Collaboration is a key component of delivering the ultimate customer service experience. With any great sports team or music group, it takes all members working together to achieve greatness. Likewise, a company can only achieve its customer service goals if all teammates are collaborating. According to a recent article by Nate Brown, creating a sincere relationship with your customers requires partnership between agents, leadership and agents, and everyone partnering with customers. It may not sound too challenging, but getting everybody at your company in every department on the same page is hard. Brown offers the following three ways to promote collaboration:
1: Limit Top-Down Decision Making
Does your contact center make decisions by having the leaders look at metrics, making a plan on their own, and then telling their agents to change? Autocratic leadership may work well for some companies, but in the contact center, changes should occur from bottom-up decision making. If you truly want your agents to welcome changes in procedure or goals, they need to be included throughout the decision making process. If an agent or other employee comes up with a great idea, celebrate! The more agents feel involved and respected, the more likely they’ll be to welcome changes.
2: Get Out of the Office!
If you want your employees to connect with customers on a real human level, they’ll need to feel like they’re in a culture of community and friendship. To achieve this, it’s necessary to hold fun events or activities outside of the office so they can build relationships. If contact center agents feel like they’re surrounded by supportive friends and not just coworkers, it will be much easier to excel during stressful days working in a contact center.
3: Walk the Walk
The phrase “attitude reflects leadership” perfectly applies to contact center managers. If you truly want your contact center agents to buy-in to your new plan for collaboration, it’s not enough to just preach about it. You’ll need to lead by example. Maintain a positive attitude and actually show your team how to collaborate with departments and customers while avoiding negative talk about other people in leadership positions. Support your team and they’ll support you.
These three steps can greatly help you achieve your collaboration goals, but Brown also offers the following three behaviors to avoid:
1: Overuse of Competition
Gamification can be a great, fun way to boost agent morale and increase productivity. However, it’s best to use gamification as an occasional alternative to the daily grind and not the constant motivation tool. You’re not trying to create an environment of a few winners and a bunch of losers, you’re trying to create an environment of collaboration and achievement of a common goal: customer experience.
2: Allowing Negativity to Fester
The longer an employee or group of employees maintain unproductive or negative attitudes, the less likely you contact center will be productive. It’s important to keep your agents upbeat and motivated to perform at a high level by maintaining a positive culture and upholding accountability from every employment level.
3: Polarizing Quality Management
The best quality management is accomplished by collaboration between managers and agents. If you’re not welcome to employee feedback or implementing it, your collaborative environment will fail.
This blog post was based on an article by Nate Brown. To read this article, please click the link below:
The Key to Great Customer Service: Collaboration – Nate Brown
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