Best Practice Tips for Kustomer Admins

Building, customizing, and maintaining the Kustomer application is an important part of any successful company. Learning how to structure a team and tackle the challenges associated with operating such a powerful platform can be rewarding. Many teams and leaders are overwhelmed and often take an ad hoc approach to configuring their system without thinking through how the individual changes impact the system as a whole. Adding new queue rules, workflows, or business rules to solve problems that arise can provide temporary relief but when done in isolation, this can lead to an unhealthy system-replete with errors, strange processes, and a lot of frustration for your admins, agents, and customers. These problems are exacerbated when, like Oprah giving out cars to her studio audience, everyone is granted administrative permissions. 

In November 2019 our Support team consisted of just three employees. Since that time our team has octupled in size. Growth is certainly a wonderful thing. Not only does it mean that we get to use the word octupled in a sentence, but it also means that we can provide faster resolutions and a better experience for our clients. This type of rapid growth can also have its drawbacks and like many companies using Kustomer, there’s a lot of important lessons to be learned.

Whether you have 5 agents, 50,000 customers, or have just started using Kustomer, we wanted to provide some guidance and recommendations for administering the Kustomer application so that it works well for you, your team, and your customers. While the following principles will be beneficial when using Kustomer, these are best practices for any CRM platform. 

Choose one person

Having too many cooks in the kitchen will almost certainly lead to a host of problems for you and your company. For example, let’s say there's a company using Kustomer for 3 of their teams. One day, a manager for one of the teams sees two business rules that seem to be doing the same thing. One business rule adds a “refund” tag for all refund requests and the other business rule sets the refund boolean field on a conversation to True. 

Since the two business rules seem redundant and the manager wants to eliminate the overall number of business rules the company uses, they decide to delete the business rule that adds the “refund” tag to conversations. 

Then, let’s say that the manager of the refund team gets an automated monthly report showing the number of conversations with the “refund” tag and sees a significant decline in the total number of refund conversations month over month. This may persuade them to make changes to team procedures, adjust configurations in Kustomer, or even eliminate staff. While deleting or turning off a business rule may seem to have a minor impact, these actions negatively impact the reporting metrics for your company and ultimately degrade the end customer experience. 

Choosing one person that handles the overall administration of Kustomer will prevent such unpleasant situations and is the first step to getting on the right track. This “head chef” not only needs to know how Kustomer works, but they also need to understand or be familiar with the unique setup of your Kustomer instance including configurations, automations, and how the current team of agents function within the application.

This person should be the first point of contact when discussing any changes to your Kustomer instance. While they don’t have to build and customize everything, they should always be responsible for the successful completion of each task or project.

In order to ensure that any changes to your Kustomer instance go smoothly, we recommend getting organized. 

Getting organized đź“ť

You may already have a large task list for things you want to configure in Kustomer or maybe you are just starting to think about creating one. In any case, you’ll need to arrange your tasks in a way that will allow you to get things done quickly, provide transparency, collaborate with others, and stay organized. There are lots of task management applications available to help you stay focused and we recommend choosing one that fits you and your team the best. This could be another software application or a Post-it note system. Not only will organizing your tasks be beneficial from a workload perspective but it leaves a trail of changes which can be reviewed later should you encounter issues or need further updates.

When our team started thinking about how to best manage all the changes we wanted to make, we started by identifying and creating tasks for large projects or initiatives. While task management is different for everyone, here are some specific ways we manage our tasks to build out and configure our internal use of the Kustomer Application. While it’s not necessary to organize in this manner, below is an example which allows for transparency into your tasks.

We started by adding the project name inside square brackets [ ] to tasks or initiatives we created:

When we create tasks, we make a concerted effort to fit them underneath one of the projects we’ve defined. The tasks underneath these projects can be something we want to build, ideas for process improvements, or notes about a thing we built previously that is broken and now needs to be fixed.

For example, if we want to improve the Queues and Routing (QNR) setup in our Kustomer application, we would create a project task called [QNR CONFIG] and then create tasks for creating new queues, updating a workflow, or adding a new queue rule. These subtasks can also have their own subtasks which define more granular pieces of a project. These more granular subtasks could include:

  • Considerations for what other parts of the platform will be impacted

  • Previously configured components that need updating.

  • Research into best practices.

  • Gathering information about how something works.

