In today’s world, modern communication methods are facilitating the emergence of a globalized marketplace. Through the internet, businesses now have the ability to communicate with clients from all corners of the world. The advent of Software as a Service and Cloud-based working has enabled companies to make their products and services available on a global scale, allowing customers to access them from any location on the planet. This has helped to create a truly interconnected world, allowing businesses to reach out to customers in a much faster and more efficient manner.
Despite the significant opportunities presented by this situation, some businesses are struggling to meet their customers’ needs. It is important to bear in mind that there is a seven-hour time difference between the Pacific Time Zone and the UK, so if you and your customers both reside in the Pacific Time Zone, then your UK clients would not be happy waiting until 4 pm, when you arrive at the office, to access the site at 9 am. We do not believe this would be an acceptable solution either.
Considering the need to provide round-the-clock customer service, the most obvious solution is to take into account all possible time zones. This could be achieved either by employing people in different parts of the world to work in shifts, or by having a team solely based locally and running a 24-hour operation. However, we believe that the advantages of remote working go beyond simply having someone always available to answer the phone or respond to inquiries via a chatbot. Here, we explain why.
The Key to Excellent Customer Service
The Institute of Customer Service in the United Kingdom has highlighted three key aspects of excellent customer service: timeliness, accuracy and appropriateness. It is clear that these metrics are integral to providing a successful customer service, no matter the industry or company.
In light of the increased use of remote workforces, it is worth considering how these three benchmarks can be met in such an environment. Remote teams have the potential to provide customers with a quicker, more accurate and relevant service; however, it is important to ensure that the necessary resources and infrastructure are in place to support the staff. With a clear strategy and the right tools, it is possible to deliver a world-class customer service experience remotely.
When a client identifies an issue, it is essential that it is responded to quickly. Depending on the situation, the timeframe for resolution may vary, however clients value being acknowledged promptly. This has led to an increased use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbots, which can provide the sense that a conversation is being attended to even if there is no human present.
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to filter client requests has a number of advantages, such as allowing your technical support team to focus on other tasks, while the AI directs the customer to the frequently asked questions section. However, there are potential drawbacks to this approach. For example, inappropriate escalation may occur when the AI misinterprets the language of the question and incorrectly escalates it, or when it provides incorrect guidance when dealing with a more serious issue.
One of the key advantages of having an international team is that customer queries can be addressed promptly. By having personnel with the relevant technical knowledge, customers can be provided with assistance to restore their services as quickly as possible. It is far more preferable to send a personalised email response to customers with an estimation of when the issue will be resolved, rather than a generic, automated message that only advises them of a response within working hours.
Our customers place great importance on accuracy in product descriptions. Clients expect to be able to speak to knowledgeable staff if they are struggling with their month-end reports. While our support staff may have a basic understanding of our product’s capabilities, they are unlikely to have the same technical expertise as those who work with the end users. This “inside out” comprehension can only be achieved by actually delving into the code.
It is not ideal for your clients in different time zones, who must either wait for a response or accept an educated guess from the support team, to experience such an inconvenience. Imagine how much better it would be if you had access to technical assistance at all times of the day.
Sense of Fit
It is important to remember the concerns we raised earlier regarding the potential for inappropriate escalation when using artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Customers can become increasingly frustrated when their query is not addressed properly by the customer service team. This is not exclusive to AI; we have all experienced submitting a complaint to a company and receiving a generic response which does not address the problem. This can be highly infuriating, transforming even the most amenable consumer into an enraged individual, typing in all capitals.
The availability of technical support personnel is a critical factor in this situation. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of personnel, meaning the administrative team will need to provide a well-informed prediction of how best to move forward. By providing customers with access to a remote technical support team, they can be assured that they can always access help when required. This will not only help to reduce customer frustration but will also reduce the likelihood of them taking out their emotions on their computers.
Multiple Advantages of Working from Home
Having adequate technical support staff is one of many aspects that contribute to providing excellent customer service. Remote hiring offers numerous advantages that businesses can capitalise on. For those who follow our blog, these advantages may already be well-known; however, here is a brief summary of them once more.
- Having access to the best and brightest from all around the world, rather than simply the local area.
- Better results from the group as a whole.
- Staff morale has risen.
- Less time spent recruiting new employees = more savings.
- A wider pool of qualified applicants to choose from
In order to better serve your customers and meet their needs, it is essential to diversify your workforce and the services and products you offer. Specifically, the final option has great potential to optimise customer service. For example, by employing a programmer who is blind, you can gain access to an expert in the field of accessibility.
In addition, there is the significant issue of communication. There is the potential for misunderstandings occurring even between native English speakers from the United Kingdom and the United States. The complexity of this is heightened by the potential difficulties that can arise from using Google Translate. It is clear that customers who do not speak English, such as those who speak Spanish, Arabic, or Japanese, would benefit greatly from being able to communicate with a representative who can understand their language and culture.
5 Reasons to Use a Remote
At Works, we are aware that many people may be apprehensive when making the transition to remote working for the first time. However, we would like to reassure those individuals that they are not alone. Our website offers a range of resources to help with the process, and we also have a weekly podcast hosted by Luis, in which he talks to experienced professionals in the field of remote work.
At Works, we are committed to helping you find the perfect computer expert, network administrator, or bug fighter for your organisation. Our experienced team will take the time to understand your specific requirements and then search for the best-suited candidates to fill the positions you have posted. We guarantee to have your requirements met within just over a week. Sound good? Why not take advantage of our completely remote customer service and get in touch with us today.