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How to communicate to the team – Part 2


What you’ll learn

Planning recurring communications around your review program is vital to its long-term success. If you aren’t communicating the results to your team, then what’s the point? Once again, we check in with Valentina to discuss what you should be doing to make the most of your review program after its launch.

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RILEY YOUNG: Your communication plan should not stop once you’ve launched your review program. Now that your team is regularly doing reviews, you need to actually do something with the results for the process to become actionable. Planning recurring communications around your review program is vital to its long-term success. If you aren’t communicating the results to your team, then what’s the point? Let’s check in once again with Valentina to discuss what you should be doing to make the most of your review program after its launch.

Welcome back, Valentina!

VALENTINA THÖRNER: Happy to be here.

RILEY YOUNG: So today we’re going to now look at our post-launch communications plan. So this is, again, four stages, and these are regular 1:1s, regular reporting, leaderboards and a newsletter. So we’ll start with the first stage, which is regular 1:1s. Why is this stage so important?

VALENTINA THÖRNER: 1:1s are your opportunity to actually check in with each and every support rep on how they feel the quality program is going, what they can improve and where they are already really good at, because you can also leverage those, that knowledge. So 1:1s should happen weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and they should be a recurring event so that both you and the support rep know that they’re going to talk about things on that specific date. Open door policy usually doesn’t work because no one has time for that, and only the very outgoing people take advantage of that. And in these meetings, what you do is you review specific cases you can bring those cases or you can invite your support rep and say, “Hey, I want you to bring three cases that we are going to look at together”. One of them that you’re really proud of, one of them where you’re not entirely sure. And one, choose whatever you’d like to choose and then go through those together and look at what can be improved and where are really good examples that maybe you could share with other people that they can also learn from this. 

RILEY YOUNG: Yeah. That’s a really good point as well with the 1:1s, and that is that the support rep can actually bring cases themselves to discuss. It’s not just ones that the managers picked and that, that makes for a really healthy 1:1 dynamic, I feel. Our next stage in the post-launch plan is again a recurring theme and this is recurring reports. What can you tell us about the reports that you should be making?

VALENTINA THÖRNER: So reports – also here you need like a clear cadence, whether you publish them weekly or monthly, depends on the amount of reviews you’re actually doing. And then you can see how things progress and whether your quality program actually has a measurable result. The individual results – you’re going to discuss those in the 1:1s, what we are here interested in with these reports is how is the entire team doing? Are there maybe people in the team that need extra support, are there people that you can pair for peer support, and how different teams are doing if you’re comparing them with each other. So that way you can figure out if teams are actually aligned, if reviewers are calibrated, and you can find out whether there are things that are “going wrong” or that could be improved that are not necessarily support rep dependent. So maybe you have two different products and one team really scores very low in quality reviews and they work on a different product. So maybe the product is the problem. So you don’t have the same documentation or it’s way more complicated 

than the other product. And by looking at these comparisons, you can see what can we do to improve our product, our processes and our people. And then over time, are we actually trending into the right direction?

RILEY YOUNG: Yeah, yeah, that makes total sense. And these reports they do, over time they kind of paint a picture of, tell the story of how your department is actually doing and making sure that the reports are recurring is really important there to see that full picture. So our third stage of our post-launch plan, this one is maybe not for everybody, but for the companies that can sort of handle this type of thing. Having a leaderboard to promote your sort of top performers. What else can you tell us about leaderboards?

VALENTINA THÖRNER: So leaderboards usually showcase top three, top five, top ten, depending on the size of your organization, top “people”. Now, what top means can vary. So you might just showcase the three people with the best IQS – Internal Quality Score – or three people with the highest IQS and the highest CSAT, or the three people or ten people with  the highest score in specific categories. This works really well if your team is quite homogenous or streamlined. So there are different people who make it there every week or every month. If you always have the same three people on top, it becomes boring and it can actually become frustrating for the other people who are never highlighted. The other thing to keep in mind is, does your organization handle competition well? Because there are some teams where competition can actually be that little spark that makes a difference. And then there are teams, you introduce competition and people start to compete so much that they stop trusting each other. So have an eye also on your company culture and what it is that your company culture really likes and what it doesn’t, and then use that accordingly.

RILEY YOUNG: Yeah, definitely. I mean, every support rep’s a bit different in that sense, I definitely was one that was spurred on by a bit of competition, but can definitely see how that can sometimes even be a demotivator for other people as well. So definitely something to be careful of. Our last and final stage of our post-launch plan is about utilizing your department newsletter. If you have one, of course, and if you don’t, then you should get one. What else can you tell us about a support newsletter?

VALENTINA THÖRNER: So newsletter – it can be a newsletter or maybe an internal blog, but it needs to be something where things are written down and persistent over time. What do you put into these newsletters, apart from continuing to highlight that you’re doing the quality program, because we are talking about post-launch communication so there should be ongoing communication that you’re still interested in quality. And this wasn’t just a one-week fad, but it’s actually going to stay. So you can use this newsletter to actually broadcast the bigger findings, like we are trending into this direction, but also the smaller findings like this support rep had this amazing example about how to explain a very complicated thing to a non-technical customer. Great! Put that into the newsletter so that other people can use maybe the same example. Or here we have a really great way how somebody managed to calm down a very contentious customer. Good! Share that example. Or here is a way on, how somebody discovered a workaround for a bug that’s currently still not fixed. So share that workaround with everybody else. So that you can use this to actually share all the information and all the hacks, workarounds, ideas that come up in the quality program, so that everybody can use them and they don’t keep being confined to just one person or one team.

RILEY YOUNG: Yeah, that’s so true as well. Doing conversation reviews, it really does help you find these amazing little use cases that you never would have seen before. So having a platform where you can share those findings really helps for the whole team. Alright, thank you so much, Val! That brings us to an end of our post-launch communications plan. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have you here, and thank you so much for your time.

VALENTINA THÖRNER: Thank you for inviting me!

RILEY YOUNG: To summarize – you should not only have a communication plan for before your launch, but also a communication plan in place for after you begin performing your conversation reviews. Planning ahead for this will save you a lot of potential headaches in the future, particularly with issues around your support reps’ engagement with your program. That brings us to the end of this lesson and to the end of this course. [toots whistle] Well done, you! [confetti pops] By now, you should be well-versed in the art of conversation reviews and feel confident in launching your program. Make sure to take the final quiz to test your knowledge and get a certificate for completing this course. Thanks so much for watching! Join us in the Quality Tribe to share your thoughts on this course or anything else support quality-related. We’ll see you for the next one. Until then, have an a-meow-zing time!

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