If you’ve spent any time around musicians, you might have heard the old joke: How late does the band play? About half a beat behind the drummer.
One characteristic all successful bands have in common, from rock to jazz, is that they work together to coalesce not only around the same beat, but also around the same ideas and styles. Bands who are not on the same page musically rarely succeed, and if they do, it is only to secure a place on a future episode of The Greatest One-Hit Wonders.
It’s no different with our customer experience teams; without consistency and alignment across departments and job functions, your customer service team can fail to deliver a customer experience that causes customers to come back and tell their friends.
These three top-level tips will help ensure that your customer service team keeps the same beat.
Tip 1: Shared systems and processes
Have you ever watched a band that did not use a set list? Instead of smoothly transitioning amongst songs arranged in a carefully chosen order, they fumble about between songs while the audience loses interest.
Similarly, our customer experience teams must work from the same set list by utilizing a shared set of systems and processes. Our teams should have a standardized process to resolve customer issues, and utilize customer experience management software to align communication with customers. This ensures that each person knows what part they play in the process and ensures that the customer’s experience is as smooth as possible.
Of course, having shared systems and processes does not mean that our teams should not have flexibility. When teams are faced with a customer service issue they should be empowered to act and to deliver an outcome that is consistent with the organization’s goals.
When teams aren’t reading from the same manual or using the same systems, they will inevitably deliver inconsistent service. This is a sure-fire way to be booed off the stage.
Tip 2: Shared culture and strategy
Do you remember the part during the movie Rock Star, when the band members could not agree on whether they were a cover band, a tribute band, or an original band? Our teams must know what our organizations stand for to deliver effective and memorable customer experiences.
Your customer experience team needs to know who they are and why they’re here. When you have a shared customer-centric culture, your reps will know how far they can go to resolve an issue or to delight a customer. They will be able to transcend the shared systems and processes above to deliver truly outstanding customer experiences that are consistent in their approach.
A shared culture and strategy is also essential to create an internal customer experience that makes teams want to excel, so they will enjoy coming to work and deliver a much better experience for our customers.
Tip 3: Shared training
Shared culture and shared systems are much more effective if they are supported by shared training.
Training gives us the common vocabulary we need to communicate effectively. Training gives us the interaction we need to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Training gives us the ability to share best practices and to explore what has worked and what hasn’t.
They say the Beatles practiced for thousands of hours together before they ever made it big. Our customer experience teams are no different. You wouldn’t go out on stage without practicing, and similarly, we can’t expect our teams to excel without the right training.
Many things must come together to create an effective customer service team. However, if you focus on these three concepts, you can get your customer service team working to the same beat and selling out arenas instead of singing karaoke.
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