Saturday, 5 October 2013

Importance of Leadership in Customer Relationship Management

In the last blog we have seen the negative influence of Commercialization of a Business which directly or indirectly affects the relationship with customer. Here we are now going to see what is meant by leadership? How a leader plays a vital role in building an effective relationship with customer or supplier? What are the key skills that transforms an individual as a leader? How to identify a leader? These are some questions which are going to explained in brief in this blog.
As we all know Leadership is a quality of an individual that drives the entire team towards the same goal. Unless target is not focused at the initial stage itself the end result will go negative or against the organization. The person who aligns the target of an assignment is known as a Leader. Leader is a person who guides or mentor the team on a project or assignment based on his previous experiences and reference to many research articles. Lets takes an example of a Team Lead of Marketing Department. He would have definitely come across various people, attitudes, sectors etc which are his past experience. Here he should have taken failures as his learning areas and would have made many analysis on to handle customer of those attitude or sector. This is something that has been practiced for years and today it has become a part of Management Curriculum. Based on these analysis a leader mentors or guides the team and learning continues with different projects. Unless the leader is potential enough the success rate of any project or assignment will be less than the expectation. Leader should not only be well versed in domain knowledge but also should have effective management skill set like time management, documentation, communication, presentation, attitude, follow ups, project management, metrics design, clarity in clarifying the queries, escalation matrix management, work break structure, team building and management etc.. are some of the important skill sets.
Time Management, Communication and Documentation plays an important role as every assignment has got a project plan which comes has to be prepared based on the team skill set and availability of the resource. Accordingly the project has to be divided among the team along with the time limit or number of days to complete that part of the project which is termed as Work Break Down structure. Then comes communication unless there is no proper communication on the progress of the assignment there won't be other phases of a project in line like Software testing which is handed over to a different team. Documentation is very important as a team lead he should ensure that the complete documentation of the project is properly maintained to provide report on the project to the management before handing over to the customer. In order to achieve this a leader has to be an effective team builder as he should know the resource he requires with the following skill set along with have to set the metrics for his  team. In customer relationship we have metrics like time to resolve the issue, customer feedback, number of calls addressed are some of the metrics followed in Business Process Organization and many customer support providing organization.Escalation matrix should normally be designed based on the capability of an individual like for support there are L1-L3 support. Team Lead should have the capability to analyze the team domain knowledge and build the escalation matrix. Then the pilot batch should be initiated to see how they support the customer or client with their expertise in that domain. Based on this Team Lead should analyze on the domain they require training. That is what we term as employee satisfaction areas as the employee is provided the training and made sure that he provide better support along with getting additional knowledge.
A detailed report should be made at regular intervals on the team performance and have regular meetings to inform the team member on the areas of their weakness and how to address those areas. That makes the team to have a got relation with the team lead thereby completing the task on time, within expected metrics & quality and above all getting a satisfied customer into their credit. So Team Lead with some of these parameters plays a vital role in building the team and also growing the business of an organization in turn also building a list of satisfied customers.
Team Lead should be identified based on the above discussed potentials. He will be normally evaluated based on the success of the project and his ability to manage the team. Hard work alone doesn't  makes an individual as a Team Lead but how he delivers an assignment in an efficient way. When a assignment is provided to a Team Lead he should have the ability to understand the customer need which in turns should compare with his resource skill set. Accordingly he has to prepare a documentation to HR on resource requirement. Those knowledge are based on his past experiences and proper logical thinking caliber of an individual. It is known to all of us that the "Success of an organization is based on Team work not by individual's effort". Team Lead should have the efficiently to have a good relationship with his team member by having some fun by taking them for a outing, giving them the opportunity to do some MDP or certification programs. Giving them some assignments from research articles to make get them involved in knowing other domains also. Team Lead should be a friend, mentor and not to dominate the team. These are some important aspects about the Leadership quality in an organization that assists in the building the client or customer relationships.

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