The good news is that remote work has many benefits.
For example, employees who work remotely are more productive and have a better work-life balance compared to those who do not, according to new research by Pennsylvania State University. While 56% of businesses believe that remote working improves productivity.

For customer service teams in particular, remote working allows staff to get through 13% more requests each day according to a study by Quarterly Journal of Economics. Adjusting to working 8 hours a day from the dining table. Sharing a co-working space with your significant other (and hearing them in "business mode") ...

1. Use cloud-based project

While email is an instant and easy way to communicate, it’s not an ideal platform for managing projects when working with a remote team.

In fact, an endless stream of email communications can quickly become messy and overwhelming.

To help manage projects, information and communication needs to be centralized in one easily accessible place. A cloud-based project management tool allows your team – no matter where they are located – to login and access the information they need within minutes, while at the same time providing you with an overview of all projects at any given moment in time.

While email is an instant and easy way to communicate, it’s not an ideal platform for managing projects when working with a remote team.

In fact, an endless stream of email communications can quickly become messy and overwhelming.

To help manage projects, information and communication needs to be centralized in one easily accessible place. A cloud-based project management tool allows your team – no matter where they are located – to login and access the information they need within minutes, while at the same time providing you with an overview of all projects at any given moment in time.

2. Share information through a

According to the American Express Customer Service Barometer, 99% of customers say that getting a satisfactory response or talking to someone knowledgeable is essential for a great customer experience.

However, even the customer support pros will come across a question that requires a bit more research from time to time.

When working remotely, your team cannot just walk over to you and ask for help or advice – especially if there’s an 8 hour time difference and it’s in the middle of the night for you!

Instead, your team has to resort to email, which could lead to a delay in getting a response that ends up leaving customers frustrated.

An effective alternative is a knowledge base. A knowledge base is a repository that helps employees access important information about the everyday functioning of their company to address customer service issues, solve problems, and maintain smooth work collaboration.

Employees are spending more time searching for knowledge

Regularly update content on a weekly basis
35%
Have not updated knowledge base in a long time
27%
Have no tools or process to identify knowledge gaps
35%
Say doing knowledge management could increase productivity
40%

And, according to Esteban Kolsky’s research along with [24]7, 28% of an agent’s time is spent searching for the right answer, and the right answer can only be found 20% of the time.

That’s no good!
By storing information in one easily-accessible place, the knowledge base gives your team the answers they need right there and then. You could use a private wiki for this type of knowledge share or create your own internal customer service knowledge base. To really get the best use from your knowledge base, encourage your staff to update it and add answers on an ongoing basis.

3. Be clear about who the

Good customer service is about your ability to quickly solve problems, fulfill requests and build an understanding between your business and your customers. To do this successfully, your remote customer service team needs to understand who they are talking to on the other end of the phone, email or a social media channel.

To make sure that every team member understands your audience and how to interact with them you need to offer up-front training, as even a basic understanding will give your team the skills to provide an excellent customer service.

Before you train your team, think about the following questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are their values?

Do they need quick answers or carefully-considered, in-depth replies?

4. Unite your

Managing a remote customer service team comes with a new set of challenges, not least with building a good relationship with staff that live in different countries and across different time zones.

And while it might seem that you don’t really need to get to know someone who lives on the other side of the world, someone who you might only meet in person once per year, it is in fact a really important factor in managing happy and productive teams.

Research by Queens University of Charlotte found that 39% of surveyed employees believe that people in their own organization don’t collaborate enough, and only 27% of employees receive communication training.
By getting to know your team members, you’ll have better communication and increase staff retention rates.
To unite your team, encourage small-talk between your staff and allow them to get to know one another, such as getting to know their interests, family life and local area.

This can be achieved in a number of ways, through the use of instant messaging including Teams, Skype group chats and Google Hangouts. You can also create staff profiles and ‘About me’ pages on the company intranet.

Do they need quick answers or carefully-considered, in-depth replies?