How to improve your CX with a remote customer service team

The entire world is currently experiencing extraordinary challenges in almost every aspect of its business model, with marketing platforms flooding businesses with ways to adapt to the new global way of working.

The severe effects that Covid-19 has had on corporate giants, business professionals, and rising talent has created a sense of necessary urgency amongst all business sectors to adapt and innovate. While the motivation for innovation is always welcomed and encouraged, it can become an extremely intimidating obstacle creating pressure and seemingly unmeetable expectations. This is especially true amongst businesses that prefer to be late adopters to innovations.

The intense disruption of basically everything we are used to as consumers and businesses has certainly led to accelerating growth and development amongst almost all sectors. We now have the privilege of seeing evolutions that we probably would not have seen for several years. This holds enormous benefits on a global scale that should be seen as opportunities to bypass certain processes in the growth cycle and elevate to an entirely new level of doing business. Of course, for the early adopters, this is a thrilling time to compete and perform, but for a great number of businesses, this is a time of great uncertainty. The overflow of information, articles, and advice on how to adapt to the new way of doing business can also be very overwhelming for a company that is still trying to determine what elements of their business needs to be adapted first.

One of the first elements that should be adapted is the structure of your customer service team. There is no longer the need for an entire team of employees to come to a fixed office space on a daily basis. The functions that they perform behind an office desk are the same functions that they can perform behind their own desk at home when given the right resources. There are many advantages as a result of not having a large office building to maintain. The first obvious one is the financial savings on overheads. The second one is the psychological effect it has on your employees. The list is endless.

The following factors highlight the relationship between improved customer service and a remote customer service team:

1. A Management tool will help the team to stay interconnected

When employees are working from a central management system and have the same access to certain platforms, it is easy for them to manage their tasks. It is also easy for the company to manage its employees. When the operational structure of a company and its employees is altered, it creates the risk of reduced control of various elements including customer service. As every person has a different way of working and managing themselves, the end-result of a geographically scattered workforce can be detrimental to the functionality of the company. It is therefore absolutely critical to establish and implement a management tool that will centralize systems and communications between employees to ensure they stay interconnected. It will also ensure that the company can effectively oversee the productivity of its employees. This will in turn ensure that the core function of customer service is achieved and excelled.

2. Customer experience will be enhanced through a skilled employee

Delivering satisfactory customer service is already a challenge in itself in a traditional customer-facing business.  Being able to deliver the same level of service with a remote customer service team is even more challenging as the customer is exposed to additional elements that could negatively impact their experience. These elements include remote technical assistance, speed of response, and quality of communication. Consequently, it is essential to ensure that employee servicing customers are confidently skilled to meet and exceed the customers’ service delivery expectations. Over and above the standard skills the employee is required to have for this specific function, they need to have an x-factor. This factor is the ability to first understand what the customer wants, and secondly knowing what needs to be done to deliver on that need. Lastly, the employee must be skilled enough to satisfy this need proactively.

3. A happy employee is a productive employee is a satisfied customer

The ROI of a happy employee is often underrated by companies. The topic of employee wellness leading to increased productivity has always been a controversial one. Nevertheless, it remains an extremely important factor to take into consideration when analyzing the interpersonal health of a company. There is no doubt that the well-being of an employee can directly be seen in the work they deliver. One of the biggest advantages this global pandemic has had on the way companies conduct business is the fact that it has more opportunity than ever before to enhance the overall well-being of its employees. This not only benefits the employees but the company as well as they will reap the fruits through improved customer experiences leading to improved overall customer satisfaction. There are several elements employees are no longer exposed to by having the opportunity to work from home or a location of their choice. They have the freedom to choose how much time they are willing to spend on commuting. Having the opportunity for reduced commuting will reduce premature daily exhaustion. By merely giving employees the freedom to balance their work-life relationship will reduce stress and agitation.

4. Do not only respond to a customer but also engage with them

The quality of a service being delivered to a customer is the most important element in any business sector. Careful consideration should be given to this element in terms of execution and sustainability. A meaningless service provided hastily does more damage than no service at all. It is critical to ensure that employees actively engage with a customer through learning the customer’s request in detail. Thereafter the employee should strategically derive an action plan on how to successfully resolve or deliver the customer’s request. Only after the employee is confident that he can conclude the service adequately should he do so. The company should be mindful of reinforcing this concept into the minds of its employees and provide them with the right tools to execute this function. Regular online meetings and training sessions can be held to help employees stay on top of their game when it comes to customer service delivery.

Traditionally centralized customer service teams have many advantages to ensure satisfactory service delivery. It has been perfected over the years and has reached maturity in its lifecycle. While remote teams are a relatively new concept for the majority of companies around the world, it carries its own set of challenges. However, it can certainly be used as a functional tool to improve customer service experience. In many cases, it offers even greater prospects than traditionally centralized teams and should be seen as an opportunity for companies to increase their service delivery ability and customer satisfaction. Initiating this process can be challenging and it might seem like a risky decision. To ensure that your company is adequately equipped to take this step, do enough research so that you are fully aware of all the consequential factors. At the same time do not wait too long before starting this process as it is essential to be part of the business evolution in order to stay relevant and competitive.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash