Having to work in a team, and developing better customer service teamwork is one of the fundamental keys to a consistent customer experience.
If you want all of your customers to experience something meaningful from customer service interactions, you’ll need all of your team members to work together to deliver the type of experience that customers really care about. Teamwork is critical to ensure that people and processes are supported in order for this to happen.
Customer service teamwork isn’t trust falls, getting to know you games and your favorites from Star slots, white elephant parties, or going out for drinks after the day’s work. It isn’t about motivational posters, bringing in coffee for the staff on Monday morning, or having casual-dress Fridays.
Researchers from the Academy of Management Review have identified 10 teamwork processes that need to take place in order for effective teamwork to take place in delivering your ultimate customer experience.
10 Keys to More Meaningful Customer Service Teamwork
- Transition processes (between periods of action)
- Mission analysis
- Goal specification
- Strategy formulation
- Action processes (when the team attempts to accomplish its goals and objectives)
- Monitoring progress toward goals
- Systems monitoring
- Team monitoring and backup behavior
- Interpersonal processes (present in both action periods and transition periods)
- Conflict management
- Motivation and confidence building
- Affect management
If you think about it, on Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon, and when major issues happen and the flood of customer requests come to your organization, there are no teamwork games and no rope courses. Trust falls won’t improve customer relationships, and the fact that you brought in bagels a couple of weeks ago won’t make a difference to what your customers think of your organization’s product or service.
Up, Down, Left, Right Communication
In order for real customer service teamwork to take place, your people need the ability to effectively communicate, up/down, left/right. Meaning, customer service agents need to have access to and flexibility to communicate what’s going on in customer service with their peers to better coordinate their work and then report problems or effectiveness in deliveries to supervisors to ensure that feedback is incorporated into future customer service work.
You team’s strategy, mission, and the outcomes or results of interacting with them need to be crystal clear. Everyone has to understand that the end goal for your customer is not lower handle time, but effective and positive customer outcomes. Do all of your people share that same vision? Do they all have that same passion? Are they all working and helping each other to accomplish these same results?
Getting people to contribute towards this is what teamwork is all about. It’s about shared vision, common strategy, and enabling better customer service teamwork to deliver more consistent exceptional customer experiences.