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What are the exact benefits of customer service teamwork?
What does customer service team work look like? The contact center agent gets a request or appeal for assistance and starts a conversation with a client who requires help. This process seems to be only for two individuals who are engaged in it, and it is so often.
But what if during a dialogue appears an issue that can’t be resolved by the agent who is on the line? What would he do? Yes, ask for help or transfer a call to another person.
To be honest, it is only the most primitive sample of customer service teamwork. In most situations, teamwork takes place during training or coaching sessions, asking questions or looking for a piece of advice. Contact center agent has to be confident that he has an opportunity to ask their colleagues for assistance if trouble happens.
Teamwork is important to solve complicated problems, especially if they require other departments' employee engagement. The whole customer service unit should work as a single organization to be prepared for any challenges.
But these all statements are theoretical, and we are keener on practice. Now it’s a moment to describe the real, measurable, and influential benefits of team building and customer service teamwork.
Faster response and resolve time
The reality is that some customers must wait for more than half of a day - twelve hours - for a response, and it doesn’t mean that their issues will be solved during the first contact. What customer experience will be achieved in summary after such time losses? Would a client be satisfied with the service provided? Surely, no.
Even though the terrifying score of twelve hours of staying in a queue for an answer doesn’t belong to most modern companies, there is no limit to self-development. Another argument in favor of the significance of improving customer service is the number of buyers who are dissatisfied with the time they have to spend to reach live customer support.
To move nearer to the link between customer service teamwork and faster resolving of the clients’ issues, let’s say that most call centers suffer from high turnover scores. According to this fact, we must keep in mind that new agents are an irreplaceable part of every team and they often need assistance when working with a real client.
Anyhow, if the new hires are left alone with their queries, they may strongly decrease the call center rates because of poor experience, lack of knowledge, and practice. Even well-trained and experienced operators may face unbeatable troubles when dealing with some clients’ problems that have never been faced before.
Here comes the great benefit of customer service teamwork - the ability to cooperate when needed. Every operator may fall on such an occasion, and there should be another worker who can come with a bit of advice or practical assistance. As a sample, some employees may have poor knowledge of the legal aspects of using a product, while others may have passed a course about it. If an inexperienced worker gets a query concerns about this topic, he may just ask his colleague for a short explanation and avoid such annoying things as call escalation or transferring. In this meaning, customer service teamwork plays an important role in avoiding showing the client agent’s incompetence and inability to solve the problem.
Constructing a stable and corresponding standard of service
If to take every operator not as a part of a team, but as a unique and independent worker, you will get as many service-providing models as many employees you have in the client support unit.
Let’s look at the easy sample: you have a high-net-worth permanent client who prefers to work with an exact operator. They have been communicating with each other for years, and now this adored agent decides to change his job and leaves. On the contrary, the mentioned client brings you a great outcome from month to month, so it is unacceptable to offer him a worse service than he expects.
Now here is a puzzle to solve: how to provide the same level of service without the employee who has been doing this for a long time? You don’t know the essence of their relations, the style of communication, anything! Maybe they have been chated besides the work, just in messenger? Such personalized relations between agents and clients are not rare to find.
And here is another example of when team building and a positive work environment come as a solution. If there is a strong team when there are contact center agents who are acknowledged with the case of this client and they know how the previously mentioned operator provided the service to him. Another fact is that in powerfully connected teams standards of service are often similar because employees communicate with each other and share their cases to get help and a little advice. This situation shows that providing the same level of assistance among all workers, as well as similar customer experience, is able in units where employees work as a team.
Forget about the attrition and scary turnover rates
Strong teams grow strong personalities and build a positive work environment. This is extremely vital for the customer service industry where agents come and leave with the speed of light. The common goal for numerous managers is to tackle burnout among the agents and their high turnover scores.
There is no way to furnish a stable and qualitative customer experience without a stable team of qualified specialists. If agents leave work after a few months of employment, there is something false with your team-building strategy.
Contrastively, when employees feel like a team and are ready to come and help their colleagues, most new hires will be pleased with the atmosphere of mutual support and respect and become more willing to stay than leave.
People feel more comfortable with one another, so try to connect with employees. The popular reasons for burnout are tonnes of routine tasks, lack of internal communication, lack of praise, and surely the feeling of being alone with the troubles.
To build an amazing squad that will be prepared to tackle professional challenges, emotional burnout, and other troubles on the way of providing customer service, you have to implement modern customer service training ideas, such as motivational games, virtual team building activities, soft skills gaining, emotional Intelligence improvement, and other сustomer service training games.
