Customer service is one of the most important elements of running a successful business. Outside of things like product development, sales, and marketing, it might even be the most important investment you can make. But when running a business remotely, how can you ensure you’re structuring your approach properly? Let’s take a look together at some customer service tips.
Try These 5 Remote Customer Service Tips
Some of the best customer service departments in the world run remotely. And while the secret sauce may be a little unique from one company to the next, the same underlying principles apply. With this in mind, here are several tips you can use to ensure success when managing a remote customer service team.
Have the Right Processes
Consistency is one of the keys to good customer service. Your customers should get consistent service across the board. One of the ways you ensure this happens is by implementing the right processes.
Everything you do on the customer service front needs to support a standard operating procedure (SOP). This document outlines each specific step that takes place in a process, as well as who is responsible for it, when it should be executed, etc.
Leverage the Latest Tech
Automate anything and everything you can by leveraging the latest customer service technology. While there are infinite options, as far as different tools and features go, you should prioritize the ones that are most likely to drive results. Typically, this means automating mundane processes and streamlining time-consuming tasks.
When choosing call center software, pay attention to individual features. Bright Pattern, for example, has a Predictive Dialer feature that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to increase call volume as a way of accelerating the process and improving lead management. This is a huge deal! These are the kinds of features you must pay attention to when doing your due diligence.
Processes are important, but you have to be very focused when it comes to hiring. It’s not enough to hire the first warm body you can find (like many companies do with customer service positions these days). Instead, take the time to carefully onboard people you’re confident will work out well.
In addition to the classic customer service traits of patience, empathy, conscientiousness, and honesty, pay careful attention to how well they handle remote working. During your interview process, look for people who already have experience working remotely. This eliminates a lot of the guesswork surrounding whether or not they’ll work out. People who have had success working remotely in the past are typically independent self-starters (which is what you want).
Be Intentional with Training
Hiring the right people is definitely the first step, but it goes beyond this. Once you hire a good fit for your remote customer service team, invest time and resources into training them well.
Your training should focus on both customer service and remote working skills. Equip each hire with the tools, processes, and tech they need to thrive working from home. This includes both knowledge (in the form of processes and technical understanding of your products) and technology (software and hardware).
Motivate Employees to Excel
There’s a direct correlation between your team’s motivation levels and their success. If your customer service reps serve customers well and meet their needs, your company succeeds on this front. If they’re apathetic and only care about clocking in and out, you’re in trouble.
Finding ways to motivate your employees to excel is one of the major challenges that you must account for. While money can work as a motivator, don’t assume that it’s the only way. Money limits its ability to move people. Other incentives like recognition, praise, and work-related perks are more effective.
Adding it All Up
At the end of the day, good customer service is good customer service. The fundamental principles don’t change, regardless of when or where the service is being delivered. That means the same fundamentals that you rely on when you have an in-house customer service team working in the same physical workspace remain true even when they’re spread out remotely across multiple locations.
Having said that, there are some nuances involved. Hopefully, this article has done a good job of pointing you in the right direction.
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