The ongoing pandemic has forged a “new normal”. For many brick-and-mortar businesses, this new normal means embracing remote work to reduce the chances of spreading infection without paralyzing their operations.
For work-from-home neophytes, this set-up presents a number of challenges. These may include having to adjust to working 8 hours (or more) from the living room or resisting the urge to sleep in to finish a weekly report.
For businesses to maintain their bottom line, they need to set up a strong remote customer service team.
Top 3 Advantages of Remote Customer Service Model
It may take you time to come around to this change, but the good news is remote work offers significant benefits. Based on the study, teams that work remotely experience an increase in productivity levels, an essential element that customer service teams need to achieve their goals on a daily basis.
Other than a spike in productivity, work-from-home arrangements deliver the following advantages to your business:
- Massive Cost Savings
Creating a remote customer service team puts hundreds of dollars back to your pocket since it subtracts the costs of maintaining a physical office space (i.e. rent, utility bills, office supplies, and more). Companies can enjoy the significant savings while earning the hard work of a more focused and productive team.
- Ease of Recruitment and Increased Retention
Many job hunters prize flexible work options above a handsome salary because the latter contributes to their mental well-being. Remote work also leads to higher retention among companies that offer flexible work arrangements. Business owners who have yet to form their own remote customer service team may need to consider this when hiring new people.
- Stronger team Collaboration
Another striking benefit of setting up a remote customer service team is that it promotes communication and collaboration among team members. Onsite customer service staff often don’t interact as much with their co-workers because they’re busy managing tasks like answering calls, closing tickets, and inputting notes into the CRM.
When working remotely and using unified communication tools, the physical distance allows them to communicate more openly and share information with their team members. There are specific tools teams can use for capacity-building efforts like training, coaching, and feedback sharing.
Ways to Set Up a Successful Remote Customer Service Team
Assembling a remote customer service team is not a walk in the park; it involves a complex process that consists of different stages. Assuming you have an existing customer service team, below are some tips to efficiently handle tasks and manage them:
- Consider Using Cloud-Based Management Tools
Email may be your primary communication tool within your organization, but it’s not the appropriate avenue for handling projects when you’re working with a remote team. In the long run, it will only lead to piles of emails that can overwhelm team members and make it difficult to track the progress of individual tasks.
To efficiently manage projects as they come, establish a centralized platform for your information and communication needs. It should be easily accessible and allow them to find all they need in one place.
Using a cloud-based project management software makes logging in and accessing information they need in a matter of minutes, wherever your staff is located. It also gives your team an overview of every and all the projects anytime they need to.
There are several project management tools that allow you to store, access, and share customer information within your team. Cloud computing systems make this possible without having to be in one location or using a single server.
- Create an Accessible Knowledge Base
An immediate and satisfactory response is what makes a good customer service setup. Your customers will appreciate it as well if you put knowledgeable people on the front lines to answer customer queries.
However, remote work doesn’t give your staff the option to pop into the cubicle of their customer service team lead to ask for advice when handling complex transactions or complaints.
Email isn’t an ideal tool either due to the medium’s inherent delay in response times, which can leave your customers frustrated and dissatisfied.
Having a knowledge base is the most effective alternative. It’s a repository of important information employees can access. Information you can store here includes specific instructions on tasks, guidelines in resolving customer service concerns and problems, and some steps in to ensure fluid collaboration within your team.
By gathering and storing crucial information in one accessible place, your company’s knowledge base allows your staff to get answers in the nick of time. Ask every team member to keep updating your knowledge base and add answers each time they encounter a unique situation.
- Define Your Audience
Your customer service reps must understand who they’re talking to. This allows your staff to connect with empathy to your customers when fulfilling their requests or addressing their concerns. After all, meeting your customers’ needs and attending to their concerns is what good customer service means.
Remind your team about the following basic information when communicating with a customer:
- Who your customers are
- The values they uphold
- The kind of response they need (either quick answers or meaty, well-thought-out replies)
- Origin of your audience/customers (which country/countries do they come from? What language do they speak? What’s their culture?)
If you’ve already identified your customer profiles, cascade them to your team so they can refresh their knowledge of them. Awareness of your specific customer profiles allows your customer service team to carefully craft their message to your specific audience. This insight will also help your team to meet the expectations of your customers.
- Encourage Unity Among Your Team Members
If you have new additions to the team, start by getting to know each one of them. Knowing your team members encourages better communication. To promote unity in the team, encourage small talks among your members. Let them discover one another’s interests and what’s going on in each other’s world.
You can always build and nurture your professional relationship with your team members. You can use instant messaging apps like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts to talk to them in between work hours or right before your weekly online team meeting starts.
- Incorporate Customer Service Solutions
It’s normal for customer service teams across the globe to receive an influx of clients every day. At times, it can be a challenge to keep an eye on every transaction.
This is where the role of customer service software comes in. It helps staff members and managers to easily track conversations, existing client relationships, and even review past communications with a specific customer. All these are possible in just a few clicks.
In particular, trusty customer service software gives you an overview of necessary customer reports at the end of every workday, including:
- Tasks assigned to by a customer service team lead to every member
- Total number of requests received (incoming and resolved)
- Number of work hours each team member has rendered
- High-priority customer issues that need resolutions
If you want to improve the efficiency of your customer service team operations and deliver excellent service, using customer service software is a must.
With the developments related to the pandemic, businesses are also facing a challenging time. However, the business that learns to evolve in the toughest conditions has a better chance of survival.
Building your own remote team can be challenging on the offset, but the new advancements in technology will aid you as you wade through this transition. Tapping on the power of technology will allow your business to deliver excellent customer service.
Take advantage of cloud-based technology as you learn the ropes of remote work in nurturing professional relationships with your customers. When you do, your team will become more productive. Your customers will trust you, too.
When you need a software provider or technology partner to see you through this transition, contact BrantTel Networks. We’re experts in leading businesses to success through cloud computing solutions.
Call us at (800) 632-0585 for services; (888) 632-0585 for general inquiries; and (905) 632-2000 for local calls.