THE TEAM APPROACH
Upon completion of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
Discuss the team approach when handling customer needs.
Identify effective ways of improving the teams ability to provide quality
Discuss training techniques when relating to customer service.
Discuss and take personal inventory of the service you receive as a customer.
In the previous chapter, the emphasis was on how
YOU should perform at the contact point to meet the
customers needs. However, most contact points consist
of more than one person. Together these people work
together as members of a team to perform the functions
of the contact point. In this chapter, we will concentrate
on how the members of the contact point team work
together to meet the customers needs.
Each member of a football team is an individual.
Yet, if each member functions as an individual on the
field, the results are easily predictable. Eleven
quarterbacks would have a difficult time advancing the
ball. Even one or two members acting individually
would have a disruptive effect on the teams
performance. Whining requires teamwork
The team is not an entity in itself; it is a group of
individuals. You may be a member of that group as a
striker, a junior petty officer, a leading petty officer, or
a supervisor. Being a member of a team does not deny
you the chance to perform as an individual. Rather, it
allows you to cooperate and act together with other team
members toward a common goal. Thus, a team consists
of individual members with varying personal
traitssome positive, some negative. To achieve
teamwork, you must emphasize the positive traits.
EMPHASIZING POSITIVE TRAITS
Most team members have some undesirable traits,
which they may or may not be aware of. No one would
argue the value to both the person and the team of having
undesirable traits identified and corrected. However,
emphasizing a persons undesirable traits usually
antagonizes the person and accomplishes little. Rather,
by emphasizing the persons desirable traits, you may
find that the undesirable traits begin to disappear. Most
people have a strong desire to be accepted by their peers,
and they will adopt the behavior that leads to that
Yea-a-a-a team! The intent of a cheerleaders yell is
to infuse spectators with enthusiasm that will give the
team members the additional push they need to win. This
attitude of encouragement is another important aspect
of teamwork. Team members who encourage each other
work well together.
PROVIDING ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE
Providing advice and assistance is an important
aspect of teamwork. You might be more proficient in a
specific area of your rating because you have had more
experience than other team members. When that is the
case, offer to provide advice and assistance to those who
Remember, you are not playing a game in which you
win or loseyou are providing service. If you see a team
member about to make a mistake that could have
adverse results for the customer, act to correct it.
However, make sure your action is tactful. The scenario
might go like this: John, I may be able to save you some
time. This situation is similar to the one that I just
experienced a few days ago, and we found that by. . .
Thus, you have acted tactfully to correct the problem by