Before the pandemic hit the globe, a survey (Global Workspace Survey) conducted by International Workplace Group (IWG) pointed out that a whopping 75% of respondents believed the flexible working to have become the “new normal.” So, this is not a new concept, for sure.
But implementing the remote working policies for this long is a first for many organizations. And, they are facing some challenges like keeping the agents productive. The managers have to figure out ways by which the teams will stay motivated, productively engaged, and stay in-line with technologies to perform well.
Common Concerns for Managing Remote Teams
The three most pressing challenges that are giving support managers sleepless nights are mentioned below:
1. Supervision of Remote Workforce
Managing or supporting scattered teams is an undeniable challenge. It impedes the manager’s ability to identify and overcome productivity bottlenecks.
2. Limited Assistance From Co-Workers
The switch to a remote working model also means that service engineers no longer have the option to ask for help from the next desk colleague. To put it simply, the sense of teamwork is missing.
3. Increased Demand via Inbound Customer Contact
With contact centers working with reduced staff and more customers reaching out for support via phone instead of physical visits to the branches or stores, the inbound traffic to contact centers has more than doubled in the past few months.
Making the Most of Remote Working While Managing It Well
While discussing the cons of remote working, you certainly cannot overlook the pros. The option of working outside of the company’s premises and having a choice of work environment is a key factor for many job seekers when evaluating new career opportunities.
Fact: 90% of employees say that more flexible arrangements would increase morale. And, 80% of remote workers experience less job stress – Staples Workplace Survey 2019
So, let’s take a quick look at various ways to address the concerns and then take your remote support organization to a higher echelon.
1. Equipping Teams with Remote Collaboration Tools
Research has it that an average office worker has five or more apps open at any given time. This can lead to confusion which mars productivity. Well, what if you unify these apps so that your team can do more in the same window? Sounds a lot better than upgrading or replacing the entire tech stack, right?
Cognitive engines like SearchUnify can help you with that. They offer platform-specific chatbots like SlackBot along with apps like Agent Helper that help to elevate the service experience. Here’s how:
- SlackBot picks relevant information based on the task and team of every employee, from across the multiple platforms of the organization. It also lets them fine-tune the search results using facets and displays best answers for their search queries.
- Agent Helper, on the other hand, improves first call resolutions by dividing information under categories like top articles, related articles, top agents, similar cases, etc. It also provides case resolving responses by analyzing and learning the existing cases and speeds up the process to provide perfect resolutions in time.
2. Motivating Teams by Celebrating Success Openly
The teams put in a lot of hard-work to meet the expectations of the customers. And it is justified to acknowledge their efforts time and again. Awards and accolades persuade the teams to put an effort in being effective and efficient.
Gamification also functions as a strong propeller of an engaged team. And it’s quite simple. You can establish a simple points-based system where service mavens are awarded more points for every 5-star rating or lowest number of ticket re-opens, etc.
Fact: 40% of employees would put energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
3. Offering Remote Work Training and Re-evaluating Processes
It is paramount to offer your workforce some training and guidelines that can help them to better understand the remote working model. This can be in the form of tutorials, demos, and training at regular intervals.
Support reps and managers can also collectively evaluate how efficient their processes are. If they aren’t facilitating employee productivity, they need to be changed to ensure a healthy and ethical work culture.
4. Setting Clear Expectations with Regular Formal Communication
Effective communication while working away from the office can be a little tricky. It becomes important to draw a line between over-communicating and under-communicating. This can be overcome by interacting at regular intervals.
It ensures that the employees know what’s expected of them and keeps the wheel turning. This way, the managers can easily map team and organizational goals amidst dynamic situations.
5. Encouraging the Idea of Community and Culture
Lastly, creating a virtual environment where the employee feels connected to the organization is of utmost importance. With the variety of tools available, it is possible to stay connected to the team members. But that is not enough. A positive remote working culture will require more virtual team-building events.
These events can be anything, such as a project completion celebration, celebrating work anniversaries, and having team calls for unwinding and discussing things other than work. It helps the team to bond and take off some pressure.
So, team handling in these times can be quite a task. But if you aid it with right processes and communication tools, a productive and engaging environment is achievable.
Want to Master the Art of Providing a Stellar Customer Support Experience? Here’s a Guide for You!
If you want to learn some practical strategies to delight your customers with hyper-personalized support experiences, download A Support Leader’s Guide to Delivering A Personalized Support Experience here.