Success Spotlight: How to Think About Workflows

By Tracy Oppenheimer

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the power of AI and bots for streamlining backend operations. Yet the benefits of these advanced technological capabilities cannot be fully realized if a support team’s workflow strategy isn’t fully fleshed out. Customer Success Manager Chris Hunt suggests the following steps for optimizing workflows to create a more efficient support organization.

1. Start with an issue centric view of your workflows.

There are many variables involved in a workflow, but starting with issue type grounds you in solving the actual problem. You’re immediately asking the important questions. What content is needed? What does the support team need to do now to resolve these issues?

If you don’t have your issue types well defined yet, review historical data to identify the broadest categories of issue types that have unique workflows. It can be tempting to get very granular here, but the focus should be on identifying the larger buckets with distinct associated workflows. You can always create a generic workflow that supports more granular reporting via tags or issue metadata.

For example, you may want to tag ‘bug reports in UI’ separately from ‘app crash’ issues, however the initial workflow is typically the same: the agent takes steps to recreate a bug, and requests screenshots to do so. This can be labeled as a generic ‘technical issues’ workflow, and either an automation or agent can append a tag to differentiate the type of technical issue.

It’s also helpful to focus on the top three or four issue types to start. This allows you to solve for the bulk of incoming volume without getting bogged down by considering all the edge cases.

2. Next you can pivot by customer segmentation.

Do you need a different workflow for the same issue type based on the customer segment? Would a purchase issue from VIP user be handled any different than non-VIP user? Typically the differences show up in SLA management and the type of interactions that are automated.

3. Prioritization is the next consideration.

With your top issue types defined and workflows differentiated by customer segment where necessary, you now have a detailed breakdown of your incoming volume. You can use this list to apply a priority to each workflow. Keeping SLAs and staffing in mind is key here. If issue types have the same priority level and the same staff working on them, they should go in the same queue.

In the Helpshift dashboard, we use queues for issue assignment and prioritization. One queue can have many issue types fed into it, if these issue have the same SLA and staff assignments. This streamlines queue management and lowers admin overhead.

4. Create a workbook to document the key elements of your workflows.

This will help when auditing and revamping workflows as well as during administrative transitions. A good workbook should contain the following: name of workflow, priority, issue type, issue volume, queue assigned, automations or bots integrated in flow, content used by bot/agent, end result of flow (reject/resolve/assign/update fields), and agent team assigned.

 Learn more about how workflow optimization can be used in tangent with AI, bots and digital messaging for the best support experience on the market today. 

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