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Strengthen customer loyalty with the help of team workshops

by Barbara Belohlavy


Kundenbindung mithilfe von Team Workshops stärken

Strengthening customer loyalty through team workshops and creating a partnership-based relationship between agency and customer – exemplified by the successful partnership between dmcgroup and Erste Digital.

Successful projects depend not only on technical know-how, but also on the quality of communication within the team and with the customer. In order to prove this conviction in practice, we at dmcgroup rely on team workshops in which our employees and our customers’ teams get to know each other personally. This creates a basis for outstanding results and a successful relationship with the customer.

One Team

As an agency, we value the opportunity to be a guest in other companies and to support our clients’ teams in successfully implementing projects. As an external partner, we not only have to familiarize ourselves with the content of projects, but also grow together with our customers as a team. It is particularly important to us to form a single unit instead of two separate teams – the client team and the agency team – in order to overcome all the challenges of a project together. Team workshops serve as a powerful impetus for this growing together. In this way, we promote the open discussion of problems so that we can react to and overcome challenges in the project together, early and flexibly. Instead of “Us against you”, it should be “Us against the challenges in the project.”

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Healthy communication culture for excellent results

dmcgroup is aware that the path to success is not only through high-quality work, but also through a strong relationship with our clients. In our understanding as an agency, this means actively investing in successful communication. Regular check-ins with our clients and targeted measures, such as reflection meetings (retrospectives) and team workshops, create the basis for a healthy communication culture. In this way, we create long-term partnerships instead of short-term transactions.

Good communication not only plays a role in pleasant teamwork, but also in the quality of the products. Conway’s Law states that “organizations that design systems […] are forced to create designs that reflect the communication structures of these organizations.”

In short, if a team has a poor communication culture, it will be difficult to develop a good product. The type of communication is reflected in the product. This means that investing in a strong team is by no means a luxury, but a prerequisite for excellent quality results.

The right timing: when does a team workshop make sense?

Various measures can improve communication with customers. So why should you go to the trouble of organizing a team workshop? A team workshop acts as a turbo boost for a team to grow together naturally. Team workshops are particularly recommended in the following situations:

  • Project start:
    At the beginning of a project to enable personal meetings between the participants
  • Project adaptation:
    During an ongoing project to readjust. Day-to-day operations often offer too little scope for consciously and efficiently designing communication structures
  • Crisis management:
    After negative events to strengthen the team and find constructive solutions
  • Long-standing partnerships:
    In long-term customer relationships to intensify cooperation
  • Celebrating success after projects:
    After successful project implementation, to celebrate successes and plan future collaborations
  • Anniversaries or milestones:
    Events such as anniversaries or milestones to recognize successes and set common goals

Preparing a successful team workshop

The term team workshop makes some employees sit up and take notice, fearing that they are wasting their valuable and scarce time on pointless games. In order to dispel such concerns and create a workshop that offers real added value, detailed preparation is essential. In order to dispel such concerns and create a workshop that offers real added value, detailed preparation is essential: the more precisely the organizer formulates the objectives of the workshop, the more likely it is to achieve a high level of benefit and the more willingly the participants will invest in the time together. A clear objective helps to put together suitable and effective activities and exercises and to design a tailor-made workshop that will help the client and agency team move forward.

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Aims of a team workshop

The following objectives, among others, can be pursued in order to make a team workshop a successful customer retention measure.

  • Strengthening the sense of togetherness
  • Increase emotional involvement in the project
  • Developing a comprehensive understanding of the project and company
  • Promoting trust and improving error culture
  • Preventing recriminations
  • Promoting exchange and networking
  • Sharing knowledge across trades, companies and departments

What do you do at a team workshop?

How can the above-mentioned goals be achieved in concrete terms? Through targeted exercises and activities, processes are set in motion that enable experiences in a protected and controlled space. Depending on the goal, certain activities are needed to make the right experiences possible.

