Change management in customer service success has a lot to do with communication and setting the right wheels in motion. By that, we mean influencing and motivating people in your team to work together productively in the same direction and use Artificial Intelligence adoption as support. Press play!
What is change management?
Change management is an important method for companies going through significant transformation. It's a people-first, structured approach that considers all aspects of a company’s existing culture when taking on a new venture.
Change management involves more than just the implementation of technology like Artificial Intelligence; it also requires goal setting and comprehensive processes that help ensure the people involved in this transition stay on the same page and stay motivated throughout the process. With a well-rounded change management system, businesses can move their projects forward with greater success while keeping employees engaged.
The goal of change management is to learn from experiences and to implement new ways to innovate and grow. It's a clear path to get everybody on board synced up and supported, so they adapt as they move on with less resistance.
When is a change management program needed?
The short answer would be when you are not meeting your targets. The longer answer is that a change management program is needed when you haven’t defined workflows that all the team members know by heart.
Communication is the first step. You must assess each member of the customer service team to see where he or she is on their performance journey and meet them there. A change management program will influence each person’s qualities while leveraging their minuses and holding them accountable.
The importance of change management
There are three key assets of change management: communication, which leads to productivity and turns into performance. But let’s take them one by one.
>>> Improved communication
Organizational change management is all about improving communication. Communication is essential in building a product, a team, a company, and your legacy.
Nothing comes out of a good project if there isn’t communication. And know that this does not come by default, pillars have to be put in place, taught, and repeated.
>>> Increased productivity
It’s like the kids’ story with the frog, the fish, and the shrimp under the sea. They all want a piece of food, and when they touch it and pull it in a different direction, each one is going, the piece of food does not budge. What to do?
When each team member knows what his or her responsibility is, the ship moves forward. Although each member has a growth trajectory, this has to be in the same direction for the team to perform and for the company to scale.
>>> Enhanced team performance
With communication pillars put in place and the walls of productivity rising sustainability each day, the roof of performance sets in. This is the roadmap that a change management in customer service program aims to develop. And if you also use AI in change management, like EmailTree customer service hyperautomation, you are one step further in your journey.
So, now you must be asking yourself, how do I begin? Let’s count the five ways to make change management in customer service easier for you.
#1 Identify your change model.
Before you embark on a journey of setting up your change management model, know that there are a few on the market to get your inspiration from, like the ADKAR model. This stands for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement.
#2 Develop a change in vision and strategy.
If the ADKAR model sounds complex for your first try at implementing change management in customer success easier, you can opt for three phases. For example, you can start with “awareness” to motivate, continue with a CTA-backed strong “ability” to enable change, and “reinforcement” to set the strategy for long-term success.
#3 Communicate the change vision.
Pre-change | Awareness: This is the planning stage, where you determine what needs to change, and how you will go about making the changes. It’s important to let your team know before you start the implementation stage, so they get accustomed to the idea first.
Change | Ability: This is the implementation stage, where you make the changes and you empower the team members with knowledge and the tech tools, like AI in change management, to complete the change.
Post-change | Reinforcement: This is the monitoring stage, where you evaluate the results of the changes, and where it’s important to keep motivating your team.
The Change Management Process
For the change management process to be successful long-term, celebrate the little wins and adapt the losses into learning lessons to create a positive experience and a better company culture.
#4 Generate short-term wins.
To better understand the small wins, and because you now know the core of the message in this article, let's work with an example: the launching of a new product in a saas company.
Following the reinforcement phase, it's important to show that you may have saved up time with the new processes, or a client review was stellar during this time, and maybe you have received a higher number of leads, so people are encouraged to move forward.
#5 Consolidate gains and implement more change.
Change management has to begin with a trial period of 1-3 months. Once you have gone through the three stages, you are now at the end of the first cycle. Assess the short-term wins, consolidate the gains, and move forward as you have so far, or adapt to implement even more change, now that the team is open to it, and has seen the benefits.
If in the first cycle you have focused more on changes at the department level, maybe you can continue now for another 1-3 months at a personal level. Just communicate transparently and offer flexibility when it comes to methods and time to reach a certain goal.
In conclusion, it's important to know that although the full ADKAR model would be a great start and the three phases above a small compromise to get you started, bypassing any of these phases will not lead to a successful implementation of the change management process. Rushing due to lack of time to reach growth it's not a sustainable mindset and instead of motivating your current team, you might find yourself in search of another one. #Justsoyouknow.