A customer service flowchart is a diagram that illustrates the sequence of steps a company takes to deal with a customer service request or inquiry. The flowchart helps customer service employees handle requests efficiently in line with company policies and procedures and ensures good service.

Identify Customer Service Touchpoints

Customers contact companies with different types of requests using different forms of communication. List the points of contact, known as touchpoints. These include telephone, email, letter, website, face to face and social media. Customers contact these touchpoints to obtain information, inquire about price and availability, place an order, make a service request or complain.

Outline the Process

For each touchpoint and type of interaction, list the steps necessary to handle and resolve the request. If a customer contacts a call center to place a service request, for example, the main steps include answering the call within clearly defined time limits, opening the customer’s account information and service history, recording details of the request, creating a new case, checking the availability of a service engineer, advising the customer of the visit date, recording the engineer’s report and closing the case. Draw the process on a piece of paper or use sticky notes, putting each step in a box.

Arrange the Sequence

Redraw or rearrange the steps in sequence. Add more boxes if alternative actions are necessary at each step. If a customer calls to place an order, for example, show alternative actions if a product is out of stock or no longer available.

Eliminate Potential Problems

Using customer feedback, identify steps in the process where potential problems can occur. When customers call with technical queries, for example, call center agents may not have the knowledge or information to provide an immediate answer. Build alternative steps into the flowchart to overcome the problem. Adding a step that gives agents access to a knowledge database or allowing agents to call back after consulting a technical specialist ensures the customer receives a satisfactory answer.

Finish the Flowchart

Review the draft version with customer service employees to ensure the process is correct and achievable. To complete the chart, use specialist commercial software or a flowchart application in a word processing or spreadsheet program. The final version should incorporate commonly used symbols such as boxes for steps, arrows to show sequence, diamonds to indicate alternative actions and ovals for start and finish points.

Distribute the Information

A flowchart is a useful tool for training employees, monitoring processes and identifying areas for improvement. Distribute copies to customer service employees, supervisors, managers and training staff. Update the chart in line with customer feedback and operational experience.