Working together means you can produce more. And ideally, you produce something that’s better than any individual could have produced alone. But the ability to work together well doesn’t come naturally, and it certainly doesn’t come without getting to know your teammates and their working styles.
Enter: collaboration activities. We know, some may roll their eyes. But these will help a totally new team get talking and have a few laughs. And for teams who have been working together for a while, collaboration activities can help spice things up a bit when your weekly meetings become a little drab.
The internet is filled with collaboration activities for teams to get to know each other better—but we wanted some that would help us get to know our customers better too. Here we’ve collected several collaboration activities that you can use to get the team working together well and keep the focus on what matters most: your customers.
Collaboration activities for teams
Customer scenario building
Write down your key customer personas and come up with several examples for each one. For instance, if your key persona is a CMO at a tech company, scroll on LinkedIn and grab a few example humans. Write down their names and company names on sticky notes. You’re done with prep.
Now, half the team will get a persona card. Half the team will be themselves. Start the discussion. If you’re a sales team, how would you pitch to this person? If you’re a support team, how would you answer their support question? If you’re in customer success, how would you address their quarterly business review, or their onboarding? Give 5 minutes, then switch to a new persona.
Why we like this collaboration activity: You’ll see some really creative conversations come out of it. At the end, have everyone reflect and share some language they liked from it, or a challenge they hadn’t thought of from the exercise.
Give joint customer presentations
If you’ve got a company all hands meeting or even a team meeting, this is a great collaborative activity to add as a regular segment. Take two teammates who worked with a customer—maybe an AE who sold to them and a CSM who’s now managing their account and success. Have them give a 5-minute presentation about the customer, their use case, and how they worked together to help them.
Why we like this collaboration activity: This is a fun way to get to know new customers on a regular basis. It’s also a nice way to showcase great examples of collaboration to the rest of the team, so they can try new methods of communicating as well.
Build a customer wall in the office (or remote customer wall!)
This is another great ongoing initiative to put on autopilot. Choose a location in the office where you can place a bulletin board or whiteboard, and have the team build it out with mini reports on customers. Include logos, where the offices are located, number of teammates, use case, and fun facts about the champion or the deal. If you’re remote, you can do this easily with a Trello board. Assign each teammate a week to add a customer profile, and after a few months you’ll have built a really thorough collection of customers to browse through.
Why we like this collaboration activity: This provides physical reminder of the reason you’re all working—and it provides the entire company a place to get to know customers better, even if they’re not talking to them on a regular basis like your team is.
Play customer trivia
This is a fun way to encourage cross-departmental collaboration by simply allowing people to get to know each other better. This can come in the form of Jeopardy or even a simple poll game. Organize a fun prize for the winning group. You can do something as quick and easy as an Amazon gift card, or ask customers for some of their swag that you can use as the prize (doubles as free promotion for them!)
Why we like this collaboration activity: Games are fun, and when you can win, there’s a group of personality types who are automatically energized. If you adjust the prize accordingly, you’ll get everyone engaged (sometimes bragging rights are all you need!)
Organize customer Q&A chats
Gather cross-functional groups for a Q&A with a customer. The key here is to get people who don’t normally talk to customers often involved too! We recommend keeping the groups small so that it’s not super overwhelming for anyone to jump into the conversation. If you’re in the office, inviting a customer for coffee or lunch with a small group is a great option. If you’re remote, send them a Doordash gift card and invite them to a Zoom lunch with a handful of teammates.
Why we like this collaboration activity: You get to interact with customers and get to know them on a personal level, and teammates get to understand each other in a different setting than they normally would get exposed to in their jobs.
Team collaboration activities can be a pleasant surprise
More often than not, dropping the phrase "collaboration activity" might make a few eyes roll around the room. That's totally fair. Give them a go anyways—chances are, it'll be a pleasant surprise. At best it helps someone forge a new working relationship, and at worst, it's a nice pause in the midst of a hectic workday.
Written by Emily Hackeling
Originally Published: 10 October 2020