The 3 R’s to Incentivize Product and Support Collaboration
--- In business, we often hear the term “collaboration” thrown around. At its core, collaboration is all about working together to achieve a common goal. It's about open communication, sharing ideas, and working towards a solution that benefits everyone involved. In SaaS business, the collaboration between product and support teams has a huge impact on the customer experience. But what motivates teams to work together?
A behavioral theory called the incentive theory of motivation says that people are driven by a desire for rewards and reinforcement. The incentive theory also suggests that people avoid behaviors that can result in punishment and behave in ways they think will lead to rewards.
So, how can you incentivize collaboration between product and support?
Incentives can be structured in 3 ways: Recognition, Reward, and Relationships. Let’s take a closer look at these.
Illustrating positive results is a great way to encourage employees to do more and be committed to new ways of collaboration. Highlighting success stories creates a sense of camaraderie and competition – both of which can spur teams to do their best work.
So if you want to get the most out of product and support teams, be sure to let them know about the great results you're seeing! Showcase the impact of collaboration across support and product teams by measuring metrics and reporting at various levels. This could include Customer, Tier1 support, Tier2 support, Product & engineering, and Executives, as shown in the infographic below.
Motivate teams by gamifying the process with a reward system that encourages everyone from support to engineering to product to work together towards a common goal. By making it fun and rewarding, you can motivate your team to go above and beyond for your customers.
Measure the metrics mentioned in the infographic at various levels: organization level, team level, and individual level. Individual metrics can also be great tools for performance reviews. However, it's important to remember that these metrics should be used as part of a broader performance review process that takes into account an employee's overall contribution to the team. This includes factors such as their attitude, work ethic, and ability to collaborate with others. You can reward individuals or teams in two ways:
Leaderboards are a great way to measure individual performance and keep employees engaged. By tracking progress, leaderboards provide a sense of competition and motivation. Additionally, leaderboards can help identify top performers who can be recognized and rewarded.
An engineer is going above and beyond to fix a bug quickly? A product manager is redesigning a feature for a great CX? A support agent is troubleshooting to get to the root cause in record time? Celebrate moments like these by thanking these individuals for their customer experience mindset.
Kudos is a great way to measure individual performance because it's based on how much support/help someone provides for the common good. The more kudos someone has, the more they're helping out and making the collaboration better. It's a simple system that rewards people for doing good work, which makes it such a valuable metric.
Any recognition or reward won’t work in the long term if the relationship across support and product is not stellar. A few ways to strengthen the bond across teams:
A hackathon is an event in which people gather to work on a project or solve a problem. It often refers to finding a creative solution to a problem.
Hackathons are usually organized around a specific theme, such as developing a new product or providing support for a cause. Participants typically work in teams on their projects, and the best hacks are typically awarded prizes.
Hackathons are a great way to build relationships with your product and support teams. By working together on a project, you can get to know each other better and build a stronger team bond.
Bug bashes A bug bash is a party for software testers and engineers to celebrate the release of a new product or a feature. The purpose of a bug bash is to find as many bugs as possible so that they can be fixed before the product goes live.
As support will be impacted by this new feature or product, it makes sense to involve them too in these bashes. The goal is to have as many eyes on the product as possible so that any potential bugs can be found and squashed before launch day.
During a bug bash, everyone tries to break the platform in any way they can think of. This includes trying out all the features, testing different user scenarios, and checking for edge cases. Any bugs that are found are logged and assigned to someone on the team to fix.
Product demos It’s vital to have regular product demos across product, engineering, and support to raise feature awareness across teams. Schedule a monthly or bi-weekly meeting where product teams demo the latest features to support teams.
Record the demo and maintain a log of all the comments during the session. This way, people can always go back to the recording to learn more about the feature. This session also serves as educational material for better support documentation and learning.
Regular product demo syncs have multiple benefits. This fosters greater collaboration, higher product usage because support champions the features with customers, and higher quality feedback from support to product teams as customers use these features.
Leverage the 3Rs: Recognition, Reward, and Relationships to incentivize product and support collaboration for increased efficiency and customer retention. Whatever out of these three you choose, make sure it is something that your employees value and actually encourages them to work together. Which type of incentive is right for your business?
Stay tuned for our next and final blog post in this series!