Customer service has never been more important than the present. Today we are battling against lockdown restrictions, buying more online than ever before, and require the remote help of customer service agents at growing rates. This places a lot of pressure on customer support teams. Workers are telecommuting from their homes in order to continue working toward companywide ambitious goals set by their team leaders, but the ability to navigate the challenges of work-life while physically distant from your team members can fray your company methodology. Large teams are at increased risk of lagging behind company objectives, so managing a large staff effectively from home should be a top priority for anyone in these positions of leadership.
Utilize an OKR goals structure.
Utilizing an OKR framework can set a team on the right path to success without much extra effort. OKR’s (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal-setting framework that places binary goals alongside crucial landmarks that drive the team forward. The OKR mentality was pioneered by Andy Grove of IBM and infused into the Google decision-making paradigm by one of its first investors, John Doerr. Essentially, OKRs help you set objectives for your team such as: receive 100 five star ratings and then assign a few (ideally three to five) key results that act as milestones in pursuance of the overall objective: publish analysis of all negative reviews weekly or contact one-star reviewers for a follow up every day. OKRs are effective measuring tools that determine if your team is meeting its targets or falling short. Importantly, it can help you correct issues in real-time that are dragging productivity down.
Rely on CRM data to inform future direction.
Customer Relations Management or CRM call center software is designed specifically to address issues in your team’s approach to customer service. These features are often a built-in component to cloud-based call center software and may come in the form of survey-like questions to evaluate customer satisfaction or through another means. CRM tasks are focused on maintaining great relationships with clients in order to promote repeat business and curtail defections from long-time customers. Utilizing this framework may give your team the metrics it needs to continue improving as they adjust to new work constraints that come along with a remote setting.
Give constant feedback.
Remote work relies on constant contact. In the office, contact is a given and therefore is not quite as important as a scheduling item. While your team works from home, making time to discuss positives and issues that must be improved upon is essential to a healthy and well-functioning unit.
Organize team-building exercises.
Team building exercises, whether done remotely or in person, when able, can really spark new and positive energy within a team working toward difficult goals. Customer service is often a thankless job in which clients are only calling in with complaints and anger. Organizing activities that help to remove some of this stress from the shoulders of your teammates can make them more diligent workers and improve the overall atmosphere of your remotely spaced team.
Remember that your team is human too.
Each of us is dealing with the effects of remote work in different ways. Remember that your team is not a group of people that can shut out the sometimes debilitating effects of the outside world as they tune in to work each day — no one can. Take the time to talk to your staff one on one in order to address any unseen issues and remind them that you are there for each of them, as both a company manager and a personal friend.
Remote work is not the easiest setup, but it can be done effectively with the inclusion of a few simple frameworks.