Remote working is quickly shifting from an exception to the new normal. Over the last five years, the number of people working from home has increased by more than 44%.
73% of teams will have remote employees by 2028.
However, managing a remote support team has its own set of challenges, such as communication, tracking productivity, ensuring customer satisfaction, or if they are working.
Fortunately, there are several ways to overcome these challenges and better manage your remote support team. In this article, we will discuss exactly that. Let’s get started!
1. Educate Your Team About Your Products and Services
Unless your team knows the smallest detail of your products or services, they won’t be able to help your customers effectively as their hands are tied in such cases. Besides, when working remotely, your agents cannot just get up from the chair to look for answers to complex customer queries. Therefore, educating them is crucial.
Take time to teach your remote team about your products and services as much as you can.
Use virtual training strategies to familiarize your team about your services:
- Send a detailed document that contains all the details about your product.
- Give them a demo of your product. Even better, let them use your product till they have a good grasp of the product.
- Share videos and recordings of support calls.
- Share real-life examples of different scenarios for customer service.
- Host a Q&A session where your agents can clear their doubts.
- Hold regular training sessions to update them about the latest changes in your product and revise their memory.
2. Use Cloud-Based Tools
Cloud-based tools allow your team members to log in and access the information they need irrespective of where they are located. They don’t require installation or any special equipment, just a system (laptop/desktop) with an internet connection.
Cloud-based tools can help:
- Reduce operational costs
- Improve collaboration
- Enhance data security
Besides, they make it easy to scale your support team. When you hire new agents, all you need to do is add them to your software, and they’re good to get started right away!
When managing a remote support team, you will need several cloud-based tools, including:
- Helpdesk system: A robust helpdesk system like Freshdesk makes it easy to manage incoming support tickets from multiple channels with one inbox. It also helps ensure that multiple agents don’t end up working on the same ticket. Moreover, you can provide quick and consistent responses to common questions by creating pre-formatted replies.
- VoIP system: A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system like iTeleCenter enables your remote team to handle support calls efficiently. It doesn’t require any hardware (telephone lines, PBX system, etc.) and allows your team to accept calls using their desktop or smartphone. VoIP offers advanced features like custom main greeting, voicemail, call recording, conference calling, on-hold music, extensions for employees & departments, and more.
- Internal communication system: You will need a system to collaborate and communicate with your team regularly. Freshdesk allows you to communicate with your team via chat, while a VoIP system lets you collaborate via call conferencing.
- CRM: When running a remote support team, you cannot ask each agent which customer they were talking to or what their issue was. That’s where a CRM comes to the rescue. Customer relationship management (CRM) enables you to store customer details, including their interactions, in one place. This provides you with a birds-eye view of each customer.
3. Document a Well-Thought Script
A customer service script enables you to offer a consistent customer experience across all support channels. They give your agents a framework for customer interactions and help them provide accurate information as quickly as possible.
An effective customer service script is:
- Scannable: Your agents won’t really have the time to read the script word-by-word when a customer is in line.
- Covers various scenarios: Not every customer interaction will go as planned. And when that happens, your agent should be more than prepared. Thus, cover various scenarios (using your past customer interaction recordings) to help your team meet the needs of different customers.
Though a script is necessary to ensure compliance and support productivity, give some flexibility to your agents to go beyond it (if they feel it can improve customer satisfaction).
4. Highlight Clear Guidelines and Expectations
What do you expect from your remote support team? Of course, ensuring customer satisfaction. But, there are several things that you should discuss with your distributed support team to make them productive and efficient at their work. It includes:
- Work timings
- Performance metrics
- KPIs you will use to measure their performance
- Communication protocol
- Do’s and don’ts of customer support
You can consider creating a list of FAQs related to work from home policies and share it with your team. This way, they’ll have a written document that they can refer to anytime.
5. Set Up Clear KPIs to Measure Your Team’s Performance
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage or improve it.
KPIs help measure the productivity of employees working from home. They also enable you to track the success of your operations in relation to achieving your goals.
Here are the top KPIs that you should be measuring:
- Total conversations
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores
- First response time
- Average response time
- First contact resolution rate
- Average resolution time or average handle time
- Total tickets and tickets per customer
- Volume by channel
- Abandoned conversations
You can find these metrics on the analytics page of your helpdesk or VoIP system. And, as mentioned above, let your employees know you’re tracking their performance based on these KPIs.
6. Create an Internal Knowledge Base
Did you know employees spend more than 1.8 hours every day searching for information? That’s around 9.3 hours per week! That’s where an internal knowledge base comes to the rescue.
An internal knowledge base is an information hub that provides your agents all the information they need about your products and services. When created appropriately, it saves employees time & energy and gives them all the information they need to keep customers informed quickly.
Your internal knowledge base should include:
- Company information
- Onboarding information
- Product guides
- Troubleshooting workflows
- Standard operating procedures and checklists
- Legal documents (contracts, release forms, policies, and regulatory documents)
- Call center scripts
- FAQs and templates
7. Encourage Light-Hearted Conversations
Last but not least, encourage light-hearted conversations to build a bond outside of a traditional work structure. Small talks about casual topics like family, sports, movies, or their hobbies remind them that they’re working with real people and that they can be trusted.
Encourage these types of conversations at least a few times a week, even if it’s just for a few minutes at the start of a team meeting. The more you know and talk about your employees (outside the traditional work setting), the more dedicated they will be at work. Also, they will feel more comfortable reaching out to you for both personal and professional problems.
Managing a remote support team can be challenging, but things can get easier with the right strategies and tools. Don’t forget to educate your team about your products and highlight clear guidelines for working from home. By communicating with your employees regularly, you’ll better understand their problems and create strategies to tackle them. Happy Remote Support Team Management!
Guest Article by Jesh
Jesh is a content strategist by day and a wine connoisseur by night. He helps companies build a clear marketing message and execute campaigns that sees tangible ROI. During his time off, he watches edgy comedy on Netflix or explores the newest restaurants in town.
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