Customer Service Leadership boosts Team Building

“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.” – Brian Tracy

Employees are a company’s primary customers. Without the employees it would be impossible to run a company, much less deliver excellence in customer service. Employees come from different walks of life, have varied upbringing and beliefs but yet must come together to work cohesively in teams to boost the company’s efforts. Team building then becomes a powerful way to enhance this cohesiveness and leaders must focus on designing and delivering programs for team building. Organizing these vital programs exerts a huge amount of pressure on those responsible for it and demands a high level of customer service leadership to pull it off. The connection is simple – customers are served by the employees and for employees to deliver service, they must understand the importance of customer service leadership. For the majority of staff to understand this, the leaders of the company who want to build teams must be the best at customer service leadership.

So how does the top rung display customer service leadership?

– The team building activity must have a theme and tone that inspires. It should be exciting and invigorating and motivate the participants to take an active part in the program. The program must be focused on the skill sets of the participants, seek to better those skills and overall promote the feeling of oneness and a sense of responsibility towards customer service leadership towards internal and external customers.

– Using all the rules in the book of customer service leadership, these programs must be high impact. Every possible method of communication and creating excitement must be deployed – mailers, bulletin board notices, colorful flyers and banners and announcements in team and company meetings. Conduct surveys to ascertain current team spirit and cohesiveness and make these results known to all. Put together a cross-functional team to make arrangements of the program – this gets the program pumped from the start.

– As far as possible have this program in an offsite location. This minimizes office disruptions and also gets the teams together in a non-competitive and encouraging environment. Customer service leadership is all about understanding the behavior and attitude of the people involved. Taking the participants away from office is an ideal way to help them relax and gain full use of the program is a stress-free atmosphere.

– The program must be a balance of motivating speeches, entertainment and energizing activities to bring out the best in the participants. Ensuring ample breaks and leisurely meals will provide an all-round approach to the program and speak of exceptional customer service leadership. These leadership skills will allow for a carefully and sequentially arranged set of activities throughout the day will leisure activities in the evening to achieve the desired results of team building.

– Customer service leadership also enables the organizers to provide ample time to have meaningful discussions between each activity. There is no point in cramming up the days with activities without time for reflection and imbibing. Customer service leadership dwells on the strengths of moderation and balance.

– When approached with a customer service leadership mindset, the program will be based on what the participants want. This is exactly what great customer service is about – the wants of the customer. The program must aim to understand what the participants want more of, what they would like reduced or done away with and other such questions which the participants will be able to answer directly. Getting buy-in through the participants views, will enable them to want the ideas to succeed. This is the essence of customer service leadership.

– To provide an enhanced sense of importance, feeling of being special ensure that the entire program is captured in photos and videos. This serves as an added incentive to the participants to contribute to the program. Receiving photographs of themselves and their friends in the program is an added incentive. Customer service leadership speaks extensively on providing incentives and encouragement to the company’s customers and making them feel valued at all times. It is the pillar of great customer service.

– Add a punch to the program by inviting ‘guest speakers’ reputed in their own fields and also people who would be closely connected with the core set of participants. These ‘outside’ customers would add depth and provide a whole range of perspectives and insights thereby adding value to the program. It also helps to widen the communication circle within a closed group and with those outside. This again is an essential feature of customer service leadership.

– Constantly reinforce that the program is about ‘team’ building and that teams work better together than individuals. The program is focused on building teams and a concerted and consistent effort by everyone will achieve high standards of work. Every department in a company is dependent on each other in some way or the other and explaining and living the importance of managing this dependence is a core quality of customer service leadership.

– Putting together a program on this scale and successfully, takes a lot of effort, grit and time. Publicly acknowledging and rewarding the people who worked behind the scenes and relentlessly to make the program a success clearly exhibits customer service leadership. These gestures will be remembered not just by the people receiving the recognition but by others and who may step up to organize similar programs in the future.

Team building is a continuous and ongoing process and reaching a certain level will enable higher standards of customer service both towards internal and external customers. The culture and behavior of the staff will reflect this and external customers will be able to perceive a significant positive change. Everyone must be able to understand some key features of what customer service leadership is about:

– Cohesive teams can provide a level of customer service that is confident and courteous. Keeping external existing customers happy is much easier and cheaper than to attract new customers.

– When internal customers are treated right, they would go the extra mile to overcompensate when an external customer has been wronged or an error has happened.

– Another factor vital to customer service leadership is to never assume. When in doubt ask – the customer would much rather explain than waste time and energy trying to have an incorrect solution rectified.

– Constantly aim for high levels of customer satisfaction. The damage is almost irreparable when customers decide to make their dissatisfaction known to others especially via social media

– It is unique, distinctive and customer service leadership that will be hallmark of a company. Products, services and other aspects tend to be more or less similar. To gain competitive advantage build teams that focus on customer service leadership.
As a company and leader in the company, what actions do you take to inspire your teams to work together and deliver levels of customer service that are standout and truly exceptional? Do you lead by example and take the time to understand how your customers – both internal and external feel about working with you or doing business with you? Are you certain that your employees are dedicated and will stay with you long term? Are your external customers happy and will become loyal over time and be willing brand ambassadors. Customer service leadership is about being able to answer all these questions in the affirmative and if not then address the issues immediately.

Exceptional customer service comes to life when those involved behave in exceptional ways when dealing with others. Customer service leadership is doing whatever it takes to exceed the needs and desires of customers – both external and internal.

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