Remote working has seen a big boom in recent years and this trend is here to stay. The new work norm is compelling organizations to re-think the work operations and make the best out of the circumstances. Some companies fret about this trend thinking it will decrease productivity. However, on average, research shows that remote employees work an extra 26 hours each month.
The customer service function, a critical operations unit in a business, is also going remote. Organizations grapple with maintaining customer service quality when enabling remote-working in this essential business function.
An essential aspect of retaining quality in customer service provision is to equip the employees with the necessary implements for work. Some critical work tools include – good internet connection, CRM software, communication tools, quiet working space, among other facilitation.
Good Internet Connection
One of the most significant factors in a customer service team’s success is speed. The turnaround time of serving customers is a critical indicator that sets companies apart from their peers. You must equip your customer service team with a great internet connection to access customer records and serve clients fast.
Customers expect quick replies and will often disengage from a brand permanently if they do not get efficient responses during interactions. A reliable internet connection is a must for remote workers in general but paramount for customer service staff when time is of the essence.
You must enable employees to access reliable internet through outsourcing to one provider, or where it is not practical, ensuring they each get a reputable provider.
One of the challenges of a remote-working environment is synchronizing team members’ work in a central, standardized manner. In customer service, sustained follow-ups for customer issues and the need for an efficient customer feedback mechanism make standardization a pertinent focus.
A customer relationship management or CRM software brings all customer communications into one platform for efficiency and consistency. The software allows you to organize customer data and run analytics to improve processes. Another value that CRM adds is bringing all teams, not just customer service, into one platform to work collaboratively and access the same information.
Communication is a successful ingredient in building cohesive teams, especially when working remotely. When team members work apart, it is easy to disengage from colleagues and disregard teamwork. You can utilize available communication tools to avoid disengagement.
A communication tool should reflect the needs and work style of your team. You can opt for a video conferencing app or a messaging platform to ensure constant information to team members. Be sure to ask your team what mode of communication works best for them. The team will be more inclined to use the tool if it is favorable to them.
A quiet space is critical for customer service teams as they often spend many hours a day on the phone. Customers must not detect commotions and disturbances in the environment when having a phone conversation with customer service teams. Such an experience can dent the company image.
Noise-canceling headphones can help to an extent. But, ultimately, the team member will need to find a quiet place to answer customer calls. Having a serene environment is essential for focusing on work and maintaining professionalism with customers and co-workers.
Headset or Headphones
Serving customers need plenty of multitasking to complete the task in the shortest time possible. A customer service team needs their hands free to look up customer info and answer messages on their computer throughout the workday. Hand-held phone devices for calls create confusion and result in a longer wait for customers on the call.
A good headset or headphones is critical to ensure simplicity and agility while working. Other devices like the CRM software, emails should be easily accessible to the team member. Having few implements for the customer service teams to contend with helps make work easier. You have to simplify the work environment and processes for remote teams to have optimal performance.
Security of customer data represents a critical reputational risk for an organization. Customer service teams often handle customer information & data that can include sensitive information, such as credit card information and addresses. It is essential to take cognizance of the safety of the information shared in cyberspace.
You should provide your team with computers and devices that have strong cybersecurity. Also, be sure they are working on secure wifi networks as this is another way customer information can be compromised. The fines for data leaks are hefty, not to mention the dented company image.
Resource Remote-working Customer Teams For Service Excellence
Remote working is possible for customer service teams despite the reservations towards the exercise. The work arrangement is a win-win scenario for the company and employees because there is optimal productivity with employees enjoying the benefits of flexible work. You only need to resource team members with the right tools to make the experience generate excellence.