Engaging Partners to Achieve New Heights
Within any organization, one product tends to be the entry point for the customer relationship. What sets a great manager apart from an average manager is coaching front-line teams how to ensure that this first interaction is not the sole experience the customer has with the organization.
Partnerships within the organization can lead to creating deeper relationships that add financial value and create cultural synergy throughout the organization.
You can improve customer experience impacts with these best practices for “engaging partners.”
- Set realistic goals for the type and quality of interactions originated by staff and their business partners. The initial focus of these goals should be on activities instead of outcomes to establish the right behaviors.
- Hold staff accountable by including partnership conversations in regular performance reviews and coaching interactions.
- Regularly invite business-line partners to join team meetings so that they become part of the sales culture.
- As staff becomes more comfortable with partnerships, managers can look for opportunities to coach them on increasing the quality and effectiveness of customer interactions that have the potential for partnerships.
Finally, every organization needs to provide training for staff to understand 3 essential things about the business:
- What products and services are available to customers?
- What does the ideal customer for each business line look like?
- How can customers benefit from working with the business line?
To actively promote a culture of partnership, managers must know the answers to the three questions above and encourage staff to individually reach out to each business line—as partners. This proactive outreach can help staff members increase their own knowledge and begin to build relationships that provide tremendous value to customers.
Business lines outside of the entry point for customer relationships are more likely to gain customer referrals when they can build solid partnerships with staff. Referrals work both ways. Strong partnerships within the organization can bring a broader offering of capabilities to each customer and increased revenue possibilities for the company.
For a sample training worksheet on Engaging Partners, excerpted from our Service Excellence Workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the contact us page on www.cf-pm.com
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