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Starting a new Customer Service Unit

Author Christene
#1 | Posted: 11 Oct 2007 05:18 
Hi everyone,

I was browsing on the net and saw this website, and I was excited to find my solution in assisting me in furthering my career in Customer Services. My organization is thinking of setting up a new Customer Service Unit and I am thinking of going for the job in organizing this unit. The problem is I have worked in a customer service environment but I do not have a clue on start up procedures etc.
Can anyone assist in guiding me to articles, personal expereince etc. in making this a reality?

Author lkriek
#2 | Posted: 15 Oct 2007 22:41 
I am in the same situation!

Author goghuma
#3 | Posted: 16 Oct 2007 09:22 
so am I! i need formats, culture change plans, etc

Author Franknsr
#4 | Posted: 18 Oct 2007 08:55 
Wow! What a question...where to start....
You will build the department based on what you want to accomplish, so you have to ask yourself; what's the mission?
Anyone can take a bunch of people, put them in a room with phones and let them talk to customers, but I highly recommend you write out which calls you are taking and how you want them handled. They will also need the resources to track calls and resolution, and you will need a way to monitor all this and take the fall out and put it into a training program so you can experience continuous improvement.
I don't have any recommendations for CS startup info, but I would recommend a couple of these;
Customer Bliss
The YES attitude
Permission marketing
Good to Great
How to win friends and influence people

Author frankchiluba
#5 | Posted: 1 Nov 2007 03:18 
I agree with what Franknsr said. In addition i would like to say,you need to understand the service attributes in general, then see how these relate to you company. The "why" the customer service unit is being set up is one crucial question you should never lose sight of. It gives you the necessary "because" which eventually guides your actions, procedures, policy etc in your daily, weekly, monthly or annual activities. It may also help you to get in touch with all your customers and ask them how they want you to serve them. This will help you do the right thing i.e target on issues that will reduce customer compalints and enhance customer loyalty. But you also need to find a systematic way, or you need to draft an approach that is more effecient in get information from and to the customers. You need to respond to queries faster and accurately by and large you need to ensure that customers become satisfied friends, who feel secure and confident with us, they're willing to volunteer sensitive information because they trust our customer service and above all they are willing to give us the business because they don't feel disappointed but appreciated and that we are helping them achieve their objectives -through contineous value added services. In doing this you'll realise that the personalities of your team are key,telephone skills are crucial, writing skills, conservation, damage control skills and in general communication skills are very very important when constructing your team. Get people who are doers of their word rather than defenders of their word. What the customer wants to see is that their need is met period anything else is important only to you not the customer. I wish you success as you set up your customer service wing.

Author rohitsachan
#6 | Posted: 1 Nov 2007 04:31 
Foremost thing as already conveyed by my friends , is to define the mission .
The mission comes from the business . And the business comes from the Industry . The Industry defines the competition . And the competition comes from the needs of the people , the environment , and the culture .
Hence to start with , one needs to have the knowledge , experience and understanding of the Customer base .
Once the need of the customers are defined , the processes can also be defined . Once the processes are defined , the roles are framed and accordingly suitable slots are are defined for the initial set up .
For each processes , metrics are to be defined that meet the basics .
Further metrics are defined once the cell starts functioning ,and the needs of the customers lead to more requirements of more processes .... and so on ...
The industry standards are also to be known and studied for betterment .
That all about putting everything in short ...

Author Big Joe
#7 | Posted: 1 Nov 2007 23:21 
Hi Every one,
Joseph is my name - freinds call me big joe and am glad to have found this site. I believe here, we gonna change the face of customer service professionals. i have been working in the telecom industry for 5 years and specialising in the customer service departments while serving my time in both call center to service centers. I have recently joined a start up telecom company, heading the quality assurance and training division still under the customer service department. I surely have so many plans for the department but would like a step to step advise on how to spear head this division

much appreciated

Author zinmaraung
#8 | Posted: 10 Dec 2007 19:24 
Hi Christene,

I also faced what your difficulties to start up custmer service. I am working in this department for a year and first where am I start it. But later I realize that we need to track what's customers request, complaint promptly and need to provide the resonable feedback to the customers. Most of the company in our country is less menagement in customer service and delay follow up the customers request and complaint it is valid or invalid with reliable answers.


