Article

Customer service flowchart: find out what it is, what it is for, and how to make one

By Douglas da Silva

Published February 25, 2021
Last updated March 8, 2021

A customer service flowchart is a visual representation of the customer service process in a company.

This structure allows each of the stages involved to be visualised, optimising them in a way that helps the work of the teams and improves the consumer experience.

It is worth noting here that customer service is an important competitive advantage, helping to improve customer loyalty and brand reputation.

Surveys show that one customer who is satisfied with the service they received normally tells another 11 people about it. For 57% of people, this is one of the issues which influences their loyalty to a company. 

By dividing the process into individual steps, the customer service flowchart also helps to improve the company’s results by improving its internal procedures.

What is a customer service flowchart?

A customer service flowchart is a visual tool which sets out the various steps in the process and the order in which they are followed.

In other words, the flowchart is a map which guides agents through the steps to be followed as the customer service request is dealt with.

The importance of creating a customer service process flow

Establishing a customer service flow is not just important for guiding the team’s work, but is vital for offering a good service.

Customer service agents operate faster and more assertively when they understand the steps they need to follow. In addition, they give clearer information and reduce the time customers spend waiting for an answer.

To give an idea of how the time is optimised, the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2020 showed that the most important aspect of a good customer service experience was resolving the issue quickly.

It is therefore clear how a well-prepared customer service flowchart is an advantage, as it helps:

  • Organise the steps involved;
  • Reduce operational costs;
  • Standardise the service;
  • Optimise the tasks;
  • Help identify areas for improvement;
  • Support brand loyalty by improving the customer service experience.

Creating a customer service flowchart

While the internet is a rich source of information, it is almost impossible to find a customer service flowchart that matches your company’s service flow exactly.

This is because the customer service process is unique to each company and the segment it operates in, which makes it vital for your business to create its own specific flow.

However, in general, any customer service flowchart can be created starting from the three steps involved in customer service:

  • Request;
  • Specialisation level;
  • Customer satisfaction survey.

Request

This is the starting point for any type of customer service. It is the moment when the customer contacts the company in order to complain, ask a question, request information, etc.

This is the step where the customer service agent follows a standard process, which involves collecting the information needed to provide the service, such as name, Tax ID, subscriber number, etc. 

The agent then generates a service ticket and checks to find out the best way to help the customer.

Accessing a knowledge base may be all that is required to resolve the issue rapidly. 

However, if the request requires more technical knowledge, for example, the next step is to route the ticket to a more specialised level.

Tiered support levels

It is important that the customer service flowchart avoids transferring the customer to other agents as much as possible.

Our survey has found that as well as increasing service and resolution times, having their call transferred between different departments makes 68% of customers irritated. However, situations like this can arise because of how serious the problem is.

If this change of level means the response time is going to be longer, it is essential that the customer is told as soon as possible and given an estimate of how long it will take. This helps maintain a high level of customer service and strengthens the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

So, this change in level needs to be shown in your flowchart, along with the step when the customer is told how long it will take and what the next steps are.

Customer satisfaction survey

Let’s continue with the previous situation as an example, and assume that the customer’s request was resolved by a subject-matter expert.

If that is the case, it would be usual for the customer service flowchart to identify the next step as sending the customer satisfaction survey.

While some companies still believe that this step is not necessary, it is an important strategic tool which helps to:

  • Measure the customer satisfaction level;
  • Identify areas of weakness in the process and give an insight into how to solve them;
  • Identify new opportunities for services and products for the company to offer.

The customer satisfaction survey is therefore the last step in the customer service flow and also helps assess the quality of the service that has just been given.

Personalising your customer service flowchart

Every phase we have described will be converted into a symbol, as we are working with a visual tool.

Beyond making the chart easier to understand, the symbols are not random. Generally, flowcharts are created following a standard which means the chart can be understood regardless of the process being described.

Your flowchart can also be organised in different ways:

  • In blocks: for sequential processes without decision points;
  • As a simple process: in blocks, but with decision points;
  • Functionally: setting out a sequence of activities including other departments of the company.

However, it is equally important to customise the customer service process flow for your company in order to meet its specific characteristics and needs. To do this, you need to determine the following:

  • The purpose of the flowchart;
  • The activities covered by the department in question.

Purpose of the flowchart

While it covers customer service in general, there are different aspects to take into consideration.

For example, does the flowchart being created cover the overall customer service activity of your company, or does it refer to a specific channel, such as email, online chats, telephone calls, etc.? 

It also needs to be decided whether the customer service flowchart should give an overall view of the process or whether it should be more thorough and detailed.

The activities included in the customer service process

Once the level of detail has been decided, each of the activities involved needs to be broken down before being recorded in the flowchart.

In other words, a step-by-step description of every action involved in the process, such as:

  • The customer makes contact;
  • The customer service agent opens the first service screen;
  • The agent records the first details;
  • They ask the customer to explain why they have contacted the company;
  • They check the knowledge base for the best answer, etc.

Other customer service tools

A good customer service flowchart is not sufficient to ensure customer satisfaction.

While standardising the process and giving guidance to the agents are important, offering you team task optimisation tools to help them do their jobs is strongly recommended.

Zendesk ticketing system, for example, is a system that helps them prioritise and resolve their tickets as efficiently as possible. 

By bringing together all the information in one place, your team is more productive and customers are happier.