The COVID situation has brought an unprecedented crisis for global businesses as they have suddenly been forced to move on the remote operating model. The biggest challenge is perhaps for the customer-facing operations because this is where a business cannot go slack. Remote or not, you have to make sure that your customers get the best experiences all the time else they may simply leave, never to come back again. Opting for cloud telephony solutions is the key to resolving the entire challenges of remote working, including this one. At the same time, there is a remote working etiquette that your team has to follow while handling business calls.
Let us list the important do’s and don’ts for you.
Do’s of remote calling
Give employees access to the right technologies
First things first, your team would need to have the right tech in place to stay connected with the customers even when they are at home. Since your office phones would be no good, setting up a cloud telephony system is a great idea. Provide them a virtual phone number as well so that they can connect from any devices. If you do video calls frequently, give them access to Zoom and Skype as well.
Define a remote calling process
Having a well-defined and well-documented process for remote calling is as important as building the basic infrastructure in place. Create a rule book and share it with the team so that they have standard and consistent guidelines to follow. And if you want to go the extra mile with the process, you can also implement features like IVR and toll free number to render better caller experiences.
Train the agents to handle the transition
A process switch is never easy for the client, let alone a complete operational switch like this one. Training the agents to handle the transition makes sense. Here, it is important to make them comfortable with the tools as well as the etiquette. An in-depth session will be needed in the beginning while you can hold remote training sessions regularly to keep them on the right track.
Provide access to requisite resources
Apart from the right tech for business calling, you also need to empower the team with the requisite resources such as customer files, knowledge base, CRM, and ticketing system. These are extremely useful when answering queries and responding to issues on calls. Leveraging cloud solutions is the way to go because they enable anytime accessibility for the team to this data and ensure its security as well.
Keep track of individual agent performances
Another imperative to managing remote calls effectively is by keeping track of individual agent performances. A cloud telephony system lets you do it because it has a powerful tracking feature that lets you keep tabs on every agent’s call metrics, even down to the call records. It’s easy to see who’s on track and who isn’t and you may even consider strengthening the weak links.
Don’ts of remote calling
Compromise on the quality of service
In such troubled times, it is easy to fall prey to technology lapses such as poor internet connectivity and inability to operate remote calling tools effectively. But you cannot afford to compromise on the quality of customer service at such a critical juncture. Being extra cautious with the choice of cloud telephony solutions and service providers can help you in this context.
Be unavailable when customers need to connect
The most important mantra for delivering top-notch customer experiences on business calls is to be available whenever they need to connect. Being unavailable gets across a bad impression and your business will end up taking a blow after the pandemic if you lose customers now. Empowering your team with missed call service is a great idea to avoid missing out on valuable customers.
Follow a reactive approach
When it comes to customer communication during the pandemic, reactive is not the right approach. While you resolve their queries, focus on providing them the best possible solutions. You can actually move one step ahead by covering issues that they may face in the future and providing resolution for them even before they ask. A proactive approach makes you a winner in such challenging times.
Be apprehensive about the transition
Changes are always tough and something of this level is actually daunting! But being apprehensive about the transition to remote calling is the last thing you should do. Rather, embrace it as an opportunity to ramp up your capabilities. Now that remote is poised to become the next big thing on the business landscape, you should start getting comfortable with it.
Micromanage your team
Although managers need to keep track of individual performances, micromanaging remote teams should not be encouraged by businesses. This attitude shows that you don’t trust the agents to do their job well enough. Absence of trust has a dire impact on productivity, outcome and employee loyalty. It may even influence the retention rates for your business, which is never a good sign.
No doubt, moving over to remote calling is something new for businesses and realignments can be challenging. Still, following these can resolve any challenges to a significant extent. So go ahead and keep serving the customers as you have always done!