CASE MEMO Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

CASE MEMO Case Solution

The customer complaints are increasing quickly and the whole situation is getting out of hand. All the customer service representatives at the Northeast Region branch of PrimeCell work as individuals rather than in teams. Responding to the complaints of the customers and devising the most feasible solutions of them, at times, requires the efforts of an entire team rather than the individuals only. I will be outlining all the root causes of the group’s dysfunction and then devise a recommended course of action for addressing all the issues at this branch.

Root Causes of Group’s Dysfunction

            The root causes for the rapid increase in the customer complaints, jealousy among the team members and zero teamwork is due to a number of different root causes. Each of these root causes is discussed below separately.

Lack of Consensus: All the team members need to share the common view about how the group problems need to be solved. For instance, if there are no solutions available in the customer complaint manual provided to all the five customer service representatives and this issue is identified by only some members and not the others, then the team cannot move into a single direction to solve the situation. Another example of this could be that most of the times the team members agree on the symptoms but they disagree on the underlying causes. For example, Ted and Mary have faced the same issue as they are required to follow the template of the flowcharts provided to them and thus, they are not able to resolve all the issues of the customers and become unaware about the actual underlying causes due to which the customer complaints are increasing.

Currently, there is no brainstorming session which is conducted with the customer service representatives and thus, all the real issues facing the team members are uncovered. For instance, if there would have been brainstorming sessions, then Ted would have put forward his ideas for the customer problem resolutions and Mary would also be able to raise the issues which are faced by her when the customer service manual fails to address the solution to a specific customer complaint. Finally, apart from zero consensus on the root causes of all the problems and the issues faced by the team members, there is no consensus among the team members regarding the priorities. For instance, Mary might think that support and guidance from the team leader is the real problem while Larry might think that lack of competence of Mr. Welch is the real problem.

Lack of Team Cohesion: All the team members working in a team need to have a sense of belonging and a sense of identity and they should also be able to trust all the other team members and their leader. However, this is a major root cause for all the other problems at the Northeast Region branch. There are trust issues and jealousy among the team members. Being a leader, Bill needs to ensure that all the team members follow him, inspire him and revert back to him when they face any unusual situations in their routine job. However, this is not the case here and this is evident by the fact that Larry believes that Welch is less competent in managing the team members than he is. Although he is of the same age as of Mr. Welch however, he has been with the company for around only 2 years. He had been in the US Army previously where he handled an army of hundreds of people however, he is not aware of the fact that managing people in Army and in a call center service is different..................

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