6 Tips to Build a World-Class Remote Customer Support Team
The most successful brands in today’s competitive market have one thing in common – they offer outstanding customer support and prioritize customer satisfaction (CSAT).
CSAT is largely dependent on customers’ interactions with your customer care department, starting with the first touch. Having the right team is the key to delivering outstanding customer experience.
However, with more companies leveraging remote customer support teams to provide round-the-clock support, optimize workforce allocation, and minimize operating cost, delivering a world-class customer experience can be hard
Here’s how to build a world-class remote customer support team:
1. Hire the Right People
Besides basic soft skills and technical knowledge required for the support role, you also need to look for qualities that will allow an employee to excel in remote work.
Some key traits include being a self-manager, self-motivator, and a good communicator. Employees should also be proactive about seeking help when needed and be able to thrive under a low-touch, highly flexible management arrangement.
Since remote teams work in different shifts, there may be times when supervisors aren’t available to provide immediate guidance. As such, employees need to be experienced and confident so they can make decisions on their own to deliver timely support to customers.
2. Provide Extensive Onboarding and Support
When remote team members work alone, they may not be able to get help from their teammates right away. It’s therefore important that they get comprehensive onboarding and ongoing training so they can work autonomously.
To ensure that team members can do their jobs properly, you need to provide them with the necessary hardware, software applications, and IT support – just like any on-site employee.
In addition, remote team members should not only receive training on how to handle customer inquiries and follow internal processes but also be immersed in your company’s vision and culture so they can project the proper brand image in every customer interaction.
You can also create a self-service help center or searchable knowledge base so agents can look up the latest and most accurate information about your products while maintaining a consistent customer experience.
3. Route Customer Inquiries To the Right Agents
KPIs such as average hold time, average transfer rate, and first contact resolution rate have a significant impact on the CSAT score of your contact center.
To improve these metrics and deliver a great customer experience, you need to design internal processes for routing customer inquiries to the right agents cost-efficiently.
Implement advanced call routing strategies, such as geographic call routing and skills-based routing to send callers to team members that are best equipped to handle their needs. This will cut down on unnecessary wait time and minimize customer frustration while streamlining workflow to improve cost-efficiency.
4. Ensure Proper Communication
Team communication is key to success for any virtual teams and using the right communication and collaboration tools will allow managers to maintain a high level of transparency, minimize errors or delays, and streamline workflows.
Video conferencing software (e.g., Skype, GoToMeeting) can facilitate face-to-face communication and productivity apps (e.g., Slack, Yammer, and Campfire) helps ensure that every team member has access to the latest information in real-time.
Managers should establish a team check-in schedule and foster constructive feedback in team communications. They should also give performance reviews based on KPIs to help individual team member focus on specific areas for improvement.
5. Implement Cybersecurity Measures
Your remote customer support team using a remote support software whether in a contact center or working from home, the cybersecurity risk is ever-present. In fact, according to a study conducted by Spiceworks, 61% of companies said employees connect to public Wi-Fi while working remotely.
Your remote customer support team could be handling sensitive customer information so their equipment and connections should be set up to ensure data security. Data breaches are not only costly but they also erode customers’ trust and damage your brand’s reputation.
For remote teams, endpoint security is a major concern. Equip your employees with robust privacy tools, such as VPN, secure browser, ad blocker, and anti-virus solution. Also, make sure they’re running the latest versions of all software to minimize unnecessary risks.
Include security training in your onboarding process and emphasize the importance of protecting customer data. For example, many people believe that Mac computers are far safer from getting a virus or even being hacked than PC’s. This isn’t the case and can create a false sense of security that puts your company and customers’ data in jeopardy.
Implement tracking and access control so employees can only view or edit the information they need to do their jobs while administrators can see exactly who accessed what information, and when.
6. Monitor and Track KPIs
While monitoring the performance of and providing coaching to individual agents is important, you also need to consider how various factors come together to impact the performance of the remote customer support team as a whole.
These factors include the number of agents on staff, the overall knowledge of those agents, and the level of operational service your business provides.
Identify KPIs that are tied to these factors so you can collect meaningful data and extract actionable insights. You can then pinpoint areas for improvement and take steps to optimize ROI – e.g., by improving onboarding and agent training or fine-tuning advanced routing rules.
To augment customer experience and improve customer satisfaction, your team needs to focus on personal interactions with your customers.
Any strategy and tool you implement should ultimately allow your agents to have more meaningful, real-time, one-on-one interactions with customers, which can increase customer satisfaction scores and improve your bottom line.
Leverage software and automation tools that can help you effectively resolve routine inquiries and route calls efficiently so agents can spend more time on delivering high-quality personal interactions with customers.
Further Reading –
- How to set up a searchable knowledgebase
- How to improve CSAT in your knowledge center
- How to keep remote team members’ Mac computers secure