With the COVID-19 pandemic having sparked an unprecedented surge in remote working, people from all different industries have had to adapt the way they work to be in keeping with the new norms.
While 2020’s health crisis has come with some hefty challenges, this period of remote working has come with some new-found benefits. Many have found working remotely to be more productive than working from the office, with less noisy co-workers to distract you, and nothing about your work to focus on other than, well, your work!
Customer service teams in particular have found that remote working can actually help them get through more requests a day, one study carried out by the Quarterly Journal of Economics finding customer service staff to be getting through 13% more requests throughout the working day.
The Challenges for Remote Customer Services Teams
While working from home has certainly come with some great, productive benefits for both customer service teams and the business overall, as with many COVID-related adjustments, it has not come without its struggles.
As with employees from various different industries, those in customer service who are working remotely still face the challenges of restricted access to other members of their team for help and collaboration. As a result, staff can feel disconnected from their company and their team.
However, there are ways businesses can work to effectively manage remote working operations, helping to reduce the disadvantages of this while reaping all of the benefits it can bring.
Keep Your Team Connected
During such a large and prolonged period of remote working, it’s hardly surprising that staff working from home may start to feel disconnected from their team, and from their company.
To help minimise this disconnect, employers could encourage team bonding and collaboration through fun, virtual events. Especially with the holidays coming up, it might be worth exploring some virtual activities for a Christmas office party.
It might also be good to hold regular team meetings over video chat, giving staff the chance to talk with other members of their team, voice any concerns or issues they’re having, and overall connect to their business in as personal a way as can be done during the pandemic.
Keep Communication Frequent and Clear
Following on from the last point, it’s also important to keep communication between remote workers, and the business, frequent and clear. This includes keeping remote workers of customer service teams in the loop with the latest relevant updates, and, as previously mentioned, holding regular team meetings to give staff the chance to discuss various concerns, updates and more.
It might also help to invest in certain tools to keep teams connected online in the most efficient way possible. While email is an essential component to communication with remote workers of a business, it’s not the most ideal tool for managing certain projects.
To manage these more efficiently, it can help to use cloud-based project management tools, video conferencing tools and centralising all communication and information in one accessible place. These tools can help remote workers to access the relevant information quickly and easily, and can help to provide a clear overview of projects, making them easier to manage.
Help Remote Staff Operate Safely
Another major component to ensuring the success of remote working customer service operations, businesses should also ensure that their staff are working safely from home, and keeping company data secure.
There are various different ways in which company data could be leaked accidentally by remote workers, from leaving a work computer unlocked and unattended in the house, to snooping on the internet looking to access user’s sensitive information.
Using a VPN can help to keep sensitive company data secured, creating encrypted tunnels for users to send and receive data so that it’s kept safe from prying, unwanted eyes.
It can also be good to keep remote workers updated about the latest phishing emails to look out for, as well as other safety tips to help keep the company’s, and the customer’s, data secure.