Team dynamics refers to the interpersonal relationships that exist between members of a team. They are essential factors that can make or break an organization. This is why managers and team leaders should constantly improve team dynamics across all company sectors.
Healthy team dynamics foster effective communication, collaboration, and teamwork and eventually increase revenue. Conversely, poor team dynamics lead to a lack of trust, unproductivity, mismanagement, demotivation, and loss of revenue, which can hinder the organization's growth.
And because the customer success team interfaces with your customers, maintaining positive group dynamics becomes even more crucial. An effective customer success team provides high-quality customer support. This creates room for happier customers, boosts conversions, improves customer retention, and increases revenue and profitability.
Customer success teams often face challenges that may hinder the team's growth. However, with the right strategies, you can improve team dynamics in your customer success team.
To ensure your customer success team is firing on all cylinders, we've highlighted eight strategies you should follow.
1. Strengthen the Team Culture
One of the best ways to improve team dynamics in your customer success team is to strengthen the team culture.
But how do you do that?
Strengthening your team's culture lies in creating a safe haven for every team member to collaborate and work together. This involves improving their communication style, team collaboration, and psychological safety.
To achieve that, you must ensure every employee knows the company’s vision and values and that they are reinforced regularly. Your teammates must also know the team's KPIs and shared goals and proactively work together to achieve them.
Other ways you could strengthen your customer success team culture are:
- Uphold active listening and encourage your customer success team members to take responsibility and share their ideas. This creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up, strengthening the team connection and bond.
- Embrace different approaches to problem-solving. Every member has a distinct personality and unique approach to solving problems. Allowing each team member to solve problems uniquely will go a long way to improving the team’s progress.
- Involve the whole customer success team in the department's decision-making and other decisions that concern them and the organization.
- Celebrate individual successes by recognizing people who go above and beyond what's expected of them in their job roles.
Your customer success team should also have standard rules and regulations guiding every team member. In doing so, you’ll set clear expectations and help team members understand how their actions contribute to the team’s shared goals.
2. Diagnose to Understand the Team
Customer success teams are often composed of people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and perspectives. This diversity is an excellent asset for the team. However, it can also present challenges when it comes to team dynamics.
Hence, you must understand each member's personality, strengths, and weaknesses before understanding the team as a whole.
To diagnose the team dynamics, you need to identify the critical components of a successful customer success team. Are your team members:
- Cooperating with each other?
- Communicating effectively?
- Coordinating tasks easily?
- Completing projects on time?
- Enjoying their work?
- Feeling valued and respected by management?
- Encouraging one another when challenges arise?
Answering these questions will help you understand your team and identify the lagging areas you can work on.
On the other hand, your team members may genuinely not know what their strengths and weaknesses are. Therefore, the onus lies on you to help them recognize their potential and how they can utilize it for themselves and the company's growth.
3. Clear Communication Channels
Mark Sanborn once said, "in teamwork, silence isn't golden; it's deadly." Communication is important, and a key strategy for improving team dynamics is maintaining clear communication channels.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to provide a uniform channel where team members can always communicate. Tools like Google workspace, Slack, and Microsoft teams come in handy in this case. If you do not have a company-wide communication channel, you can opt for emails, video chat, text chat, and VoIP phone calls.
For remote teams, you may want to hold regular team meetings to keep everyone in sync with the company’s operations and goals. This also highlights the need for clear communication channels for the team.
Furthermore, feedback should always be exchanged during these meetings, whether positive or negative.
Another critical step is to create a seamless onboarding process for your customers, which eases the stress of cross-channel communication for your customers and the customer support team.
Landbot offers several chatbot integrations to simplify customer onboarding and lead generation for companies.
The ultimate goal is to give every team member a chance to communicate freely and effectively; be heard and understood at all times. With this, you’ll bridge communication gaps and improve the performance of any team, whether that’s customer success or marketing.
4. Effective Delegation of Roles and Responsibilities
Effective delegation of roles and responsibilities must be emphasized in building a high-performing team. You have to be strategic when delegating roles and responsibilities between team members, because they have different skill sets, experiences, work ethics, and expertise.
Here are some key points to consider when delegating roles and responsibilities in your customer success team:
- Identify the team member's strengths.
- Create job descriptions for each role.
- Hold a meeting at the beginning of each quarter to update and share expectations for the quarter ahead.
- Celebrate successes with rewards or recognition.
- Keep communication channels open and respectful among team members.
- Encourage feedback, no matter how small, from all teammates.
- Ensure that customers are satisfied at all times and that their problems are addressed as quickly as possible.
Delegating roles and responsibilities should not be taken lightly in every department of your organization. It can make or break any growing business, irrespective of your exceptional products or services. Hence the need to track the progress of each task you’ve assigned to your team members.
