How important is “teamwork?”
Most would say that working well together is important to achieving good outcomes or deadlines. However, in the real word, sometimes we ask “Are we even on the same team?”
To know if you are on the same team, you must have measurements of performance to identify “where you are now”, “where you need to be” and “what you need to do differently.” One of the key measurements of great teamwork is how well the customer feels served by the team…the outcome.
This is why some companies conduct “internal customer service surveys.” Because before a company can measure how a customer feels served, first it must establish how individual members of a team feel served by each other. Without great internal service, it is nearly impossible to create a consistent image of service to the community.
Once internal service issues are identified, then it is possible to conduct an “external customer service survey.” The goal of both of these types of assessments is not to look for excellent marks but to identify areas of opportunity for improvement.
To define excellence In either internal or external customer service, there are five basic area to measure:
Reliability: The “customer” expects you to deliver what was promised dependably and accurately.
Assurance: The “customer” expects all employees to be knowledgeable and courteous and to convey trust and confidence.
Empathy: “Customers” expect some level of individual treatment, personal attention, and a degree of caring.
Responsiveness: “Customers” expect the willingness to provide prompt service and help.
Tangibles: “Customers” want to believe that the organisation or department is able – having the equipment, the personnel, the management, the training, the inventory, the systems and the facilities to do the job.
A commonly held misbelieve about customer service is that it will naturally follow if staff practise the“Golden Rule – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is actually counterproductive and can be a nightmare in building a team as it implies that others have the same expectations as you.
For excellence in internal or external service, if is better to practice the Platinum Rule - “Do unto others as they would do to themselves”. In other words, no one can provide great service and create teamwork until the “customer’s” individual wants and needs have been identified. The goal is to reward the “customer” for coming to you for help.
So, how would you rate each member of your team on the five basic areas of service? (Reliability, Assurance, Empathy, Responsiveness and Tangibles) How would they rate you? Until these questions are asked of each other, a consistent image of “customer service” cannot be projected to the customer community as a whole.