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People Resource Strategies – Case Study 4

Organizational Development

Client Profile:
A local branch office of a large mid-west company facing the challenge of developing its Customer Services staff to provide better service to its customers.  The branch office was made up of several small acquisitions, companies that were competitors, and each customer service representative came from a different company and continued to service the clients it serviced under their previous employer.

Challenge:
The new branch manager faced the challenge of bringing unity to the customer service team which was extremely territorial.  Each employee was committed to providing exceptional customer service to their respective clients, however, there was no cooperation or unity within the group of fifteen reps.  This was extremely problematic since when someone was out, their clients were not receiving any service.  Bringing the reps to work together for the new company was the biggest challenge since they all worked for competitor companies before the acquisition and loyalties still were strong to the previous companies.

Solution:
The branch manager was open to implementing progressive programs to help ensure clients were receiving seamless service while still maintaining their existing reps.  We first took a look at how logistically we may have to change the routing of calls through the Automatic Call Distribution system and realized the system needed to be upgraded.  Since it was a simple upgrade this was done with very little capital outlay.  The new system needed to be able to handle multiple 800 numbers specific to client being routed into the rep handling that client.  In the event that reps line was busy the client had the option of leaving a message or being routed to another rep who was also versed on the client account.

The second step was to help the team build better interpersonal relations so that they felt more part of the same team.  PRS first helped the customer service team script a brand identity for the new organization that each could identify with.  We also conducted teambuilding exercises using assessments and then working towards bringing the group to recognize the common goal they shared and how as individuals they had similarities and differences in their personalities and communication style.  The off-site retreats helped tremendously in building rapport with team members and they were able to come back energized to their new work environment.  The branch manager continued with the teambuilding exercises on his own to keep the cohesiveness of the new team in tact.

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- B. C. Forbes
 

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