Customer Service is a critical connection to customers and other end users directly affected by your Project Team’s projects. They help customers figure out problems, diagnose malfunctions in software, replace damaged equipment, and are usually the ones who hear what isn’t going well. Maintaining strong collaboration with Customer Service could help your team achieve greater project success and make your customers love you.
Why you need them: Customer Service is often your direct link to end users—how your projects are affecting them, what they think of the end product, and ways you could serve them better. Depending on your industry, this department may also be the best way to set customer expectations and gather “real person” feedback.
DO include Customer Service any time your project will directly impact customers. Timing, new features, availability, and other issues are exactly what customers want to know, and providing that information to Customer Service will keep good two-way communication going.
DO be clear about which pieces of information are ready for public consumption, and what needs to be kept under wraps. Leaking unapproved, not-yet-final data outside the company could cause everyone long-term headaches.
DO touch base with Customer Service on a regular basis to gather user feedback and learn about emerging issues and noteworthy trends. Even if you have a system for information to be funneled back to your Project Team, it’s still good to be proactive.
DON’T assume Customer Service can read your mind when it’s time to release a new product or other item to the public. Provide them with press releases, data sheets, and a contact escalation list they can reference if they run into problems.
DON’T vent your frustrations about poor customer feedback or other problems on the Customer Service messenger. That’s a sure-fire way to cut the channels of communication.