The COVID-19 pandemic forced plenty of companies to consider remote work, a setup that was previously frowned upon. While many companies worried about the levels of production at the start, it was soon made clear that employees performed as efficiently as they did at their offices.
If your company wasn’t negatively affected by the new working arrangements, then it would be in your company’s best interests to push through with a remote working setup. You will see your customer service team’s performance continue to hold steady, if not even increase in effectiveness.
However, just pushing through a remote setup without any idea how to successfully build an effective team will only negatively affect your company. Understand how successful remote offices function and see how these practices can work for your company’s specific situation.
This piece will present you with techniques that can help your company move on from a traditional office environment. Our tips will give your company a clearer picture on the specific challenges that come with remote office arrangements and how you can prevent such hurdles from negatively affecting your customer service workflow.
N Pointers to Help You Create a Successful Remote Customer Service Team
Hire the right people for the job
Working from home requires a specific kind of mindset from employees. Not everyone can manage their professional and filial duties while at home. When you’re building a team to handle your customer service requirements, they must be able to work on their own without heavy supervision.
Moreover, the most suitable candidates should also be able to use their own computers if your company won’t be able to immediately provide your employees with proper equipment. This way, the quality of their work won’t be compromised by their limited hardware.
Select the perfect customer service software
Once you have the perfect group of individuals set, the next step would be to pick the most suitable customer service software. There are plenty of programs available in the market, so it may be tough to figure out which one fits like a glove to your company’s specific needs.
A quick checklist of features you want out of the best customer service program for your remote CS team should include the following:
- Shared inbox
- Comprehensive ticketing software
- Note sharing
- Collision detection
Establish reasonable KPIs and monitor your team
Your CS team’s key performance indicators (KPI) are one of the facets you don’t expect to stay the same during the transition to remote work. Since remote employees face different challenges, it’s best to adjust your KPIs accordingly.
Make sure that all the goals you set for your remote teams are achievable within the time frame you give them. Moreover, monitor these metrics and coordinate with employees that fail to make the mark.
Here are some of the KPIs that you can monitor your remote customer service team with:
- First response time
- Customer satisfaction index
- Net promoter score
- Minutes spent on call
- Total tickets to resolved tickets ratio
- Top support agents
Set up an internal knowledge base
If your company is just starting out on remote work, it’s vital to create an internal knowledge portal as quickly as possible. Since your employees won’t be able to immediately consult with their immediate superiors on certain issues, it’s important to have a base database for them to quickly refer to.
This database should include the answers to the most common questions customers ask, the most common terminologies used, and guides to your business’ products and services. Make the database easy to understand so your customer service staff can properly do their work.
Maintain clear communication lines
There will come a situation where a customer has a question that isn’t immediately answerable by the database. Avoid any potential trouble that might spew out of this situation by establishing clear lines of communication between managers and staff.
There are multiple approaches to creating good communication between your remote team and managers, but the most important thing is establishing these lines in the first place. Also check in with your team every now and then to see how they’re doing and figure out if there’s any way you could help them.
Consider outsource work
If your business boomed during the pandemic and your CS team just can’t handle the influx of tickets, then it’s time to consider getting help from an outsourced customer service team. Companies that provide outsourcing services have skilled individuals with the right equipment to do the work properly.
If you choose to tap into outsourced services, it would be good to have them correspond with your in-house customer service team to speed up the induction process.
Benefits of Remote Customer Service Teams
It may seem counter-intuitive, but there are actual benefits to making the shift to a remote customer service team:
- Increased efficiency. Since your customer service team will spend less time commuting to work and handling on-site distractions, they can be more efficient with their work.
- Pay less vacation days. Companies that have remote customer service setups will notice that fewer people file for vacation leaves since they’re less stressed compared to an on-site setup.
- Lower costs. You don’t have to maintain a large office space just to house your customer service teams. The savings you make here can be used elsewhere in the company.
- Bigger talent pool. Since you don’t have to limit the size of your CS team to your office, you can hire more talents to resolve outstanding tickets your existing team can’t immediately respond to.
Successfully Build Your Business Away from the Office
The situation may have forced our hands, but it’s now clear to everyone that a remote setup works. It’s all about creating an ideal environment that suits your company well. As long as you prepare for every conceivable problem that may spring up, you can turn remote customer service work into a big edge for your company.