Given that many customer service employees work independently within their departments, collaboration may not seem like a function team members would think of as advantageous. Though independent work remains indispensable, a collaborative customer service team can produce more sustainably positive customer experiences than automations or independent operators.
This article discusses the importance of collaboration among customer service team members and how a shared inbox solution can help boost team productivity.
Customer Service Teams Today
Automation and AI have become increasingly common in the digital business landscape, and customer service departments are no exception. Today’s customers receive instant service replies from technological advances like chatbots and automated phone or email responses. For some organizations, automation rules offer enough support for positive customer service experiences. More complex matters, however, require human intervention to produce higher-quality, personalized results.
The last few years have dramatically changed how customers interact with companies, as the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged replacing potentially contagious in-person contact with online encounters. As a result, people expect more from their customer service experiences, prompting teams to implement both human intervention and automation to deliver quick, high-quality assistance. Brands that rely primarily on online channels to address the bulk of customer service requests require that teams ensure every digital interaction meets the highest possible standards.
For many customers, one poor interaction can shift their brand loyalty. For others, a poor interaction may be excusable if handled well. It’s important to be aware that not every customer interaction will be positive, but using the right tools to reconcile issues can help retain loyal customers and build your brand’s reputation for reliability.
The Necessity of Customer Service Email
Because many customer service representatives work remotely from home, they rely on digital communication channels like instant messaging apps, Zoom video calls, and phone interactions. While these tools can be highly effective, email remains the gold standard for business communications.
Most consumers cite speed and quality of customer service responses as their top priorities, which means that teams need a digital platform capable of delivering both. Email offers an organized system for providing both automated and human intervention. Teams can answer emails individually for a personalized touch or set automation rules to improve response times and observe email management best practices.
For example, a larger organization may utilize email templates to compose customized replies if their customer service inbox volume is high. Templates allow agents to send personalized customer responses that align with company policies and values. Putting tedious tasks like follow-ups on autopilot increases productivity by allowing team members to focus on other responsibilities requiring human intervention.
With that, it is critical that teams find a platform that enables members to work together to craft relevant responses and set automation rules to expedite workflow. However, most traditional email solutions offer only limited collaborative functions, and today’s teams need a little extra support. Finding a digital solution that improves team collaboration will help you establish an optimal workflow structure and boost productivity.
Collaboration in Customer Service: Why You Need It
As important as providing quality customer service is, it’s equally important to establish a collaborative culture among your team members, especially with remote workers. Collaboration takes the diverse perspectives each team member brings to the virtual workplace—what Forbes describes as cognitive diversity—and encourages creative problem-solving skills. Using a platform with collaborative options presents more opportunities for:
- Improved communication
- Stronger interpersonal connections
- Inter-agent accountability
- Transparent expectations and outcomes
- More cohesive team identity
Increased collaboration often results in better communication, and improved team communication produces better customer service experiences. Customers have come to expect team members to communicate issues, with 54% of consumers reporting they don't like to repeat themselves to multiple points of contact.
Following a professional, organized workflow encourages team members to communicate internally and avoid asking customers repetitive questions. Customers want to work with knowledgeable, reliable brands. The last thing your company needs is to lose valuable customers because of a poor customer service experience.
If you are looking for ways to boost your customer service department’s productivity, start by finding ways to improve internal team communications.
Shared Inbox For Customer Service Teams
Shared inboxes allow team members to work together on incoming customer service emails. Email remains the channel of choice for customer service inquiries. As a fast, reliable messaging platform, shared inboxes enhance email communication by allowing multiple team members to access, manage, and respond to emails from one account.
Featured image of Gmelius shared inbox
While call center representatives and chatbots remain popular solutions for some customer service departments, email offers customers an easy way to reach out without interrupting their day. Email also gives team members time to address the customer inquiry in the best way possible.
The immediacy of phone calls require customer service agents to put a customer on hold if they need additional team support. Similarly, a chatbot must respond quickly before losing the customer's interest. Asynchronous email communication enables teams to receive issues, discuss possibilities, work out a resolution together, and respond to customers—all within an acceptable timeframe.
Shared inboxes offer opportunities for efficient communication, no matter where your team members live. Everyone invited as members of the shared inbox can see the same email requests and address them together, creating a transparent and productive workflow.
Gmail Shared Inbox: The Best Way to Boost Productivity
Setting up a shared inbox may sound like a complicated undertaking, however, Gmelius makes it easy. The Gmelius shared inbox fits elegantly into your existing Gmail account. Teams do not need to learn another complicated tool. Members simply log into their personal accounts, and the Gmelius interface is readily available to all invited team members.
Gmelius’ shared inbox for Gmail offers customer service teams a variety of collaborative features, including:
Gmelius also integrates with Google Workspace, Slack, and other communication tools, making collaboration virtually effortless. Not only is there a clear line of sight for all tasks, but team members can also communicate via other channels or preferred apps.
For example, one team member can be working on an email in Slack, while another works from Gmail. Limited tab-switching prevents distractions and time delays. With Gmelius, no time is wasted and every communication effort is completed right inside your shared workspace.
Furthermore, Gmelius offers team analytics to help managers identify hidden bottlenecks.
Continuously improving a department's structure boosts productivity and improves relationships among agents. Members can see what is assigned to them, allowing them to feel comfortable collaborating with others on tasks if one team member has a lighter workload than the rest.
Many people fear asking others for help, but the benefits of collaboration—both internally and externally—are undeniable. With Gmelius, no team member needs to resolve issues alone. Our innovative shared inbox solution provides help desk features and so much more to enhance collaboration within your customer service team’s virtual workspace.
Collaboration in customer service is critical to an organization’s success. Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!