What does it take to build a remote customer service team and why should you consider it?
Hiring remote teams has become an increasingly popular topic for many reasons. One reason, in particular, is the fact that employees simply want more flexibility in their lives, which could mean being able to work from home or anywhere for that matter.
It's no surprise that given recent events, businesses now have more reasons to go remote. Whether it be extreme weather conditions, natural disasters or COVID-19, the world we live in can be quite unpredictable. Because of this, it's becoming even more critical that businesses have tools in place that enable their teams to work remotely when needed. Lucky for us, cloud-based technology is making it so much easier for teams of all sizes to accomplish this. And thanks to advancements in customer service software, brands can now support their customers from anywhere with an internet connection.
If you’re looking into building a remote team of skilled customer service reps, here are some key benefits that you should take note of:
1. It’s more affordable than you would think
Hiring via traditional channels costs a significant amount of time and resources. It also limits you to only considering employees within your geographical location, lowering the quality of potential hires. Expanding your search to include remote agents means you’re increasing your chances of actually getting your money’s worth. It also means you don’t have to consider a lot of overhead since you don’t have to maintain a physical office location—which can be quite expensive for call and contact centers.
2. It helps speed up the hiring process
The typical hiring process takes time and can be very tedious. You end up spending hours reading resumes, arranging interviews and communicating back and forth with potential hires to arrange meetings. It’s normal for a company to spend months just trying to fill a single a spot in their team, often because they can’t seem to find the right candidate within their area.
Hiring online is faster. You get to coordinate in real time with a much larger pool of potential candidates that you can meet online. Instead of sometimes spending months, you’ll find that you should be able to complete a good hire within just a few weeks, which allows you to build your team much faster.
3. It can reduce rep churn rates
The circumstances surrounding traveling to an office every day can have a considerable influence on many people’s decisions to accept or decline a job offer. Major considerations include the cost of commuting to and from work and how much productive time is lost due to the inconvenience of traffic. Working remotely empowers team members to be more productive in their spare time. Instead of wasting it commuting to a brick and mortar office, they can maximize time spent for and on themselves, according to their priorities and lifestyle, which - in most cases - reduces stress.
Overall, allowing agents to have more control over their time will result in higher employee satisfaction.
Let's take a quick break ⏳: Like what you've read so far? Want to hear more helpful tips on customer service and customer experience best practices? Sign up for our newsletter to get them delivered right to your inbox 📮
4. It empowers teams to be more productive
In a conventional office setting, it’s easier to build rapport and establish relationships with co-workers. There are clear advantages to working in an office where you enjoy your colleagues' company, but it can also prove to be distracting for employees when you want to focus on getting the job done.
Remote agents are not exposed to typical distractions that office employees are. Because they can work in the quiet of their own homes, they don’t have to deal with constant chatter or interruptions from colleagues, which helps them focus more on the task at hand.
5. It’s scalable according to what you actually need
Working with a remote team makes it easier for companies to scale their support staff depending on what their business actually needs. If required, you can easily seek the help of independent professionals to join your team. On the other hand, during leaner months, you can also opt to condense your support team if needed.
The advantages of remote teams are evident for organizations who want flexibility and growth. However, it’s important to keep in mind the challenges associated with employing remote teams too, as to avoid disorder. Since remote teams don’t meet face to face every day with their managers, it’s vital to establish strong communication and trust between the two. Keeping your remote agents motivated is alpha-omega and you can’t do it if you don’t know them.
Finally, using cloud-based customer service software that is easy to use and requires minimal training is essential. This will help you save time and effort when onboarding new reps and empower your team to work independently. If the benefits of employing remote customer service reps match up with your business objectives, it's a viable option to consider.