Good communication is the key to high performance customer focused winning teams
Your team, the winning team, is the primary key to achieving a solid customer base and creating exceptional service experiences. Research shows that a team which works well and communicates successfully has a big impact on their ability to deliver good customer experiences and employee satisfaction. Secondary are the employee’s skills, intelligence and personality (which will be described later on in the book).
Massachusetts Institute of Technology conducted a survey at a banking facility customer center to determine why one team was outperforming their competing team. The findings were that the two teams had different ways of working together. The winning team realized 33% more profit than the other team; they displayed a much higher energy level and expanded their duties well beyond general daily tasks. Researchers took the study a step further by (1) implementing mandatory coffee breaks for the involved teams; (2) encouraged social interaction outside the work environment, and (3) encouraged one-on-one verbal engagement with other members of the team. The result was that the low-performing team (from the original study) increased profitability by more than 20%. The bank revised their policies by implementing mandatory coffee breaks for 25.000 employees, with the expectation that profit or productivity would rise by $15 million dollars. The group dynamic resulted in 10% higher employer satisfaction.
How to Create a High Performance Team
1) Communication is the key point. Every member of the team must have the opportunity to be heard and express their opinions. The most effective communication is face to face.
2) The team has to be interconnected in a way that they can work and act together. This brings dynamic and new energy into the team. That is why I, at the beginning of the book, told you to tear down all borders between the four main areas of your business (sales, service, spare parts and administration). Rebuild as a team (keep in mind, they are all sales advisor and service experience specialists). If your company does not have a coffee lounge, construct one. This is the ideal place for members to meet and encourage group discussions.
3) The team must communicate with each other all the time ~ not only at the monthly sales meetings. The management must make sure the team is empowered to make customer-oriented decisions and take responsibility for customers and sales. The team also needs to expand their discussions beyond work in order to engage with each other. You, as a manager, must facilitate this process by organizing team events outside the company, with a fixed frequency, at least 3-4 times a year. These events encourage members to work together under different conditions and have fun together. A good idea is also to involve the families of your team by inviting them to events at least once a year. The involvement of the individual employee, his family and his well-being will reduce employee illness and create a much higher level of employee satisfaction, which is needed to create a strong winning team.
By arranging social- and team events, you will build an exceptionally strong team that produces a unified involvement in the team’s CS Strategy, CS Vision, and CS Mission, resulting in extreme customer satisfaction and high profit. Your financial investment in your team is peanuts compared to what will come back to your business. Like my old boss used to say, “If you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys!”
One more point for creating the winning team goes hand-in-hand with employee satisfaction by conducting employees’ satisfaction surveys regularly (which we will discuss in “Learn how to Put the Customer First!”).