Twelve tips for a remarkable team-building strategy
Completing a qualified, strong, and enthusiastic team is a challenging task. Such a goal requires hours of training and much effort and investment spending. As a result, you will get a squad with the highest level of qualification, powerful understanding, and energy for beating any competition. But to be honest, it is almost impossible to build such a team without wise tricks and recommendations.
To ease the task, we have compiled a list of such tips, and at the end, we have twelve resulting and easy-to-implement tactics that will assist you in achieving your team constructing objectives.
Set up the communication between operators and other team members
The first thing to do is ease the contact between workers. The main goal is to avoid putting the client on hold because such situations have negative consequences such as poor customer feedback and customer experience. An agent should have the opportunity to ask the question to a manager or another operator in live mode without ending or pausing the dialogue with a client. Another common goal is to organize this communication easily and suitably.
The best solution is live messaging via the integrated tool that is available for every operator. Such options are included in some call center software examples.
This function allows agents to ask questions, get advice and recommendations directly from other specialists, and on the contrary, the operator stays online, so the client mustn’t wait or stay in the queue, or be redirected.
This feature also helps to build stronger internal relationships and communication as the amount of contact between employees grows.
Create principles and standards for the service
Every firm requires general provisions that should be oriented by workers. These points are essential because they are the fundamental tips on which agents are focused during accomplishing their work. If the agent has a general question in mind during the conversation with a client, he will come back to the principles and look at them as at the orientation.
If you bear resolution of issues during the first contact as a principle, bring it up to the operators so they will have a complete understanding of what they are awaited to do. If you have some general refund rules, but the company holds a principle to always satisfy reasoned demands, then a principle is more important than the formal rules and agents must be acknowledged that.
Main values and goals are in the same bag as the principles and rules. If your goal is permanent speeding up of the responses, the agents should set the speed of reply as their priority. If your value is customer satisfaction, it should be the objective of every single conversation with a client.
Create a system of clear duties and roles
To avoid conflicts in the team, everyone should know his place and what he is responsible for. It is a common goal for every manager to select the duties for every employee and control their performance to decide if any changes are needed.
Only the worker who knows what he has to do may grow professionally and perform at an excellent level. If there is no comprehension of the responsibilities, your company will fall into chaos.
It is also great for internal communication because employees will know who they should ask for assistance. Workers will cooperate to solve issues as a collective depending on their positions - IT specialists will have operators with technical knowledge, while legal unit employees may help with such things as refunds or billing issues.
Shuffling and customizing the duties of different employees may be a great theme for customer service training games, where workers may exchange roles or even try the manager’s position on.
Improve employment and training strategies
Providing brilliant client service is all about transferring the experience of first-class customer support specialists to newbies. No one has become an agent without training and gaining experience in practice, so there is no path to avoid this part of the onboarding process.
The faster and more qualitative goes the onboarding process, the faster and better new hires will start to do their work. No other formulas are working in our industry, so you must pay more attention to the training strategy.
There are numerous customer service training ideas, and we can offer effective and proven ones. As we have already mentioned, practice is the best training, and our topic is not about coaching a single worker - it is about building a team, so, as you could guess, we recommend setting experienced agents as mentors for newbies.
This approach helps not only to speed up the onboarding terms but also to build closer relations between old and new employees who will have more opportunities for contact during the mentoring process.
Use also dissimilar customer service training ideas, such as motivational games for existing workers, or games for customer service improvement(such as role-play or teamwork activities for contact centers).
Learn the target audience in pair with operators
It is a vital part of building a team. Every staff member should know everything about customer portrait, especially according to the fact that agents spend their working shifts speaking with clients.
To find new approaches and build friendly relationships in the team, use the customer service training games where one of the participants plays the role of a customer who belongs to a specified target group. It is not a secret that a company often has clients from various demographic or age groups, so they need dissimilar approaches and solutions, or even communication styles.
Such a call center training game can boost the comprehension of clients' expectations, needs, and wishes as well as strengthen the relations between workers.
Set up the hierarchy
Well, even though it is a very obvious thing, we have to state this. Some top firms have a few levels of customer assistance, where agents are differed by hierarchy. The lowest positions deal with the easiest queries, while more experienced ones work with issues that need the real participation of a specialist.
If you are not using this model, it is okay, because there are many more efficient fields where you can spend money than pay them to the army of operators. But what is crucial is that even without grouping agents by their level of qualification, you must create a system where they know whom to ask in case of trouble.
