Synergy is the combination of multiple parties or agents to produce a greater effect as a team. You can see the ramifications for a business of achieving better results through cooperation. This is very true of customer service, where synergy helps to improve brand reputation and the customer experience to drive more revenue.
[attention-lead-magnet] Before You Design, Before You Build, Before You Spend… Design Sprint [/attention-lead-magnet]
Defining Synergy in Customer Service
With increasing competition, it’s more important than ever that companies engage their customers at every level. Synergistic, or collaborative, solutions help your business stay in touch with customer expectations, handle inquiries more efficiently, and promote upselling and cross selling. It’s a reliable strategy for retaining customer loyalty as well as boosting profits. Agents are able to freely share information and assist one another in handling issues, gaining skills, raising productivity, and improving the customer experience.
Technology in CS
Tools for instant messaging, scheduling, sharing centralized data, and live chat help CS teams to manage tickets more efficiently. Keeping all of this connected and in sync across agent workstations creates a synergy that makes resolving tickets faster and easier for everyone.
With an increasingly mobile/outsourced workforce, collaborative technology also accelerates the onboarding and effectiveness of remote employees. They are able to function better from wherever in the world they may be located with the tools to reach out to their colleagues. Extending synergy to virtual teams simply takes leaders who make it a point to educate off-site personnel on the tools and protocols that are in use.
Improvement Through Collaboration
There are some key measures to put in place in order to develop true synergy in your business:
1. Put things in context
Your employees may not feel as committed to their roles if they don’t feel they’re a part of the overall team. Before they can cooperate effectively, they need transparency into the goals and methods you have in mind and how their part will impact success.
2. Encourage Empathy
Empathy among team members is essential to good cooperation. Employees should also be made to understand the challenges that their co-workers face. Diligence, professional behavior, and a willingness to share improve workflows and team morale.
3. Use a shared language
Expressing ideas in jargon that’s specific to one skillset limits the flow of information to other organizational roles. Delays and errors are inevitable if there is not a shared understanding of technologies or requirements. Onboarding of new team members should include making them familiar with the cross-functional terms and protocols in place.
4. Learn Other Processes
To avoid wasted efforts, team members should also be involved in inter-departmental meetings and requirements. They should be given an overview of the methods that related teams use to affect their own contribution to the flow of ideas and distribution of responsibilities. This way, everyone knows how each other’s duties fit into the general workflow and is able to build mutual trust.
5. Provide Constant Communication
Busy teams need to have a quick means of checking on a partner’s progress as well as the quality and timeliness of their own work. Software tools should be adopted to make this communication as accessible as possible. Mutual checks and updates can be distributed through central dashboards and messaging platforms.
6. Provide Leadership
The real responsibility in building and sustaining synergy lies with management, including department heads and team leaders. Minimizing conflicts and cultivating a culture of mutual cooperation often requires extra efforts from business managers. Leading by example is also important to developing effective cooperation.
7. Share in triumphs
Remember that successful teams must be balanced and accountable. Failures and particularly victories should be shared by all team members. Even where one person has excelled, where there is true collaboration everyone must be allowed to take ownership.
8. Invite Feedback
Ideally, you want to build an organization where feedback is welcome. Otherwise, certain individuals may feel alienated or unappreciated, which can lead to a lack of commitment and suffering performance. At the start of each initiative, at project completion, and at every challenge or milestone, actively seek out feedback from the team members involved to discover opportunities for improvement.
Superior collaboration will also provide higher quality in the service that customers receive. Agents may handle a large volume of calls per day, and depending on your business model this could include anything from trouble shooting to handling simple account queries. Through a solution leveraging synergy across the organization, your company is better enabled to provide the same level of knowledge and expertise regardless of who the agent is or what dilemma the customer might be having.
Everyone can learn from the experience to grow their knowledge, skill, and so consistently raise both quality and output. The potential to tap into a wider pool of resources raises the odds of any customer having excellent interactions with your company and coming away satisfied.
Other teams can use the information CS compiles and updates to expedite their own processes. Marketing, sales, billing, management, and others who rely on updated customer data can have it available at their fingertips. This allows them to operate faster and with greater precision. Through integration, agents can also support the efforts of these other sectors.
Most importantly, synergy gives your organization an agility that allows agents to give more personalized service. Customers develop a deeper emotional attachment to your brand. Improved customer confidence in having their issues resolved builds more value into your product and services.
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88