We all know teamwork is key. But have you considered how your seperate teams, or departments, are working together? After all, everyone in your business is working towards a common goal, does it really make sense for them to be kept separate?
Bringing together your marketing, sales, customer service, accounts and HR departments is key for a truly productive team. Here’s a few tips to help you get started…
Hang out regularly
How well do your sales team know your support agents or accounts department?
“Fully knowing your team means that you have invested the time to understand how they are wired to think and what is required to motivate them to excel beyond what is expected from them.”
Make sure to bring all departments together as often as you can. At Contactzilla, we have casual weekly meetings on Monday morning where we chat about what we’ve all been up to. Whenever there’s an update or new release, we make sure to demo it to everyone on the team.
Finally, have some fun! Try to get out of the office a few times a year and do something different. Building friendships will help departments communicate better and work together.
Different departments use different systems, but often, there’s an overlap in information. For example, perhaps your sales team use Salesforce CRM, and maybe your accounts department use Freshbooks. Both systems store certain customer information and both departments have access to different information sets.
This works well in theory, until a customer needs to update their information. Perhaps they tell sales their new address, but invoices continue to be sent to the old one.
While your departments do need to be using different systems, centralising certain information will help teams work together.
Internal customer service
Sure you’re focussed on customer service, but what about your internal customers?
When you have different teams working in different departments, there will be times when it would be beneficial for them to view each other as customers.
For example, a payroll assistant who fails to pay everyone on time, is going to need to provide some pretty good customer service to their colleagues to maintain good relations.
Customer service and experience expert, Shep Hyken, is a keen advocate of internal customer service and has a few tips to help you bring it to your organisation…
“Starting an internal service program is simple. Virtually every technique you have read or learned about general customer service applies to the internal customer as well. Small changes in basic terminology will need to be made. Companies that practice outstanding customer service find it is easier to attract and keep customers. Companies that practice outstanding internal service find it easier to attract and keep good employees. Employees who practice outstanding internal service find it easier to keep and enhance their careers.”
How do you encourage good relations and productive working between departments? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Image: Flickr|Yasin Hassan