Gone are the days when companies had everybody working physically side-by-side and remote teams were scarce. The future of work is upon us, by choice or by context. And now more than ever, it has become vital for any business to streamline its communication flow and enable access to the company’s life to all their employees, regardless of where these are located.
Similarly, employees aren’t the only ones that need to prepare for a remote process. Let’s not forget about customers, as well.
Embracing the future, one step at a time
As service providers, you cater for the communications of both your own employees and the businesses you serve. Have everybody follow the steps below and they’ll improve the onboarding of remote teams and their team’s overall productivity. And by everybody I mean your employees and your business customers as well.
Step 1: Develop a communications strategy
Whether you’re new to developing a remote team or transitioning to a remote workforce from in-house, the first step is to develop a communications strategy. Your customers need to understand how to reach you, and such a strategy lays the groundwork to create those processes and optimize your internal flows. Here’s how to create your communications strategy:
- Identify customer touch points: Ask yourself where and when in their journey will the customers need the most support? Make a list of the integral touch points, from sales to product support. This way, you can be sure to having the proper communication channels available at each stage.
- Organize your team based on customer journey: Once you map out support needs, coordinate your customer service staff so that you always have available coverage, when applicable. Determine whether a product, service, or target audience requires 24-hour coverage or normal business hours, then schedule staff accordingly.
- Use transparent messaging: While your customers need to know how to reach your team, it’s also helpful for them to understand your company dynamic. Explain that your staff is remote, but also fully available, so customers are aware of how you work as a company.
- Create an internal knowledge platform: When working remote, a support agent might not be able to contact the needed department to get an answer immediately, especially with time zone differences. Create and continuously update an internal knowledge platform that’s available to your customer support team, so they can provide real-time answers to customers.
- Develop an FAQ center: Make it easy for customers to get their questions answered without contacting someone from your team by developing an FAQ center that’s searchable and available at all times.
Step 2: Make multiple communication channels available
We live in a digital, always-on, always-available world. And everyone has individual preferences on how they wish to communicate and interact. As such, you need to have multiple channels of communication available to ensure that your customers know how and when they can reach you.
A recent survey by West Company found that when customers contact a business, 77 percent say speed is more important than resolution. While you might not be able to resolve an issue or complement a request at all times, customers appreciate having channels available that allow them to get a response quickly.
Make sure the following platforms are set up and readily available for communication:
- Phone and email: These standard contact touch points should always be available.
- Contact forms: Ensure that your staff quickly responds to any contact forms from your website and landing pages.
- Direct contact via chat, voice and video: Implement a tool like Hubgets Page to enable customers to contact applicable sales or support staff directly online, from the browser. Many businesses often have their team members include this link in their email signature.
- External review sites: Monitor external sites like Google My Business or third-party review sites. Claim your company page and respond to any reviews or questions.
Don’t forget to make customers aware of your many contact options. Put them on your contact page and in the footer of your website. Prepping your customers for a remote team means making sure they’re in the know about how to communicate with anyone at any time.
Step 3: Don’t forget your social channels
Social media profiles provide your team with an opportunity to manage customer communication.
This is most notable on Twitter, which represents 145 million daily active users, according to recent reports. To take advantage of this platform as a communication tool, you can also create a Twitter support channel for customers besides the usual company account.
Advertise that customers can contact you for direct support at that account in your bio so they know who to reach out to. If you’re just getting started using Twitter for customer support, you might want to check out this Twitter support guide.
Step 4: Offer a complete communications platform
Your remote team needs to have effective internal communication workflows to serve your customers. A Unified Communications and Collaboration platform can help streamline processes and make it easier for your departments to connect, interact, and perform their duties. Intuitive, cloud-based solutions, like Hubgets, ensure that your entire remote ecosystem is on the same page.
Instead of requiring you to use multiple tools, Hubgets combines all the needed functionalities in one platform so that your remote team can collaborate effectively. With a cohesive workflow and a productive team, your customers will be better served, as well.
Get ready for the remote teams
Remote work is no longer the future, it’s a current workplace norm, especially in the economics of the coronavirus pandemic.
Follow the steps above to make sure that both your customers and your employees are ready to interact within this new landscape.
Stay safe and keep business going!