Author sekharpothuri
#9 | Posted: 24 Dec 2007 01:24 
Hi All,
First of all, i am glad that i found this site. I have been in the customer services role throughout my life and worked in different roles and levels and different industries.
Now i am at the juncture where i need to set up the customer services operations and when i started to browse net for valuable information i stumbled on this site.
I completely agree with what Franknsr has mentioned in this post. To add to it, one should also keep in mind the industry we are in and the target audience.
Its always better to prepare a product document and then a process document for the customer services outlining various scenarios that one might face and the resolutions for the same.
Its also advisable to classify the calls based on the severity levels and then train the customer service personnel.
Place a robust ticketing system and escalation matrix.
Its all in the attitude so remember to recruit the team with the right attitude.

Sekhar Pothuri

Author rexdi
#10 | Posted: 28 Dec 2007 02:01 
Hi Christine,

Just pitching for whatever this is worth to you and all others in the same start-up mode. Assuming you already have defined and established the mission/mandate of your unit, I suggest therefore the following:
1) Define the products supported by this unit
2) Defined the scope of function: inbound (inquiries, requests, complaints), outbound (advisory)
3) Define the role of the CSU in the processing of these inbound and outbound transactions (resolution at first contact, logging, routing, monitoring, coordinating, drafting of reply to complaints, report generation, etc.)
4) Identify all types of inquiries, requests, and complaints, and then determine standard reply/spiel if resolved on first contact
5) If not resolved on first contact, identify the proper units that CSU will be coordinating with. Identify main contact person in each unit.
6) Establish turnaround processing times with these units. This must be concurred by them.
7. Establish the CSU Manual of Operation or the Customer Service Manual (on this regard, please see my comments on the Subject posted in this forum.)
8. Then you need to determine your manpower requirements based on the call traffic as well as target failure rate. There are available models in the internet (Erlang C or Erlang)
9. Determine your technical requirements if you have planned for an automated customer service center (call center type of operation). On this regard, you will probably need a consultant to help you with your requirements.

Hope this helps.

Author cquai
#11 | Posted: 2 Jan 2008 04:20 
Hi everyone, my name is Christiane and i come from one of the countries in the South Pacific. It is known to be "Paradise on Earth".
I am so happy like everyone else to have found this site. I too like most of you have the same situation to deal with. I have been in Customer Care area most of my life but starting up a Customer Care Department or Team is something i have never done before. I like what Rexdi set out for Christine, but just a peice of advise from any of you. I have 12 weeks to set up my Customer Care Department before roll out. This is from recruitment to roll out. Would any one have a basic draft plan that i might find helpful?. (total staff 26)

Much appreciated.

Author rexdi
#12 | Posted: 3 Jan 2008 01:42 
Hi Christiane.

I assume that the 26 staff was calculated based on your experience in call volume and target failure. Now that you have done that, you may want to proceed as follows:
1. Establish mission of the CS Unit
2. Draw the organization structure
3. Define the job description of each function (roles and responsibilities)
5. Determine how many you require for each function
6. Establish the requirements for each function (technical skills, communication skills, experience, age and most important mindset and atttitude)
7. Conduct Recruitment
8. Conduct Training (before and after deployment). Hire only those who pass the pre-deployment training. This can be your final screening criteria for hiring
9. Establish Key Performance Indicators (average talk time, average productive time, etc.)
9. Establish Performance Monitoring
10. Conduct regular performance evaluation (monthly, quarterly)
11. Establish incentive programs
12. Establish promotions criteria

Hope this helps you and wish you well. By the way, I am curious where your Paradise on Earth is?

Author sherry
#13 | Posted: 4 Jan 2008 21:31 
dear rexdi:

read your input.. its much appreciated. i will be able to use the info you provided in establishing a separate Customer Service Dept.


Author Christene
#14 | Posted: 16 Jan 2008 12:02 
Hi Everyone

Thanks for the input. I now have a foundation to proceed.


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 Starting a new Customer Service Unit

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