We’ve all been to meetings that have felt like a waste of time. We log off Zoom or walk out of the room thinking, “Wow, that should have been an email.”
But that should never be true of your weekly customer support team meetings.
Your support team meetings are a time for your team to connect with leadership and with each other, which is why a weekly support team meeting should be on the books. When you do weekly team meetings well, they lead to increased engagement, camaraderie, and team development.
Zippia’s research found that “organizations spend roughly 15% of their time on meetings, with surveys showing that 71% of those meetings are considered unproductive.” Their conclusion is that companies lose about $37 billion each year to unproductive meetings.
Running more effective support team meetings is not only a win for your support team. It also saves you money and can have a positive impact on your broader company culture.
8 Tips for Running More Effective Support Team Meetings
It’s more important than ever to run effective team meetings, especially in a remote environment. The frequency of your team meetings will vary based on your situation, but however often you meet, the key to maximizing your time together is to be intentional.
Here are 8 tips for running more effective support team meetings, whether you’re remote or in-person.1. Have a meeting slide deck or agenda
When used properly, a meeting deck or agenda serves two main purposes. First, a meeting deck helps you stay on track. When you stay on track, you’ll be sure to cover the most essential information and your team will pay more attention.
Second, when used effectively, a meeting deck helps supplement verbal information. It increases engagement from your team.
Decks don’t have to be fancy. Even one slide with an agenda will help you communicate your most important messages and keep the meeting on track.
To make your deck effective:
- Make sure it’s designed well. Use a consistent theme throughout your slide deck. Every major presentation tool provides templates that you can use to design your meeting deck. These are a great place to start. When in doubt, keep the design simple and clean.
- Limit words. Treat your slides as talking points, not a novel. Slides should summarize important information, which is why bullet points often work well. As you work through your deck, expand on key bullets as needed.
- Use graphics. Engaging visuals create clarity and aid in retention. Summarize data with charts. Use photos, illustrations, and gifs or memes where appropriate to make your point clear and to keep your team interested.
It’s particularly easy to get distracted in a remote environment. A summary slide deck goes a long way towards keeping your team’s attention and ensuring they hear relevant information.2. Shout out good performance
Recognizing good performance is always a great way to increase engagement, especially in a support team. Workhuman and Gallup partnered on a study that found that employees who were recognized for their work were “four times as likely to be actively engaged at work” and “five times as likely to feel connected to their workplace culture.”
Use team meetings as a platform to give shout-outs to the team. Shout-outs could be for:
- Exceeding KPI targets
- Going above and beyond to help a colleague
- Particularly good customer feedback
- Overall team performance
- Creating and implementing a process improvement
You can also ask the group if there is anyone they would like to shout out. Peer appreciation can have just as big an impact as a shout-out from leadership.3. Check in with your team
Team meetings can often default to being information dumps. A manager or team lead shares a bunch of information and leaves little room for questions or discussion. Instead of being satisfied with that, increase engagement by building in a team check-in into your meeting agenda.
Intentional check-ins have a direct benefit on employee engagement and effectiveness. Forbes reported that “74% of employees report they are more effective at their job when they feel heard.”
Check-ins are especially helpful for remote teams because you can’t just walk up to someone’s desk and see how they’re doing. Building in a check-in is a great way for your team to express how they’re feeling or provide feedback on how things are going without the pressure of being in the middle of supporting your customers.4. Be consistent
When you’re managing a remote team, over-communicating is vital. Having consistent weekly team meetings creates a platform for communication (and over-communication) to happen.
It can be easy to cancel meetings if you don’t have any specific updates to share. But avoid this urge. Getting together consistently helps foster teamwork, camaraderie, and understanding. It reminds your team they aren’t alone in their work and creates opportunities for giving and receiving help as needed. Business process consultant Charlotte Hills likes to highlight that team meetings are for building team spirit. If you’re only meeting irregularly, you won’t see these benefits materialize.
Quantity time leads to quality time. It’s just like any other relationship. Consistently spending time together over a period of time helps build deep relationships. The question isn’t “Should we hold team meetings?” Instead, ask, “How can we make our team meetings more meaningful?”5. Find meaningful content
Finding and discussing content that’s meaningful to your team will make for far more effective team meetings.
When you give it some thought, there are plenty of topics that a support team should find meaningful. For example:
- Look at your CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) survey results and internal reporting to find support ticket trends.
- Teach your team how the support department fits into the rest of the business.
- Reiterate business updates already sent through other channels.
There may be times when you struggle to find content to share with your team. That doesn’t mean you should cancel meetings. Here are some ways you can find meaningful content outside your usual support-related information:
- Ask your team what they want to hear. Is there anything they’re struggling with? Are there skills they would like to learn or get a refresher on?
- Use it as a networking opportunity. If you have no support content, introduce your team to other parts of the business. It’s a good opportunity to bring in teams like Sales Operations or your development team to talk about what they do and why it matters.
- Talk about career development. Your support team will appreciate things they can do to further their careers at your company. Teach them interviewing skills and presentation skills. Introduce them to mentorship programs. Share any career frameworks already in place. LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report shows that companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees nearly twice as long as companies that don’t.
A point of engagement is a specific point built into a meeting that encourages your team to participate. You don’t want to overwhelm your team with information during meetings. Finding opportunities for participation and engagement helps to keep things interesting and aids in retention.
Here are some points of engagement you can consider:
- Q&A session at the end. You can start this out by automatically answering anticipated questions.
- Example scenarios. This works especially well when you’re retraining your team on a specific support skill. Reteach the information and then have them practice using example scenarios.
- Ice breaker questions. Start each meeting with a fun question that helps the team get to know each other and “break the ice” for engagement in the rest of the meeting. Starting a meeting with laughter sets a great tone for the rest of the meeting.
- Assign pre-work. Give everyone a question or form to fill out with the expectation that it will be discussed in the team meeting.
- Use compliments and follow-up questions. For example, you could say “Everyone across the board has been doing a great job hitting their resolution KPI’s. What do you think has been the key factor in that?” It’s a great way to recognize great work while encouraging discussion and reflection.
- Ask for direct feedback. Ask your team for direct feedback on company initiatives, current KPIs, or recently announced changes. This shows your team their voice is important and allows them a safe space with their peers to voice their opinions.
- Stop, Start, Continue. Ask your team what you as a manager, or the company as a whole, should Stop, Start, or Continue. It helps to have a specific focus, e.g. “What can we Start, Stop, or Continue to improve Customer Retention?”
One of the key ways to understand how effective your support team meetings are is by how well your employees retain the information. So why not give them a helping hand?
Send a follow-up message with key points from the meeting and the slide deck attached. This makes the info you shared easily accessible, while also reinforcing that each person is responsible for remembering what was shared.8. Limit the number of attendees
If you’re intentionally creating a more interactive team meeting, you’ll probably need to limit the number of attendees. If you have a large support team, it may make sense to split up the team into several smaller cohorts and hold meetings for each group.
Limiting the number of attendees ensures everyone has a chance to participate and no one gets overlooked. If you’re worried about keeping the entire team connected, you can rotate who is in each cohort regularly.
The most important outcome from your team meetings
An effective support team meeting helps keep your team well-informed. But the sole purpose of team meetings shouldn’t be to benefit the business.
Your team meetings are a tool to create an atmosphere that empowers your support team to thrive. They should help them do what they do best: taking care of your customers. Running effective team meetings increases engagement, develops support agents, and improves relationships.
Peak Support brings years of experience building effective outsourced support teams for all kinds of companies. If you’re a growing business that could use some help scaling your customer support, contact us today for more info!