Many companies have value statements and company goals, but they often miss the mark when they try to determine how to align a specific team to these statements. When you think about how to align your customer service team with your company’s goals, what comes to mind? Do you only think about the staff on the phones or taking those emails and trying to make the customer happy or do you visualize all of the other parts of the business? Do you think about sales, marketing, and product development side-by-side working with customer service, for example, learning from the frontline team and working together to retain customers? If you do, you’re probably on the right track, but sadly you might be the exception!
Traditionally, the perspective was that each of these groups worked in a silo, each having different objectives and methods of achieving them. However, with new tools and technologies in place, it’s possible for many different parts of the business to have information about a prospect/client and what their circumstances are. The new paradigm is that all parts of the company work together as a whole to create a great customer experience.
This doesn’t happen by accident. It takes strong leadership and good planning to get everyone on the same page and moving in the same direction. But thorough execution pays off.
Companies who have successfully aligned department goals have seen up to 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.
Promote Integration Within Your Company
When the different departments within your company don’t communicate, each department might have a narrow-minded idea of its function within the company. For instance, if your sales team just worries about meeting its targets by any means necessary, they might promise customers product features that are only in development – or not even planned. Aside from the disappointment, this causes to the customers, this has a significant impact on the support organization also. Customer’s do not want to call, they are most interested in a product that works and delivers the features they were expecting and have paid for. When there is a discrepancy between expectation and reality, you tend to negatively impact customer loyalty and any short-term gains in sales, are not worth the reward.
A similar problem is when a product is released to the field without involving support at any stage of the process. If a customer has a new product/service or feature that the support team is unfamiliar with, their experience will be less than optimal. While support is often able to find the solution, this experience, is less than professional and will only frustrate your customers.
Clear communication is vital when solving the problem of how to align your customer service with the other divisions in your company.
Have a Clear Idea of Who Your Customers Are
A great way to unite all your departments is to promote the idea that they all have the main goal of creating a great customer experience. In order to do that, you have to know exactly who your ideal customers are.
Customer profiles can help everyone get a clear idea of your target demographic and see them as real people, not just abstractions.
- Align your customer service through cross-team training sessions – When everyone in your company has some understanding all the different processes in the organization, they’ll be able to address problems from a new perspective. For instance, if your sales team sits in on a customer service call and sees for themselves the consequences of creating customer expectations that can never be met, they’ll be able to see how they need to re-align their actions. Most of all, shared experiences increase understanding among all your teams. Your customers can only benefit.
- Similarly, having developers and other senior technical staff, work on cases will only benefit the customers. Often features are created and designed without a clear understanding of the end user and how they will utilize the solution, if the developers are forced to solve these common user problems, they’ll actually work harder to build a product that meets real-world situations. Everyone benefits from an improved product, and customers love to see their that their voices have been heard. This creates brand loyalty and improves your reputation.
- When thinking of how to align your customer service with your greater goals, maybe you should really be thinking of how to align your greater goals with your customer service. Your customer service team knows your customers and is plugged into your customers like no one else. In some ways, they have the best knowledge of customer needs and desires, which is a valuable resource to guide the rest of the company. However, there can be a problem with too much information. How can your customer service team identify what is important and needs to be passed on to the product team? An important part of how to align your customer service is to have a clear mission and product goals that are communicated to everyone in the company. If your customer service team has access to your product roadmaps, specs, and design mockups, they’ll be able to tell what customer feedback the product team needs to hear, and what is not relevant to the product in question.
Keep Your Brand Consistent
Your customers don’t care about your internal organization schematics. They expect a consistent experience whether they’re dealing with sales, marketing, customer service, or any other section of the company. They also expect you to remember them across channels. If they gave information to a sales rep, your social-media guru should be able to access it if the customer sends a Facebook message.
There are few things customers hate more than having to repeat themselves, and a good CRM and good inter-departmental communication means they won’t have to.
Organize everything in one easily accessible place This could be an extensive software system or a Trello board – the important thing is that everyone has access and can see how the company as a whole is doing. Omnichannel CRM tools like Freshdesk are excellent in this respect as they are simple and easy to use with everyone on the same page.
Accessible measurements for such things as
- customer satisfaction,
- team performance for all divisions,
- the number and subject of support requests,
- and team member suggestions;
let everyone keep in mind the real numbers, making it easier to track trends and implement improvements.
Everyone can see the real numbers across the board, so action can be taken based on real data, not emotionally-based motives. For instance, if a few customers are really upset over a new feature, it might seem that it’s not been received well when the reality is that most customers love it.
Give Your Outsourced Teams In-House Training
It’s very common for a company to outsource at least some of its functions, especially customer service responsibilities. This is fine as long as you make the effort to maintain the quality of your customer experience. Make sure everyone follows the same standards and meets the same KPIs.
Show that you value everyone’s hard work and set up rewards for outstanding performers whether they’re outsourced or work in your main office. Aligning your company departments with a shared vision allows you all to work together, which increases engagement and improves your bottom line.