What’s that popular saying again?
The customer comes first?
Yes, the customer should come first. After all, the success of your business depends on how you satisfy their needs. Things like customer satisfaction, growth, and loyalty are the goals you want to pursue.
However, most employers fail to realize that cultivating an amazing and loyal consumer base requires putting the employees first. And this includes fostering team alignment and collaboration.
Remember, if your employees are happy, they’ll treat your customers better and provide excellent customer service. But if the scenario is reversed, they’ll end up hurting your brand.
Check out the various ways to cultivate team collaboration that positively impacts your bottom line. You can also draw insights from the case study covered here.
Loyal customers can make or break your business. Not only do they act as your safety net for unexpected events, but they also help your business to grow exponentially - even during a crisis. With your customers firmly in your corner, nothing can stop you, not even a global pandemic.
Sounds incredible right?
However, customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it.
And how does that happen?
You guessed it! By building team love.
Team collaboration magic would earn you that coveted undying loyalty from your customers.
So, how do you put this into practice?
As a business owner, you already know your goal is getting buyers to stay for the long haul. The question now is how to achieve this feat.
Here’s a shocking fact for you.
On average, most companies lose 50% of their clients every five years.
Successfully reducing the rate of customer defection can double your profits. The longer a client stays with your company, the more they’re worth.
Let’s face it, attracting brand new customers isn’t as easy as some businesses make it seem. Getting new consumers to buy what you’re selling costs six times more than the effort it takes to retain old customers.
Why does this happen?
It’s simple. Loyal customers are more likely to buy more products without making a fuss. They are less sensitive to price change since they trust your products and recommendations. If you’ve been good to them, loyal customers will go to bat for you. That’s why building a good brand strategy is crucial.
With long term customers,
1. There’s no need for acquisition or cost setup
2. Minor mistakes are easily forgiven
3. You get a referral rate of about 400%
4. There’s a 700% likelihood of trying new products
Plus, they assure you of growing brand engagement.
So, how do you attract and retain these kinds of customers?
Promote team collaboration by setting up a consumer loyalty program.
According to Technology Advice, shoppers are 80% more likely to patronize stores with loyalty programs. Following the psychology of discounts, you need to ensure that your customers feel good buying your products. It’s all about the user experience.
Customers want to feel like they are getting a great deal when buying goods. If presented with two options, they’d rather pick the one with a loyalty program. It probably has something to do with consumer psychology.
It’s why shoppers gravitate more towards discount items at the grocery store.
Image Credit: Technology Advice
To achieve a sustainable loyalty program scheme, team collaboration is key.
“On average, when product development specialists teamed up across three different business units, revenue from their customers was 160% higher than the sum of their sales in the prior year.
Profits climbed even faster.
The increased revenue shows that teams handle complications better when they collaborate.
As Dr. Heidi Gardner, a former Harvard Business School professor succinctly puts it.
Her statement reveals how collaboration lowers customer churn rate. It also improves customer service quality and transforms ordinary shoppers into loyal customers.
It begs the question of why most companies aren’t adopting this tactic, even with the positive outcomes.
The simple answer is that most businesses find team collaboration expensive since it initially requires a learning experience. But the good news is that once you pass the tough stages at the beginning, your company continuously reaps the benefits.
You have to get through the pain barrier to accrue the benefits. Collaboration might be slow in the beginning, but it eventually picks up and becomes normal.
Image Credit: Communication Director
We know that effective teamwork unlocks customer loyalty. Now you’ll find out how to apply it to your business.
Gathering and Analyzing Customer Feedback
The customer experience journey isn’t complete without appropriate feedback. Before collaborating with different branches of a business, the team should know their customers’ wants and needs. This would allow them to create solutions to possible problems.
Thanks to tools like Survey Monkey, Google Forms, and Typeform, you can gather information from your customers and include them in your decision-making processes.
It makes sense to gather intel from your customers since they’re the ones using your products.
You can still gather customer feedback with any one of these platforms even if your product/app is in the beta testing stage.
With the information collected from customers, you can make informed business decisions that could positively impact your bottom line.
Note common themes and ideas from their answers, and reach out to the customers for follow-up questions and clarifications. But before doing this, you need to get their consent to use their answers in the future.
To ensure that the data you collect is useful, you’d need to employ more data-collection methods. Surveys and interviews can only go so far. You’d need more specific tools like Hotjar to gather information on user behavior on your website or app.
However, data collection isn’t solely for your customers’ benefit. You can gather data on your team as well. This would help you discover;
If your company already has different departments collaborating successfully, learn from them. Train your team to collaborate with different departments in the organization. Make the tech team collaborate with the customer support, sales, and marketing teams.
There’s no collaboration without communication. Teams collaborate better when they can send and receive clear messages. How you react to information depends on the effectiveness of the communication channel.
Collaboration fails when there’s a communication breakdown. Effective team communication equals strong collaboration, which leads to customer loyalty.
So, are you experiencing difficulties communicating with your team?
Here’s how to strengthen it.
Since self-service is big among many groups, ensure that the knowledge base is stacked with the right information. You should also have the most capable team members handle different aspects of customer issues to ensure excellence all the time.
Email communication is essential, but save it for list building and email marketing.
Maintaining trust between the team would be the biggest drawback you’ll face in your business, especially when working remotely. To avoid communication challenges, cultivate an environment of trust among everyone.
T-Mobile is the perfect example of how effective team collaboration leads to satisfied customers and happier staff.
While T-Mobile’s self-service initiative was a huge success, it also created a challenge for the company. Since clients could handle the minor issues themselves, customer support reps were faced with the complex ones. This switch made the reps’ lives stressful.
The company developed a strategy by reinventing the service department from the ground up. The plan was to improve the ability of their reps to handle ‘thorny’ situations.
So, the company focused on identifying and removing things that drove customers crazy. The goal was customer happiness since happy clients are more likely to use a product longer and refer others.
T-Mobile utilized B2B account management models and created the Team of Experts model (TEX), a highly specialized team that handled small groups of customers’ accounts. Team members were situated in various locations across the country.
TEX teams comprised of:
1. A leader
2. Four dedicated coaches
3. Eight tech specialists to handle complex software and hardware issues
4. A customer solutions expert to address complicated issues and spot trends
5. A resource manager
6. 32 customer service reps
Image Credit: Harvard Business Review
This collaborative customer service approach led to a 56% increase in T-Mobile’s Net Promoter Score—from 43 to 67%.
Reports showed customers were happier and satisfied, which led to stress-free staff.
The size of your business doesn’t matter where team collaboration is concerned. You could have a business of five employees or a thousand and still collaborate effectively. But before you head down this path, ensure that every team member is ready to put in the work.
And if you lack the resources required to employ a team of dedicated professionals, you can adapt parts of the TEX model that works for your business.