At Teamwork, we pride ourselves in providing empathetic, friendly, and helpful support to our customers. Our fantastic team of support agents regularly go above and beyond when guiding customers — making sure they have an unforgettable experience.
So when new agents join the team, we want to make sure that they quickly and seamlessly learn how to deliver the high level of customer support we’re known for.
Training Wheels in Teamwork Desk helps us to ensure that our support team are always fulfilling the core traits of great customer support.
Here’s how we use it — and how your team can too.
Define what support means to you
To ensure that your customers receive great support, you need to outline what “great support” means to you. For us at Teamwork, we think it comes down to three main traits:
- Empathetic – We believe that if you place empathy at the core of your customer support strategy, you’ll make more customers happier, resolve their issues faster and ultimately retain more of them. When agents can stand in a customer’s shoes, it helps them understand the pain points so they can offer better solutions.
- On brand – What this looks like will depend on your company and industry. For example, the right tone for a marketing agency will be different from the right tone for a university. What’s important here is outlining what “on brand” looks like for you.
- Knowledgeable – A deep knowledge of how your product works is essential to providing great customer support. When your support agents know your products inside out and can explain them thoroughly and with confidence, it helps your customers to build trust in your company.
No matter what industry you’re in, your core traits of support will probably look a bit like these — but regardless, whatever they are, take the time to put them into writing with some basic guidelines. Having those guidelines will help your support agents to consistently craft helpful, impactful responses, and stay aligned on what really matters in every interaction.
Then, once you’ve identified what you want your support interactions to look like and what you want them to achieve, you can start putting those traits into action using Training Wheels.
Onboard your new agents
Before our — and probably also your — agents are ready to start responding to tickets, they need to learn about the product.
In addition to the usual product training, at Teamwork we also like to do these things to foster a customer-centric mindset from the get-go.
- Sign up for a trial: All new agents sign up for a trial of our product so they get to experience it with fresh eyes before they become product pros; this sets them on the same journey as the customer so they can experience it just like a new customer would.
- Sign up for a webinar: This is a great way for new agents to get a sense of the language used to discuss products as well as seeing what kind of questions prospects and users ask.
And not customer-centric, but still important:
- Assign a buddy: This should be a different person to their reviewer in Training Wheels. This person will be their point of contact for any general questions — even if it’s simple things like how to use the coffee machine. It’s a great way to help new agents settle into the wider company, and not just the support team.
Set up Training Wheels
Now that the new agent has gone through the company onboarding, in-depth product training, and experienced the product from the perspective of a customer, it’s time to get them set up on Training Wheels and responding to real customer queries.
Here’s an overview of we use Training Wheels to onboard new agents in our support team.
Select experienced team members to be ticket reviewers
When Training Wheels is enabled on your site, all admins automatically have permission to review tickets. You can also allow selected agents to review tickets, even if they’re not admins.
At Teamwork, we assign an experienced member of the team to be the dedicated ticket reviewer for the new agent. This means the experienced agent only reviews the tickets of their allocated new agent. As we have 24/7 support, we pair up people on the same shift pattern so they can get instantaneous feedback and there’s no delay to our customers. You can also opt to have the tickets sent to any admin for review. This is useful when you don’t need to worry about shift patterns, or when you want to ensure that both the new agent and the reviewer get to see a wider array of responses.
Here are some factors we consider when selecting ticket reviewers:
- Length of service
- Areas of expertise
- Happiness Ratings
Weeks 1-3: Set % of tickets to be reviewed to 100%
At Teamwork, we set the percentage of tickets to be reviewed at 100% for the first 3 weeks. This helps the agent to get comfortable with responding to customers, and it acts as a safety net to make sure the customers always get the right information. We find that having 100% of their tickets reviewed at first helps our agents to get up to speed quicker and gives us the confidence that our customers are still receiving high-quality support — even while agents are in training.
Here’s what our reviewers look out for in the first few weeks:
- Empathetic responses
- On-brand messaging
- Accurate product information
- Attention to detail
- Spelling and grammar
Weeks 4-7: Start to gradually lower the % of tickets to be reviewed
We lower the percentage of tickets to be reviewed in increments of 10% on a case-by-case basis, depending on how the agent is performing. For instance, new agents who have come from a more technical but corporate background tend to perform well on product knowledge but can struggle with tone of voice. Agents who have come from a team similar to our own Teamwork support team might get the hang of it much quicker and their % of tickets to be reviewed can be set to a lower % in less time.
How do we know when it’s time to lower the % of tickets to be reviewed? Here are some indicators:
- 20 tickets with no corrections
- 2-4 weeks on the job
Our agents are usually enrolled in Training Wheels for a total of 4-5 weeks,
What if you’re not seeing the expected level of improvement?
Training Wheels is also great for spotting when agents are having trouble getting up to speed with your products or support methods. If after a certain amount of time, you’re not seeing the expected level of progress in an agent’s responses, talk to them in person to get to the crux of the problem. Once you understand where they’re struggling, you can help them by providing additional training sessions to address the problem.
For us, Training Wheels has been a game-changer in onboarding and training our newest recruits to the Teamwork Support team. We’ve been able to use it to put a structured process in place that benefits agents, team members, and our customers.
We also use Training Wheels to facilitate our “Day in Support” initiative where people from all departments throughout the company spend a day on the frontlines of our customer support inboxes. We developed this initiative to give employees who are not generally customer-facing an insight into who our customers are and what kind of queries they have day-to-day.
We want to hear from you
Training Wheels is a brand new feature available to Pro and Enterprise customers using Teamwork Desk 2.0. It’s designed to make training and onboarding your agents a seamless process so you can continue to deliver the best customer support in your industry. We’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions on how we could improve, as well as how you use it in your own team.
To get started, check out our list of help docs here and if you need a helping hand, as always, you can reach out to our super-responsive support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.