Tips for Communicating Effectively While Working Remotely
In 2020, workers in all industries, including call centers, were challenged to find ways to work remotely and still maintain the same level of productivity, security, and commitment to providing quality customer service.
Although the sudden shift to working remotely and working from home was initially disruptive, recent studies now show that remote workers can be more efficient than office workers. Many remote workers even boast higher morale and job satisfaction. Yet if remote workers are managed poorly or made to use inefficient technology, then communication breaks down. As a result, productivity and morale take giant hits. To ensure effective communication with remote workers, organizations of all sizes must have the right management mindset and the right technology in place.
Review the following tips to help ensure that your agents communicate effectively while they’re working remotely:
1. Streamline Communication
Communication technology should equip agents, not frustrate them. Choose a platform that is user-friendly and efficient. Prompts, lookups and navigation can be built into database-driven call scripts to automatically guide agents through calls. Simplify the learning curve, resulting in faster adoption of the communication technology, with a multi-channel call management system.
2. Make quick communication updates easy and intuitive
Make it easy for your team to give each other the kind of immediate replies they need to be efficient and accurate. Look for platforms that offer customizable, quick replies that can be sent with just a few taps or clicks.
3. Build trust
Create a culture that trusts each other to answer messages when they’re received. You can do this by selecting a platform that displays when messages have been delivered, if they have been read, and what their urgency level is. Don’t contribute to “alarm fatigue” by inundating your employees with irrelevant or non-urgent messages.
4. Insist on security and HIPAA compliance
While some HIPAA rules related to telehealth were relaxed in 2020, they may tighten up in 2021 and beyond. Instead of requiring your staff to take home additional secure devices, you can choose a platform that can run securely on their personal devices. Be sure to choose a platform that offers end-to-end encryption of all messages and can be locked remotely in case it is lost or compromised.
5. Move to the cloud
An on-premise only solution will limit your ability to shift workers to remote settings. Your staff should be able to securely access the data they need wherever they are. Storing information on the cloud will also reduce the need for on-site server maintenance. Your agents can have synchronous, secure access to information, wherever they are.
6. Invest in technology
The ideal remote workers are self-starters who can focus on work despite the distractions that are inherent in working off-site. The ideal remote managers are those who understand how to intentionally foster connection and communication without micromanaging. Invest in technology that will be flexible enough to work with and support your team’s unique capabilities and needs.