.

good luck
former csr supv.

Author elapointe
#4 | Posted: 8 Dec 2005 12:07 

I have been given the task of creating a customer service department from scratch. I am looking for some common structures (tiers) with mapped out development plans. This is for a small company. Customer Service department will start w/ 8 - 10 folks and growing quick.

Thanks for your help

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