by Luke Moreland
Published on 11 July 2014
A team divided against hundreds or thousands of customers will not fare well. Sure, there might be a commitment to the ideal of teamwork, but in today's business world good teamwork demands something more.
When it comes to organization and communication, there will always be stronger and weaker members of the team. And when customer service team dynamics get sticky, fingers often point directly at those dragging behind. An incredible amount of personal and professional resources can go into dealing with issues of team performance and divisiveness within the workplace.
Fortunately, there's an app for that! Lots of them in fact offering simple and effective solutions for open communication, collaboration and working more efficiently on customer service as a real team.
Good teams definitely need good business software. The frustration over whether a ticket was resolved by your coworker or not, the vast consumption of time catching up new team members, the pervasive misunderstandings at all levels of hierarchy…this is all tension that does not need to stretch your business thin.
Collaboration is not just sitting around and talking about problems. It is about harnessing technology to be ultra-productive and efficient around building customer relationships. That is essential for leveling the playing field so that your company taps into all its resources and produces maximum value to its customers.
There's a lot of customer management software out there and I'm going to talk about the best ones for teams. Collaboration is undeniably good, but needs are different and the following descriptions summarize four unique kinds of software with powerful team potential.
Zendesk customer service software solution makes a big implicit promise that with their software your customer relationships are going to leave your team in a state of perfect Zen. Anyone who has worked in customer service and experienced under-staffing and overloading may doubt the veracity of that promise. Still, there's something to it.
Zendesk has a great team ticketing system that takes the pressure off. It makes it effortless to assign and move around tickets to various members of the team. This quick and easy movement of responsibility between team members makes for efficient communication and reduces blind spots.
That can be really advantageous when you are in a complex large organization with multiple kinds of expertise. If someone from a different department has a knowledge that you don't it's easy to pass on the responsibility to them.
The system for monitoring the progress of different tickets is something that can be done individually or as a team. There can even be someone specifically set up for the purpose of assigning and monitoring tickets. Carrying out triage they sit back and dish out the responsibility to everyone else, giving simple tickets to less experienced members of the team and more complex questions that require investigation to other more experienced members.
With Zendesk everything is controlled in perfect team harmony and nothing gets left unfinished.
RelateIQ relationship intelligence solution is another customer relationship software that provides relative peace and tranquility in the workplace. RelateIQ gives you the possibility to share everything with your team.
It allows you to share lists of accounts arranged by the status of your business relationships so you know exactly who is talking to who and where progress has been made. The central feature of RelateIQ is its 'Relationship Intelligence', which is aimed at helping people build, maintain and improve engagement with the professional relationships and connections that matter. It does this with a data science and an easy-to-use interface that structures, organizes, and reminds you of your priorities, your key relationships, and even the ones you might be about to lose.
This relationship intelligence is best utilized as a group, team intelligence. You have the possibility of merging everything. Share your contacts, email, calendars and the entire history of your customer relationships. Your teammates see what you do and reports can be generated and shared with a click featuring comprehensive statistics on performance.
Precise user permissions give you full control on what you want to open up to the whole team and what you don't. But if you want to be in step with your team this software puts everyone on the same path.
Zoho CRM is another example of a business software that makes team collaboration easy, but in a somewhat different way. Their big concept revolves around the 'Workspace'. It is essentially a magnificent system for files & folder sharing where team members can share, edit, comment and chat about reports and documents in real time from anywhere at any time.
Your projects will be in the cloud that you can share with your colleagues for review or for completion and monitor how much progress has been made. You can even set up helpful reminders that that report needs to get done.
Rather than constantly having to confront a coworker about a report that didn't tackle the issue at hand, simply add a comment directly to the file specifying exactly what could be improved.
And another special feature is that when you are working at the same time on a document the changes are updated in real-time. It's a perfect opportunity to synthesize your reports and collaborate seamlessly.
Finally, if you need to talk something through there is a chat option too so you can talk about how things are going or about where you might be off to after work!
Another excellent customer management software is Salesforce CRM. One of Salesforce's main features is 'Chatter', a social network designed to facilitate effective communication within teams and with your most loyal customers.
Chatter harnesses the power of technology to break down rigid managerial hierarchies to give all employees an opportunity to contribute and for leaders to be united around the same issues.
The benefits of putting into practice a company-wide conversation online are countless. The advantages to increasing efficiency include minimizing the act of constantly having to get up from your desk, go over to someone and interrupt their work, only for them to have to get up and interrupt another member of the team. It's all online and direct with Chatter.
One alternative benefit of having a social network in place is the creation of a more dynamic office culture. You can form office groups around common interests, create advocacy groups for generating feedback, and in general letting good ideas from the bottom reach the top.