This week, we feature an article by Molly Hopper, a business manager who helps organizations improve career opportunities and employee engagement. She writes about how companies can adopt a remote workforce and enhance customer service delivery. There’s no doubt that there are challenges to providing remote customer services, but with careful planning, they’re easy to […]
This week, we feature an article by Molly Hopper, a business manager who helps organizations improve career opportunities and employee engagement. She writes about how companies can adopt a remote workforce and enhance customer service delivery.
There’s no doubt that there are challenges to providing remote customer services, but with careful planning, they’re easy to overcome. With up to many people believing that working from home is the new normal, providing remote customer service is following suit.
For employees, flexible working offers greater comfort and a better work-life balance. For employers, a remote workforce can result in reduced running costs and the ability to hire the best talent from anywhere in the world.
Some businesses may have concerns about adopting a remote workforce, particularly when it comes to their customer service team. They might worry that remote employees won’t perform to their full potential outside of an office environment or that they won’t have access to the necessary tools to provide adequate customer support. But by shifting how you manage your team, these issues can be easily resolved.
Here are three vital tips for companies preparing to set up a remote customer service team.
Having the right technology is key to successful remote working. You need to be sure your team can communicate effectively and securely with customers and with one another. Finding a reputable system that can handle large amounts of data can reduce the chances of system failures when being accessed by multiple different agents, and across several communication channels, at a time.
You may also need additional tools for managing projects or tasks, as well as messaging and communications apps that can replace face-to-face chats, enabling them to communicate as they would usually in an office environment. Finally, you’ll likely need software for building an internal knowledge base for remote agents to turn to when they need answers or directions.
Empowering agents with the right information is key to helping them resolve customer inquiries at the first point of contact. With up to 84% of consumers feeling frustrated when they’re looking for information and a customer service agent can’t provide it, it’s vital that your customer service team can find answers and solutions quickly.
When your team operates remotely, the first step in giving them the right knowledge is a detailed training program for new starters. Then, ensure that all agents have access to an internal knowledge base that covers everything they’ll need to know, as well as contact details for who to call in case anything new or unexplained occurs.
Be sure to update the knowledge base regularly, particularly with new product or service launches, and have a system in place for adding to the knowledge base when agents discover information gaps.
Good customer service relies heavily on strong teamwork to ensure that customer problems get resolved efficiently. When team members feel disconnected from one another, it can be difficult for them to work cohesively and communicate effectively. Research suggests that 67% of office workers find it more difficult to maintain workplace relationships when working from home.
A great way to resolve this is to encourage regular calls between agents so that they can get to know each other and share their experiences and knowledge. Creating opportunities for remote socials and team-building exercises will make it easier for team members to reach out to one another for support.
When you embrace a remote workforce, you can hire the most talented people for the job without being limited by geographical location. This can allow you to build a highly skilled and effective team of agents to help you deliver the best standard of customer service.
Molly Hopper is a business manager with a keen interest in new ways to improve career opportunities and employee engagement. A big fan of remote working, she believes that the possibilities it offers are endless. She is always looking for new ways to improve her skills and knowledge so that she can offer the best possible service to her clients
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors, go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Radical Transparency: A Key To A Better Customer Experience
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