Culture a team environment for best results in your workplace

‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’

-Helen Keller

Businesses big and small are coming around to the idea that to create a great workplace and even better customer experience the power of teamwork can do so much more than one individual.

Companies are beginning to focus on how they can build and support a teamwork environment to harness this human powerhouse of a resource.
Creating a great team doesn’t just happen out of thin air however, everybody needs to work together and commit to fostering a great team environment.

If you’re planning to start out and build a top-notch team based workplace you’ll need a few guidelines to help you on your way.

  • Help your team reach the goals set by defining them clearly and ensuring that they achievable.
  • Be sure each team member knows the tasks and responsibilities for their role.
  • Be calm and clear when dealing with team conflict and be sure everyone on the team knows the appropriate processes when conflict arises.
  • Enable clear communication by detailing a plan for reporting and information.
  • Don’t forget to reward and praise excellent work and achievement.

While stating clear guidelines and setting goals are fantastic ways to start building a great team it’s important to realize that you must value the different skills and personality idiosyncrasies that each team member brings to the environment. A great way to see how personalities will work together and build trust with other team members is to see them in action during team building activities and events.

Team building exercises don’t have to be the boring trust falls and abseiling which has been common in recent years, there are many different ways to bolster the team from skills learning workshops to weekends away, or even fun public crawls if you have the right kind of team and business.

Whatever you choose be sure that you touch on the 3 key ways that a healthy functional team develops.

  • Improving communications.
  • Building trust.
  • Eliminating stereotypes.

Take your team to the next level by focusing on teambuilding and strengthening team culture in the workplace.
A happy inclusive team can only mean happy customers, and that’s just good business.

How’s the end of winter going for you?

Businesses who are affected by seasonal fluctuation tend to bunker down in the winter, restricting spending and going into a semi-hibernation. (Ski equipment and fireplace sellers… bookmark this article for January!)
While most companies see the spring and summer seasons as a tiny, slowly growing blips on the horizon, those invested in making the most out of their marketing have likely already organised all of their advertising and on hold messaging months before the first blossom buds emerge.
Don’t wait too long to organize your summer season plans, to wait until the last minute only leads to ill thought out campaigns and rushed, shoddy product.

If you are in the hospitality, retail, foodservice or travel industry then you should pay extra special attention.
You should already know what sort of stock or customer numbers are arriving in the next few months, or what type of deals you’ll be offering, so now it’s time to sit down with your marketing team and messaging producers and hash out the shape of your upcoming summer season.

Take a look at your last summer season, discuss what worked and what didn’t, did a rival competitor or company in another industry do anything that worked particularly well? Use customer feedback to help you guide your way. Get creative while always keeping your brand and customer expectations in mind. Throughout all don’t forget to include the humdrum yet essential information like opening hours and location.

By setting up all your messaging so far in advance you can focus on other, more important things. It’s easy to fool yourself by imagining that you can can deal with it later, when in reality businesses get busier, there’s new staff to train, stock to unpack etc and before you know it, its February and you’ve missed another busy seasonal opportunity.

Don’t let the busy season sneak up on you this year, plan and organize your marketing well in advance for the best, most effective advertising and messaging.

 

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Staff Training

If you don’t already take the time to regularly stop and listen to your staff answer the phone, then you need to pencil it in your schedule. Set time aside to listen to the way they interact with customers from greeting to call end to be sure every member of staff is representing your company properly.

Staff training isn’t a one-time set and forget lesson at a new staff members induction. Staff must be periodically monitored to ensure consistency – even for the long term employees who feel they know it all – they are sometimes the worst offenders, so relaxed in their jobs that thy start slipping, or doing things their own way.

By making yourself aware of how your staff answers the phone and providing on-going support and training you can avoid many customer service no-no’s including the following two common customer service phrases that turn customers off.

  • ‘It’s not my problem’

These words should never be uttered, along with the even more abrasive ’What do you want me to do about it?’ It is not your customers job to find the answers, even if the answer is not anything to do with your company. Sound confusing? All your service team has to do is use their sense of empathy and common sense. IE: A customer rings your games company with a complaint that is clearly a fault of their computer or ISP. Instead of sending them on their way with a ‘not our problem’, a quick Google search may enable you to troubleshoot a simple problem or to equip them with the correct number they need to call.

  • ‘Sorry, it’s our company policy’

This rage inducing phrase is commonly used but does nothing to help the customer or endear them to your business. It should never be uttered by anyone on your team, so if you catch someone saying it it’s definitely time to get them in for a little re-training. There is almost always a way to keep your customer satisfied within your company guidelines. One sure-fire way to avoid saying those five dreaded words is to eliminate the ‘no’ answers by letting the customer know what you CAN do in a situation, preferably with some choices.
IE: A customer wants a refund on an unwanted gift, instead of saying no, say ‘what we can do is exchange it for something else or give your store credit to use as you wish.’ This gives the customer the control, but within your policy.

It costs so much more to capture new customers than retain old ones, keep that in mind when you next listen to your staff take calls, train them often, train them right and you’ll have happy staff helping happy customers