More people are coming to realize just how important customer service is in this day and age. Some even go so far as to say it’s the last way companies can truly set themselves apart from their competition.
Your customer service department needs to run smoothly and efficiently. If you’re struggling to do so at every turn, think about improving teamwork among your customer service representatives.
A Missing Ingredient
Many customer service departments have functioned in ways that pit representatives against each other.
Most call centers and customer service departments put a premium on the number of calls “resolved” by individual representatives. The idea was the shorter the call, the faster the issue had been resolved. The less time an agent spent on a call, the more calls they could answer. This often made agents who spent little time resolving customer issues look like higher performers.
Representatives who spent time on calls were deemed lower performers. Worse, many of them would have to deal with a customer who called back a second time after dealing with a rep who didn’t fully resolve the problem.
The result? A department full of tension and discontentment.
The obvious solution to this situation is to ditch average call time as a metric. After all, it’s not even a good measure of your customer service quality.
The next step is prioritizing teamwork among your customer service representatives. Even after you’ve ditched ACT, however, it can be surprisingly difficult to implement teamwork in any meaningful way.
Of course, you need to measure performance, and individual performance still has to be a factor, but placing more importance on teams and teamwork will help your reps realize they need to pull together.
Make It Fun
Team-building exercises get a bad rap in the corporate world, but they’re useful. Beyond that, they can also be fun! You don’t need to book the team an expensive retreat or tie your reps’ hands together in some sort of team-based sports competition.
In fact, many team-building exercises can take place in the workplace. Organize your reps into teams and let them compete against other teams on knowledge quizzes by using a custom webchat app. Don’t forget the importance of small things, such as celebrating birthdays or life events, or even just organizing a team lunch.
Appreciation also goes a long way to making everyone feel like part of the larger team. A thank-you note, recognition awards, and other similar actions can help you get your customer service team members working together.
Let Them Communicate
Some customer service departments have strict hierarchies of communication. A representative must report to the supervisor, who in turn reports to the manager. Sometimes, however, these communication lines break down or result in poor customer service.
Allow your customer service team members to talk to each other. There are likely subject-matter experts scattered throughout your team. These people may be able to answer questions even the manager may not be sure of. Instant communication can help your representatives resolve customer questions and issues more quickly and efficiently.
Organize into Strategic Teams
If you want to increase teamwork in your customer service department, one way is to organize your representatives into teams. Each team should have a few subject experts, and everyone should have a clear role.
These teams can support each other, drawing on each other’s strengths and expertise.
Using these tips, you can start improving teamwork in the customer service department in order to deliver the best customer care.