Communications is at the heart of every business. How we communicate with our partners, employees, contractors, and customers are vital to any business process. David Highbloom, an entrepreneur, traveler, and photographer, points out that COVID-19 has forced us to find new and innovative ways to communicate through business channels. This is particularly important when communicating with customer service teams who are working remotely.
Highbloom says flexibility and the art of pivoting are critical in effectively communicating strategies and processes with remote service teams. Knowing who you are communicating with and how they will utilize the information being communicated can help iron out deficiencies while highlighting the most critical aspects of the plan and related action points. Highbloom translates this as, keep it simple and to the point. Outline goals and prioritize those goals will go a long way in maintaining key performance indicators. When it comes to customer service teams, it is best to avoid micro-managing or breaking down the details too minutely. Keep in mind that your team has experience and knowledge and doesn’t need to be told how to do their jobs.
One of the most successful forms of communication is visualization. People absorb information using all available senses. Visualization allows a person to hear the information and see it built out in the form of an organizational flow chart. Visualizing information makes the communication process more accessible and more memorable. Again, you want to avoid too much detail and stick with the core steps and procedures. Highbloom says that when using a visualization tool, use color-coding techniques and simplified breakdowns of action steps connecting main goal points.
The sign of a great communicator is the ability to show empathy, especially to remote work staff who also may be dealing with their remote situation in different ways. Be mindful to shift away from expectations built through the cadence of work in the office. The new normal brought on by the global pandemic is unlike anything people have faced, and each is finding their new way forward. Be cognizant of the situation your employees are in—those working from home while still homeschooling or taking care of unwell relatives will be under a great deal of pressure. In time, staff working in isolation will also be struggling with loneliness and finding it harder to focus on the tasks at hand.
When managing a remote customer service team, remember you have a significant role in how each team member adjusts and how that plays into their work’s performance level. Set up regular video calls and ensure your team has access to all available technologies to maintain regular communication with you and the entire team.