Personalized service is a massive trend, and there are more than enough reasons for that. Working with a customer without any knowledge of him can cause problems in discovering the point of understanding. People expect personalized service, and if you want to get new clients, you have to provide such a service.
The best solution for this issue is integrating CRM with the call center solution to make agents equipped with all information about customers’ previous interactions, purchases, preferences, and so on.
It has no sense to compare the quality of service provided with CRM and without it because the difference is huge. It isn’t a big investment to avoid the opportunity to become closer to the customer's wishes.
Operate clear goals
Every worker has his objectives, both set by the manager and the employee himself, and this list of goals should be reviewed and changed(if needed) regularly.
The first point of contact is that personal goals should be linked with the collective goals of the team. You can’t make one agent focus on improving the ACD, while others are trying to boost the FCR rate.
Secondly, discuss the goals with the agent one-to-one. Such meetings are focused on improving the communication between you and the agents, boosting their understanding of what they are expected to do, and teaching them to set goals on their own.
Finally, understanding the objectives makes employees get the business goals and cooperate for its achievement.
Organize after-work activities
One of the best types of activities for contact centers is after-work events, such as collective outings, dinners, corporate events, and so on.
Informal communication makes people closer and builds trust as well as gives positive emotions and helps to forget about work troubles.
Use such activities for contact centers more often, because employees expect you to do something besides the work and let them take a little rest.
There is no better path to improve customer satisfaction and the overall level of service quality, than by motivating employees to do their best. It can be done in different ways: by organizing permanent meetings, operating different activities for contact centers or using non-standard customer service training ideas, or by creating a reward system.
The key goal is to construct a competitive atmosphere and make agents put maximum effort into providing customer service.
Utilize the various service furnishing models
When we are talking about different service-providing strategies, we mean that every strategy requires regular review and improvement. To get more outcomes and impact, use dissimilar strategies to fit the client's expectations and wishes the most.
It can be shuffling agents to provide more specified service - some may work only with chats, while others perform calls. You can use new contact pipelines - open a Facebook account or TikTok, or even hire agents from various time zones to offer around-the-clock support.
Measure agents’ satisfaction
There is nothing more vital in activities for contact centers than monitoring employees’ satisfaction and emotional conditions. No matter how many call center training games, or virtual team building activities you will organize if your workers are dissatisfied and have no willingness to work further.
Use one-to-one meetings to ask them about their feelings, wishes, expectations, and changes that they would like to see in their work.
Operators are more likely to work in a hybrid or remote schedule than an office-based. Yes, take it as a fact that the only one who wants every worker to stay at the office is a business owner or manager - other team members aren’t keen on this thing.
If you want workers to be satisfied with their job, and a high turnover rate isn’t the thing that you want to face in the nearest future, then think of meeting employees’ expectations about scheduling - offer a hybrid model, or put some agents into the permanent remote timetable.
This model works great because of its ability to open new opportunities - such as 24/7 availability of the service, or better agent engagement.
Empower more open contacts
In some firms, hierarchical communication is too formal and causes more problems and misunderstandings, than benefits. It is the reason why some call centers suffer from permanent turnover and lack of worker satisfaction - because the management isn’t ready for honest and direct communication with the employees.
Your goal is to let the workers know that they can ask for everything they need from anyone they want. Open communication destroys barriers between higher management and agents and creates trust and positive working relationships.
Organizing virtual team building activities for contact centers
On the one hand, agents prefer to work remotely because it is a more flexible, suitable, and comfortable model of workforce management. On the contrary, they often feel alone and sad because of the lack of communication. What is the way out?
If you are using our recommendations and operating a hybrid schedule, then virtual team building activities are a must-have for your company. Remote operators should feel like a part of a team and see no difference between them and their offic-based colleagues.
If you organize coaching games for customer service representatives who stay in the office, then do the same for remote teams. Any virtual team building activities boost the satisfaction of home-based agents because they feel their participation in team activities.
To finish the topic, we have to say the next thing: building a strong team is vital in the customer service industry. This approach offers many measurable benefits - better customer experience, the satisfaction of employees, and a high standard of customer service.
Building a friendly and connected team isn’t an easy task. We have mentioned several tips for making this goal real, such as software integration, after-work activities organization, and using special metrics to measure agents’ satisfaction.
The importance of virtual team building activities for contact centers that use remote scheduling is high too. Such workers often feel lonely, so they need more attention from managers to feel like a part of the entire team.