You can find a variety of exercises on the Internet that you can use as a guide and adapt to your own needs. Depending on your goals, you should choose exercises from the following categories:
  1. Break up group dynamics:
    Icebreaker exercises and team-building activities to create a positive atmosphere
  2. Promote social competence:
    Interactive games and group activities to strengthen interpersonal skills
  3. Develop communication skills:
    Role plays, discussion rounds and feedback exercises to improve verbal and non-verbal communication
  4. Encourage creativity and problem solving:
    Brainstorming, scenario planning and collaborative games to promote innovation
  5. Selbstreflexion und persönliche Entwicklung:
    Individual work, diary writing and personal reflection exercises
  6. Strengthen teamwork and cooperation:
    Group exercises, projects and cooperative tasks to promote team spirit and collaboration
  7. Practical application of knowledge:
    Project work, case studies and simulations for the application of theoretical concepts in practice
  8. Sharpen concentration and attention:
    Short concentration exercises and energizer activities
  9. Innovation and idea generation:
    Creative games, mind mapping and design thinking exercises
  10. Conflict management and team leadership:
    Debates, role plays and group discussions to develop conflict resolution strategies and leadership skills
  11. Lectures and presentations:
    Sharing information and ideas through presentations and personal ideas. Promotes knowledge exchange and discussions

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Team workshop with Erste Digital

dmcgroup has been working with Erste Bank/ Erste Digital for over 10 years. We held a team workshop to reflect on our joint success story and plan the next steps in our cooperation. We had specific goals in mind: strengthening the sense of togetherness, promoting the exchange of knowledge and developing a shared perspective for the future. It was also important to us that not just selected people, but the entire team from the agency and the client came together on site to avoid silo formation.

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Team workshop – from theory to practice

We started the team workshop with a classic icebreaker, with a personal touch to connect on an emotional level. During our “speed dating” session, the participants got to know each other in a humorous way and then presented themselves to each other. Each person also received a specially created illustration, a very personal avatar, which was used for various activities over the course of the event.

In the next step, we devoted ourselves to a timeline several meters long, which impressively illustrated what dmcgroup and Erste Digital have already achieved in their collaboration. Die Teammitglieder konnten sich selbst, mithilfe ihrer Avatare, in der Timeline verorten und von besonderen Ereignissen in der Projektzusammenarbeit berichten. Exciting stories of challenges, successes and insights were shared.

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We then looked to the future in creative group work. With the game Titelstory (Gamestorming), we asked ourselves what the future of our work would have to look like in order to make it onto the cover of a renowned business magazine together. The aim of this exercise was to encourage creativity and innovation, but also to make us aware of the challenges we will face in the coming years. Our joint final reflection in a relaxed atmosphere spontaneously led to an intensive exchange within the entire group on current topics, problems, challenges and possible solutions. The team left the workshop with a stronger sense of unity and rounded off the evening with dinner together, which led to many valuable interactions at the table. The workshop was not only a review of the past, but also a decisive step towards an even more successful future in this long-standing partnership.

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Nervous before the first team workshop? Tipps und Tricks zur Workshop-Moderation:

Organizing workshops is, like everything else, a matter of practice. The more often you do it, the more unforeseen situations you have experienced and the more relaxed you can lead a group. However, a few points of orientation can help you to facilitate a successful workshop with fun and confidence:

  • Don’t forget to take breaks!
    Speaking in front of a group increases the tension level, so it often happens that you are very focused on yourself and you lose the feeling for the attention of the group. Make sure that you build in enough breaks and, if in doubt, ask someone in advance to let you know if the group needs a break.
  • Variety keeps you awake:
    In your team workshop, plan to alternate between polarities such as active action and passive listening, group activities and pair exercises. Integrate different levels of activity to keep participants’ attention and motivation.
  • Plan transitions:
    It’s easy for a group to wander off during transitions, or for you to lose the thread. Here it is helpful to prepare nice transitions to make sure you keep the group’s attention.
  • Dry training:
    Preparation is everything – before you start, you should repeat the set-up in your head. It can also be helpful to imagine the room and say the most important things out loud.

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