How do you motivate your support and services teams in this ‘new norm’?

Light signs with text hashtag #NEW NORMAL on the working desk. Work from home. New normal concept. Social distancing.

This year has definitely presented us all with new challenges and trying to figure out the new norm, whatever that is. I expect that the definition of the new norm for the country – and the world – will sway from one side to another over the next few months and eventually settle somewhere in the middle.

What we already learned from this crisis is that it is possible to work from home without negative impacts on customers. The time spent previously traveling the globe now put butts in the chairs, ears on the phone, and eyes on the screen which has resulted in more 1:1 time between individuals and their customers for most roles.

However, it is business as usual for your product support team. The support agents have always worked remotely providing the best support they can to ensure customers stay up and running. For your services team, this may or may not be a huge adjustment for them since we know some customers prefer off-site work to keep travel costs down while others prefer working on-site together.

The change for most teams is more than likely working from home rather than going to an office where all the infrastructure to customer environments is up and running at a high speed and where they have a dedicated, quiet space from which to work. While the physical work environment has changed, so have the metrics to measure progress motivational criteria – maybe not in all cases but likely many. It’s important to keep teams aligned with their goals and motivated to adapt to new changes.

New norms need new incentives

When is the last time you reviewed your team’s performance metrics?  This is a good time to take stock and make adjustments to them.

Do their performance metrics still align with the transition your company has had to make? Is this the opportunity to provide them with additional incentives, perhaps bonus accelerators? Are you are incentivizing your team based on how they contribute to your bottom line or their potential to initiate new sales or higher customer satisfaction scores?

Consider revising your metrics to adapt to our new way of conducting business. Perhaps some team members find it easier to put in some extra time now that their ‘office’ is only a few feet away. Others may be more productive after the kids go to sleep or after they finish watching one more episode of their favorite TV show. Here are some ideas for measuring your support and services teams while motivating and incentivizing them:

For your Support team:

  • Customer satisfaction score?
  • Average issue closure rate?
  • Number of cases closed without having to escalate for resolution   
  • Referrals to the sales team which leads to booked training revenue based on the type of calls received from the customer? 
  • Contribution to internal knowledge sharing
  • Contribution to external tips and ticks your customers can leverage for self-solving
  • Contribution to troubleshooting material

For your Services team:

  • Percentage of project activities completed early
  • Contributions to knowledge sharing gaps
  • Creation of a packaged service offering which can be sold and leveraged many times
  • Contribution to internal and external training content
  • Customer leads which lead to additional seats or cross-selling

“KPIs boost productivity and employee morale because they attach daily job functions to a larger goal. Organizational leaders should be conscious about altering KPIs periodically as their companies grow and change. By doing so, employees will be constantly challenged to reach new goals. Since KPIs inspire employees to improve how they get work done, they can be equally important to a business’s bottom line as financials.”

Victoria Vessella’s blog on KPIs for Measuring Remote Employee Performance & Accountability

Christine Carter is the Global Director for Solution Partner Services & Support Enablement and has been in the PLM business for over 30 years leading projects for enterprise customers focusing on cross-organizational business process solutions and adoption management. In addition to services and support, Chris is the initiative leader for Siemens Solution Partners’ Journey to Recurring Revenue.

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