4imprint, LLC

| Updated: August 10, 2023 5 min read

Above-and-beyond customer service is good for your bottom line. Eighty-six percent of people are willing to pay extra for a great experience.

Coffee shop storefront with customers. A thank-you sign is on the sidewalk.

Providing superb customer service can result in repeat business, brand loyalty and referrals. However, your business may be challenged with doing more with less, due to what’s been dubbed “The Great Resignation.” Right now, 50% of employees say their companies are understaffed. But there’s good news: You don’t need a full staff to provide outstanding customer service—and your team doesn’t have to burn the proverbial candle at both ends. We share how to provide excellent customer service, even when you have less staff.

Icons of a checklist, puzzle, mobile shopping app, video conferencing and gift bag.

1. Assess your offerings

There may be things your company considers to be a customer service that aren’t as valuable as others. Strip out anything that’s not important to give staff more time to tackle priorities. For example, is staff spending significant time on social channels even though your company receives 99% of inquires via another channel?

Train your entire team to provide the same level of service. That way, customers aren’t waiting on hold for someone more qualified plus they receive the same amazing service at every interaction. Show you see the time your team puts into training with a small token of appreciation. A mesh cap, striped beach towel or a camp chair make great thank-you gifts for staff.

2. Be innovative

Get creative to lighten your team’s load. For example, a hotel donates a meal to the local food bank for each day a guest opts out of cleaning services to lighten the load on limited cleaning staff. It’s a win-win because staff are less burdened, and the hotel guest can feel good knowing they contributed to a good cause.

Lighten your call center staffs’ load by gathering a list of the most frequently asked questions and compiling an answer directory. Or use a chatbot to easily answer customer inquiries. Just remember to always offer an option for customers to speak with a human if they prefer. These easy-to-implement solutions can save your staff hours while still resulting in satisfied customers.

3. Improve user experience

An easy-to-use mobile website is crucial to providing excellent customer service, especially when short-staffed. If your website is optimized for mobile-first, people can easily find what they’re looking for without having to contact customer service. The

What’s more, 57% of people won’t recommend a company with a poorly designed mobile website. And mobile customers are five times more likely to leave if your site isn’t mobile-optimized. Hire a third-party to audit your mobile website and provide specific recommendations on how to improve.

4. Implement powerful tools

Adopting useful technology can be a gamechanger for a short-staffed customer service team. Tools like shared inboxes and help desks can automate tasks, prevent missed inquires, streamline collaboration, keep staff on the same page and more. One company saw a 20% churn reduction and a 5% referral increase after implementing customer service software.

If your staff is manually posting on social media, switch to a scheduler. Implement a community forum as a safe spot for customers to answer each other’s questions—with the option of still contacting customer service if needed. Automate customer onboarding as much as possible with a video conferencing and recording tool.

5. Reward and motivate staff

About 50% of team members say when a manager thanks them, it improves their relationship and builds trust with leadership. One study found that businesses that recognize employees enjoy 14% higher. Plus, when staff feel acknowledged for their contributions, they’re motivated to keep doing good work.

Recognition doesn’t have to be extravagant. Offer a day off for the team member who closes the highest number of tickets in a month. Buy lunch for the entire customer service team. Be flexible when it comes to attending kids’ sports events or tending to pet needs. And use thank-you gifts for staff to reward everyone’s hard work. Choose useful items like a duffel bag, car emergency tool or stainless kitchen tool to leave a lasting impression.

Stand out for your service

With these insights and ideas on how to provide excellent customer service even when short-staffed, you’ll reap countless benefits. From determining non-negotiables to re-evaluating your mobile experience to rewarding staff, it’s easy to stand out for your service.


Key takeaways:

  • Determine non-negotiables
  • Innovate to lighten your team’s load
  • Optimize for mobile
  • Implement strong tools
  • Reward staff