To bring this all together and provide a real example, at Kustomer we created a Project called [ALPHA CONFIG]. This project housed all the tasks related to configuring our own Kustomer instance which we call Kustomer Alpha. One of the tasks in this project was to start creating conversations for all NPS (Net promoter score) score submissions. One of the subtasks for this project was to build a workflow that would process all of these submissions and create conversations so the team could reach out. Keeping track of each task and subtask helped us to stay organized, complete the task quickly, and collaborate with other members of the team. 

Once you’ve set up your tasks and started getting organized, the next step is to set a cadence. One of the ways to do this is to organize your tasks into sprints. A sprint is a set period of time in which you will work on a group of tasks. Sprints usually last about 2 weeks but you can decide on a time frame that works best for you.

Once you’ve defined how long or short your sprints will be, you can organize tasks into a current sprint (tasks you’d like to complete in the next 2 weeks) and an upcoming sprint (tasks you’d like to start working on in 2 weeks and then complete in 4 weeks). You can set due dates for when you’d like to complete each task and add tags to define the amount of effort or time each task will take to complete. Tags can include the exact time a given task will take (like 1 hours, 5 hours, or 10 hours) or define a more general amount of effort/time (like Low effort, Medium effort, High effort). Here’s an example of how we organize our sprints, add due dates, and set a tag for each task at Kustomer:

Keep in mind that it’s completely normal for tasks to get shuffled around. Some tasks can take longer to complete while others may become more important and need to be completed sooner. The importance, due date, and time it takes to complete each task is always fluid. That’s why it’s important to meet on a regular basis to determine task importance, share progress, and make plans for your current and upcoming sprint. 

Every once in a while, there’s a need for a quick change. These minor configurations could be small adjustments to workflows, changes to queue rules, or other changes that have minimal impact. These tasks can be handled by sending a quick email or message to stakeholders to ensure that everyone is on board. This allows the team to keep moving quickly but not catch anyone by surprise. 

Set up a recurring meeting

It’s well understood that leaders, managers, and even agents can have strong opinions about what automation or configuration should be put in place. It’s important to both understand their unique perspectives and strongly consider their opinions and recommendations. Having these conversations and prioritizing tasks not only helps everyone feel included and heard, it also highlights considerations for the impact the task will have on other parts of the platform, agent behavior, or your customer’s experience. 

During these meetings, you can discuss recently completed tasks, review any upcoming tasks, and create new tasks for anything that you haven’t captured yet. This is also a time when any tasks that have been added previously can be prioritized. At Kustomer we have a “Needs sorting” section for tasks that haven’t been added to a project/initiative or need some additional discussion before they get assigned. 

Choosing one person, getting organized, and meeting on a regular schedule will go a long way. Adding a layer of asynchronous communication is one more step to ensure the successful administration of the Kustomer application

Setting up asynchronous communication

Setting up communication channels related to your instance of Kustomer is important for many reasons. 

Setting up a communication channel for your instance of Kustomer allows your team to share opinions, discuss tasks, and provide feedback. This can allow your team to have a better overall picture of your instance of Kustomer and will help speed up the completion time of your tasks & projects. Agents can also be invited and encouraged to share their ideas about improving how Kustomer works for them. By improving and optimizing the system, your agents will then feel empowered to deliver a better experience for your end customers. More efficient support frees up time for agents and allows them to do more for your customers.

Agents can also easily share when something doesn’t work correctly and being able to discuss in real time will help easily catch things that may have been missed during the development of a task or project. These conversations can be a good way to discuss the details of an issue or idea and use that discussion to define a task or project. 

Creating a testing channel can also be good ways for you to monitor a new configuration or automation that you’ve built or are testing. Making changes will almost certainly lead to something going wrong, especially something that you never expected. Having a way to log and see what is happening in the system is an important part of catching things before they become larger problems. At Kustomer, we’ve created a channel that sends notifications when a specific process has completed or when something happens that we didn’t expect. For example, if we don’t want certain conversations to go to a specific queue, we would set up a notification in a workflow to be sent out when a conversation that meets specific criteria is routed to a specific queue. That way we can investigate the automation and immediately make adjustments. 

Keeping these lines of communication open and encouraging everyone to share their ideas and feedback will allow you to quickly build the best instance of Kustomer for you and your team. 

With the right structure, you can make the best of the Kustomer platform and use it to provide a great customer experience.


Take some time to reflect. What are the changes you are going to start making in your approach to building, customizing, and maintaining the Kustomer Platform?