Maham Riaz (October 26, 2016)
For any business, team building exercises are a prerequisite for enhancing productivity of employees and creating a healthy workplace environment. Conducting team building activities motivates employees and boosts their creativity. For customer service staff, one of the essential customer service skills is to work and collaborate in teams to make sure that communication and processes are seamless and every client is getting quality and timely service. The question is how to have effective team building sessions for your staff? Start with the basics and give your staff a vision in which they are required to work together for the accomplishment of a common goal; that is offering your customers a consistent service experience. Here are a few useful tips for conducting effective team building activities.
Conducting meetings and discussions is the first step towards effective team building. Instead of just devising a rule book of customer service, encourage your staff to share their thoughts and ideas on how you can constantly innovate customer experience. Encourage all team members to share their opinions, such discussions will help break the ice among your staff. Team meetings are likely to lead to better relationships among your staff members since they would listen to each other, share knowledge and learn from each other’s experience.
Rotate the roles of your staff in order to make them understand each other’s responsibilities and improve collaboration. Exchanging roles within your staff would make them relate to each other and the stress that they have to go through while managing their tasks. This activity would build trust among your team members and they would collaborate with each other to explore new things. This is likely to improve the skills of your employees on the whole since exposure to new experiences would help them learn more.
Customer service staff should learn how to resolve issues and manage crisis situations. Team building helps your staff develop problem solving skills since they can work together towards the resolution of a problem. Conduct brainstorming activities in which your staff can work as a group to solve an important customer service problem. You can give your staff varying situations in which they have to deal with difficult customers. Sharing ideas with each other would help your staff collaborate and come up with the best possible solutions to an issue.
Training games and social activities are a fun way to build team spirit. Games that require your employees to work as a group would help them understand the importance of collaboration for getting things done. Training games that teach your staff to listen to each other and work as a team to complete a task will help them work better. Activities like arranging a tournament or an employee event would give your staff an opportunity to get away from routine and know each other on a personal level.
If you want your staff to work as a team, incentivize and reward team effort. This will improve your business processes and is likely to increase the number of satisfied clients. For instance, instead of rewarding CSRs individually you can make teams and give an incentive that the team which gets a higher number of happy clients or resolves more complaints and issues in a month would be awarded “Customer Service Team of the Month” title with a bonus.
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