How Cross-Departmental Collaboration Can Drive Growth
What is cross-departmental collaboration?
Not to be confused with cross-functional collaboration, cross-departmental collaboration is when teams from different departments work together on a common goal. This type of teamwork is becoming more and more common in agile organizations, and can provide creative problem solving, better communication, and faster goal realization. Moreover, working closely with other teams can improve moral and empathy within a company, which is great for employee engagement and retention. For a real-world example of successful cross-departmental collaboration, we talk to Revealbot about how they all work together with their Customer Support team.
Interdepartmental collaboration in action
It’s often a struggle for traditionally siloed companies to implement agile practices. But working closely with other teams, especially customer-facing ones like Support, can be immensely beneficial for the entire organization. In this article, we hear from Revealbot’s Head of Product, Masha Favorskaya, on the value they found in aligning with their Customer Support team:
Revealbot is a complex digital marketing automation tool that grew from a chatbot. A true startup by nature, it was created by three childhood friends who are still developing their project six years later.
From the beginning, user feedback was at the heart of the company’s growth. And the Support team was practically the first department to be established in the company’s structure. Over the years, it grew following the growth of our user base and worked as a forge for making our Product team.
Right now, the role of Customer Support in Revealbot is much bigger than helping users with their workflow. They have significantly impacted cross-departmental collaboration, building bridges between different teams. Here’s how Revealbot has leveraged cross-departmental collaboration to drive product development and growth.
Evaluate the potential of Customer Support
Working in Customer Support is no walk in the park. Troubleshooting under constant pressure is a given. According to our Head of Support, Aigul, when the customer addresses the Support team, they’ve already tried and failed to solve the problem by themselves, maybe multiple times. So their experience is already drifting into a negative context. We know our Support is “the face” of Revealbot, which is why we appreciate them being not only professional but also compassionate listeners.
One of the Revealbot founders, Iskander, was the first member of the Support team. In 2016, at the beginning of Revealbot, he took up the responsibility of communicating with potential and existing customers. By talking directly to the target audience, Iskander could better understand their needs and distinguish growth possibilities. That’s why it’s crucial for any company to…
Align with customer-facing teams
Human nature is intriguing: we can fake praise, but our complaints are always sincere. We get the most honest feedback anyone could hope for by receiving insights into what troubles our users. So, what insights can Customer Support provide to the company, and how can it contribute to growth?
To ensure everyone on the team has access to the information relevant to them, the Head of Support, Aigul, posts her findings on Slack every Friday. Here’s what the team uncovers:
- Ideas for the new features
- Information on bugs and other issues
- Customer experience insights
- Honest reviews of the product
- Understanding of potential needs of our customers
- Users’ gratitude and their positive feedback on our work
- Funny jokes our customers exchange with our Support
To ensure the customer support team has time to prepare additional reports, we direct all the necessary resources as soon as possible. To fully “weaponize” Customer Support, you must be prepared to put in some extra effort.
Value your employees
You can’t expect high-quality service if your Customer Support is understaffed. And hiring new members of the team is always quite challenging. Meanwhile, too many things are at stake here: your company’s reputation and levels of churn. Having a strong Customer Support team is a strategic decision. By putting some of the retention load on them, you can focus more on acquisition.
Our CFO, Mike, has some advice on how to scale the team: He directly participates in new hires by personally interviewing the most successful candidates. Mike believes Customer Support is an indicator of the company’s quality, and he wants to ensure this representation is aligned with our values.
Help out when you can
One of our values is team collaboration, and it’s impossible to be a good team without empathy. Our founders say we should all be pulling a shift in Customer Support just to stay in touch with our users and their needs. It might sound like a joke, but there’s some truth to it.
Occasionally, when our users write to Support, they get a reply signed, “Mikhail, CTO.” That’s right, one of Revealbot’s founders is answering questions and fixing bugs when he wants a better feeling of how his product performs for the end user. He can easily cover for a member of Support when there’s an additional workload or an unexpected leave. And being so “down to earth” is something everyone on our team admires.
--Masha Favorskaya, Head of Product at Revealbot