Paolo Fabrizio
February 5, 2018

3 Things To Know About A Customer Service Pilot

Customer Service Pilot

Are you planning to launch a new service or to integrate a new support channel? Well, before doing that, you’d better set a test phase during which you’ll get valuable feedback, insights and data. All of these results will enable you to wisely decide whether to ‘keep the new thing going’ or just abort it. So, what do you need to do and when should this customer service pilot take place? How long will it last? Who shall be involved? Asking yourself the right questions is definitely the best way to start off.

Below you’re going to read the answers that you need to successfully manage this phase. 

1. What & When

Even though there is no one size fits all solution, make sure to move on well in advance. The best thing that you can do is to prepare a file in which you will:

  • Map all necessary actions (what to do)
  • Schedule each of them (when)
  • Evaluate results before making a final decision (customer’s feedback, volume of interactions, plus other insights)

E.g., let’s say you’re going to do a pilot to introduce live chat as a new customer support channel. You will need to:

  • Inform your customers about it
  • Get customer’s feedback (within the chat itself)
  • Track the volume of interactions.

TIP: Scheduling all of these tasks will help you get a clear picture of what you need to do and when you realistically can do it.

2. How Long

Of course, make sure to highlight each activity’s duration in your planning file. As this may vary from one another, I suggest you focus on:

  • The time you need to do the task (e.g., n°x days to integrate the chat within your website)
  • The time you need to wait for others to be aware of this customer service pilot (create a calendar to inform you customers – newsletter, social media, corporate blog)
  • And the time you need to wait for others to get used to it (customers starting to use the live chat for support)

TIP: after launching a new product / service take some weeks (I suggest at least 4) to get enough volume of data and insights.

3. Who

After reading the first two points I guess you’ve already realized that you need to involve some people. Based on my experience, they don’t only belong to customer service. They might also be in other departments, such as IT, Marketing and Sales. You will need to engage them and make sure that they all respect their deadlines.

Accordingly, good internal communication is paramount.

Therefore if you’re organization is still a bit silo-structured (hopefully not!) this could be a great opportunity for you to improve it.

Silos structure

USEFUL READ: learn how the English bank Nationwide ran an innovative pilot that led to improve overall customer satisfaction.

Over to you

A customer service pilot is a short-time project. When it’s carefully planned and consistently undertaken, it becomes a powerful tool to test new products/services and verify if they really fit in your business. Make sure though, that the duration is not too short before making your next decisions. Ultimately, a pilot is a task that can help you improve your team-building skills.

So, I’m curious to know: how has your experience of pilots been so far? I’d love to read your comments below.

 

Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_varijanta‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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Paolo Fabrizio

Paolo Fabrizio is Social CRM, Blogger, Speaker. He is a pioneer of online customer service, taking part of insurance start-ups since the 90's. An eclectic gentleman obsessed by Social Customer Service. Multilingual professional, passionate about rugby and serial smiler

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