energizing breakthrough performance

Cross-Functional Customer Care Teams and the Service Revolution

By Ronald A. Gunn, Strategic Futures principal

Cross-functional teams can focus on products/product lines, processes, projects, or customers/customer groupings. An increasing number of Strategic Futures® clients are interested in cross-functional teams and matrix management approaches to providing quality customer service. We have offered training and consultation in customer service and in cross-functional teams/matrix management for a number of years, but the need for merging content into a fresh mix that helps cross-functional Customer Care Teams function more effectively is apparent. This article is an installment towards that end. We only ask that you read our previous article, “Matrix Management: Method, Not Magic” so that you will be comfortable with our concepts and terminology as you read the article below.

Too many “responsible” customers!

Whatever your industry, you are likely to reach the same conclusion: The responsibility for focusing your assets on satisfying customer needs should reside with your company rather than with the customer. The service revolution may have begun in the 1980s, but if you look around you can see that there are many battles yet to be fought, let alone won. Perhaps the biggest battle is this notion that the burden for managing cross-functional services is that of the service provider rather than the customer.

Reflect upon your own experience as a customer. Most of us have had the experience of “shopping for answers” and “shopping for service.” This is usually accomplished through a mix of telephone dialing to numerous functional departments, detective work, and attempted reconciliation of policy and procedure differences reported by different functional departments. Having discerned patterns of supervision, the customer appeals to the appropriate party in search of a service, favorable resolution, or other satisfactory outcome.

Pages: 1 2 3 4