Now, tracking your team's task progress doesn't have to be a job within a job. You can use various project management tools to seamlessly keep an eye on your team's progress without juggling too many channels.
Overall, it’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all way to task delegation. Hence, you need to consider what tasks each individual on your team would enjoy doing and the skills they possess.
Also, consider their workloads and how much support they need from other team members. The goal is to help your team members work effectively and complete projects as fast as possible.
5. Pay Attention to Warning Signs
When most team members are not on the same page, it can lead to decreased productivity, increased employee turnover, and a less-than-optimal customer experience.
However, it is almost impossible for conflict not to happen among team members sometimes, so a team leader needs to pay attention to warning signs. This will help them resolve any conflict that may arise now or in the future.
There are many warning signs of a poor team dynamic. Some of these signs include:
- Conflicts between team members.
- Lack of trust and support in each other.
- Disagreements about how the customer experience should be handled.
- Lack of agreement about how tasks should be distributed.
- Poor communication.
You must intervene as quickly as possible if you notice any of these warning signs. Conflicts between your customer success team can affect the organization negatively. Fortunately, by addressing issues head-on, you can build an effective team and ensure they provide the best customer service possible.
6. Transparent Feedback Evaluation Mechanism
Another effective way to achieve strong team dynamics in your customer success team is by implementing a Transparent Feedback Evaluation Mechanism (TFEM). This system will allow everyone on your team to give feedback about one another without feeling uncomfortable or intimidated.
Each person should be given a chance to review all comments about them, be they positive or negative, so there are no surprises later on. Your team will learn, modify, and calibrate to one another's tastes more quickly if they receive regular feedback. This will help the team members establish healthier relationships and reach their goals faster.
But there is more; the customer success team should establish transparent customer feedback. Feedback from customers is essential to any company’s improvement and growth. And you should ensure you are getting honest feedback and reviews from your existing and new customers from time to time.
You can use many customer feedback software or tools to automatically get feedback from your customers. Some of these tools are Hubspot, Survicate, SurveyMonkey, Wootric, ProProfs Survey Maker, UseResponse, CustomerSure, and lots more.
You can use any of these customer feedback tools to automate feedback collection from your customers when they interact with your brand, either through buying products or other ways.
7. Address Conflicts Quickly
Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, so it’s unrealistic to expect your team members never to experience any conflicts.
However, when conflict arises, try to address it quickly and directly with the people involved. This will help you avoid the issues that could come from letting unresolved conflicts fester.
However, conflicts do not end only with your customer success team. They can also happen between your team and customers. When this happens, the organization and the team must solve any conflict with customers as soon as possible.
One of the ways to do this is to ask your customers important questions like:
- How did we fail?
- What could we have done better?
- What went wrong, and how do you think our service can improve?
- Is there anything we can do now or going forward to make things right again?
Asking questions like these will help you get honest feedback from your customers. With this, your customer success team can grow and learn how to provide the best customer experience possible.
Since conflicts are inevitable, it is vital that you and your customer success team document the conflict resolution processes. This way, you will always have a plan to resolve conflicts efficiently before they damage your team dynamics and performance.
8. Provide Training Programmes
Training programs are a great way to create positive dynamics and achieve a high-performing team. They offer cross-training opportunities that can help improve your team's soft skills, interpersonal relationships, and ability to proffer creative solutions.
Companies can help employees understand their jobs better, become more confident, and improve their overall team performance through training programs.
Also, LinkedIn reported that 94% of employees said they’d stay at a company longer if the employer invested in their learning and development.
So, how do you get started?
Firstly, you can scout for recommended courses on reputable online learning or professional platforms. Examples of such platforms include; Udemy, Linkedin, Hubspot, Coursera, Alliance, etc.
Secondly, you can create an online course if you are a thought leader in your field or outsource to freelancers/professionals.
By including a training program as part of your onboarding process, you will have a ready-made resource for every new hire. It will also ensure that everyone on your team knows exactly what they need to know before joining the team and tackling a customer problem. This may seem like a lot of time and effort, but investing upfront means there won't be any headaches later when the pressure's on.
Unfortunately, many organizations do not see the importance of investing in training programs for their employees. Perhaps, because of the cost. However, neglecting employee training may cost them even more in the long run.
The truth is training programs are worth their pound. And any organization should strive to train their employees continuously, as this will help enhance the team’s growth.
Improving your team dynamics is one of the effective ways to build an excellent customer success team, as this department is very important to your company's growth and revenue. And in no way should it be taken with levity.
Moreso, positive team dynamics should be upheld across all teams/departments in your organization. This will ensure everyone is in sync in reaching the company's goals and visions.
For starters, these eight strategies can help you improve team dynamics across all teams in your organization. If you follow and apply them, you should see a huge transformation in your customer success team and organization as a whole.