The Improv Theater Stage of Life and Work in the Time of Covid - do we need work-life balance or blending?
Customer service is one of the vital components of running a successful business. Without good customer service, your conversions will never reach their fullest potential.
Studies show that 70% of consumers prefer companies that provide good customer service over others. Hence, customer service is not something that you can take lightly.
However, managing remote customer service teams can be challenging. You might feel that your team is not being as productive or motivated to offer premium customer service.
In this guide, you’ll find some useful tips for managing remote customer service teams while increasing the profitability of your business.
If you are hiring new employees for your remote customer service team, you must take special care. This is because not all employees work the same and are not all are productive when left unsupervised.
A remote work environment requires your employees to be self-disciplined and driven. If your employees are the ones that need constant supervision for doing productive work, then things are not going to work out while going remote.
You should also make sure that their values align with your company’s values.
Hence, ensure that you take driven and experienced employees during the hiring process. Also, it is good to hire people with prior experience in customer service. This way, your job will be much easier.
A remote team is all about communication and collaboration. Without daily face-to-face conversations and coffee breaks, it can get difficult to manage your customer service team. Hence, empowering them with the right tools is imperative.
To start with, you should ensure that you have communication tools such as Slack. This is essential for collaboration between you and your team, and also amongst your team members.
You should also invest in an agile project management software such as Trello or Forecast. Such a tool will help you manage your team’s tasks better. You would have an overview of all the tasks your customer service team has at hand.
When managing your remote customer service team, you must make sure that you are giving them productive work instead of assigning them boring, repetitive tasks. If you give them repetitive tasks, they will easily lose interest in work, which cannot benefit your company.
For all the repetitive customer service tasks, you can consider automation. These tasks can be answering frequently asked questions, pricing related queries, etc.
AI chatbots are one of the best ways to automate these customer service tasks. This way, your customer service team will work on only those tasks that cannot be automated and need manual inputs.
AI chatbots can ensure 24/7 customer service options.
You can integrate AI chatbots with your website. This will save you time, money, and resources. Also, remember to implement website accessibility so that your customers can easily opt for such automated customer service options through your business website.
The main problem with remote work environments is that your team members cannot simply walk up to your desk and get their queries answered. In a remote workspace, they might hesitate to ask questions of you or other team members. This can hurt your company’s productivity and profitability.
So, the next best thing to empower your customer service team with the relevant knowledge, is to have a comprehensive knowledge base for them to refer to. You can add all the necessary information, data, and workflows to this knowledge base, and in turn your employees can easily access and share technical information.
Creating such a knowledge base will be a tedious task, but the result will be worth it. By creating and maintaining a helpful knowledge base, you’d be saving your time as well as your team’s time. Remember to keep the documentation as succinct as possible!
As mentioned above, if your customer service team is working remotely, they need to be more self-disciplined and self-driven than before. It’s easy to procrastinate and delay work in a remote work environment (especially if your role in the company is reactive as opposed to active).
Only those team members who align with your company’s goals and want to work towards organisational growth will remain productive in a remote workspace.
To keep your team productive, you should set clear goals for each individual, as well as the team as a whole. Connect with each of your customer service team members and try to understand their thoughts and pain points, then set monthly or quarterly goals specific to each person.
When you set KPIs for your customer service team as a whole, it will encourage the entire team to work together to achieve the main goal. This will also give them a sense of purpose and belonging, which can be rare while working remotely.
Speaking of goals and KPIs, it is also important to reward your customer service team when they achieve these goals. You should appreciate them and acknowledge their good work to keep them consistently motivated.
When you reward your team for good work, they’ll know that you value them and their work.
Your team members will feel that they are contributing to the company in a meaningful way. This will also create a healthy competition amongst all your team members, urging them to do their best and achieve their goals.
Having one-on-one connections with your customer service team is super important. While working remotely, you may frequently meet with your team on daily status calls or other group video calls. But, apart from this, you should also spend a lot of time connecting with each of them personally (virtually or in-person if viable and safe).
Through one-on-one meetings, you’ll get a better understanding of their performance and their pain-points. You can give them personal feedback and push them to improve their KPIs. Through such initiatives, your employees will become more invested in your organization.
To sum it up, we can say that managing a remote customer service team is not nearly the same as managing them on-site. Your team would be working unsupervised most of the time, and things can go wrong quite often. This will have a direct impact on your company’s profitability.
Therefore, take the help of these tips and techniques to manage your remote customer service team. In no time, you’ll find them rapidly contributing to the growth of your company.
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience in writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.