Giving employees the freedom to work from home can impact how much they love their job and their desire to stay.
A survey by Leadership IQ found people are 87 percent more likely to love their job if they work from home or remotely. And aside from happiness with working at home, companies can recruit top talent regardless of where they live to gain an edge over their competition.
But it takes more than a telecommute policy to successfully manage a thriving remote customer service team. Empower your representatives with the right tools and processes from the start to transform their role into proactive customer service agents. Here’s how to get started.
Keep your mobile team highly engaged with ongoing virtual meetings. Free tools might work for a quick video chat, but lack the features to streamline communication among a large group. Look to virtual call center software for high-end features suitable for small businesses to large corporations, like call recording, auto attendant and a single communication system to connect everyone in your business. Schedule bi-weekly or monthly meetings to stay connected and review new issues, insights or initiatives while putting names to faces.
Create a cloud-based project management system
It’s no longer necessary to manage projects by a stream of emails and meetings. Get your team up and running with a tool like Slack to stay in communication from a central platform. Organize team conversations in open channels with a transparent view of what’s going on. For projects that require different levels of discretion, create a private channel and invite just the members you want to see it. Your reps can log in, make updates to a project, upload supporting files and direct message each other to check-in on the status of a project or get quick answers.
Target the right insights
Salesforce warns that relying on annual surveys or quarterly focus groups only shows you the big picture, and not up-to-date and accurate information that allows your team to act quickly. A tool like Service Wave Analytics displays insights from every customer service channel and conversation to get an accurate picture of what’s going on with your customers. The platform also helps your team create tasks to escalate issues and work quickly to find resolutions and keep customers happy.
Create customer service guidelines
Your customer service reps need a rock-solid knowledge base to thoroughly outline how different service issues should be handled. But each channel may need its own guidelines. For example, responding to angry Tweets requires a different approach than talking to an unhappy customer over the phone. Your team should also fully understand the style and manner to engage with customers. For example, JetBlue offers obsessive, real-time support over Twitter, and often takes a personable approach filled with casual banter.
Empower your employees
A thriving, mobile customer service team can only take the most powerful tools in their career arsenal so far. They also need to be empowered to make split second decisions that could make or break a customer’s experience. Empower your team to rely on your company’s service guidelines — and even their own gut — to make a decision. After all, good customer service is more than just about reading charts and data. It’s also about listening to what people truly want to turn a situation around and make it right.