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CHAPTER 4 THE TEAM APPROACH LEARNING  OBJECTIVES 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 team’s ability to provide quality service. 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. ACHIEVING   TEAMWORK 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  team’s 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 traits—some   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  person’s  undesirable  traits  usually antagonizes  the  person  and  accomplishes  little.  Rather, by emphasizing the person’s 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 acceptance. PROVIDING ENCOURAGEMENT Yea-a-a-a team! The intent of a cheerleader’s 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 need it. Remember, you are not playing a game in which you win or lose—you 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 4-1

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