Remote customer service is not just a growing trend in the workplace today — like many jobs, these roles are becoming permanent. More companies are allowing employees to work from home or hiring workers from all around the world to work on the same digital team.
If you’re considering testing the waters, it may sound like a potential mess. What does remote customer service mean? What if the team can’t communicate well or employees aren’t as productive? Can a customer service manager manage remotely?
But in truth, there are many benefits to having a remote customer service strategy, and most employers find that things run just as smoothly as the traditional office setting.
What Is Remote Customer Service?
A remote customer service team means employees are either working from a home office or outside of the organization’s standard brick-and-mortar office facilities. Remote customer service jobs were some of the first positions to go virtual during the Covid-19 pandemic, and many customer service roles remain virtual.
If you call or email a customer service department, there is a good possibility that the person you’re connecting with is working remotely. Many companies hiring for remote customer service opportunities have virtual departments to save on overhead costs and provide flexibility to workers.
Can A Customer Service Manager Manage Remotely?
There can be an increased set of challenges for managers who oversee remote customer service agents. It can be hard to keep employee engagement motivation and other performance metrics high.
However, if managed correctly, a remote customer service team can end up being more productive than an in-office team — and happier, too.
Here are 10 reasons you should have a remote customer service strategy:
1. Increased Efficiency
There can be lots of time saved and efficiencies gained when employees work remotely. Commuting and getting ready for the office can eat up plenty of time each day. Office distractions, such as gossip and extended coffee breaks, disappear as well. Remote customer service agents can maximize their time and spend longer actually working than those who work in an office.
2. Low Cost
There are many costs associated with having a physical office space: rent, furniture, office supplies, maintenance, and utilities. Not only can your company save money by employing remote customer service workers, but your employees can save money as well. They can easily save on gas and transportation, as well as work-related costs like lunches out. Not to mention, they won’t have to worry about purchasing a separate work wardrobe.
3. Flexible Hours
Remote customer service employees who prefer to work late nights or very early in the morning can do so when working from home, while other employees can maintain a more typical 8-to-5 schedule. Employers can easily schedule 24/7 customer support by hiring workers in different time zones or with different work-hour preferences. Early birds and night owls are both welcome!
4. Work From Anywhere
The freedom to work from anywhere is seen as a great benefit by many employees, especially Millennials or those caring for families. Remote customer service employees can choose to work from home or from wherever they are most comfortable. This freedom creates a work-life balance, and they can in turn be more likely to stay with your company for the long term.
5. Pay Fewer Vacation Days
Remote customer service employees can travel more, so you won’t have to pay as many vacation days. (Remember, they can work from anywhere with a strong internet connection!) It’s a win-win. Working remotely enables employees to travel and take vacations without taking time off work, so your company gets more bang for your buck.
6. Fewer Sick Days
As a result of the pandemic, many of us are familiar with the woes of needing to quarantine after a confirmed Covid-19 exposure or diagnosis. One ill employee can easily spread even the common cold among fellow employees. But with remote work, it’s easier to keep your team members safe and healthy. Remote customer service agents with children also appreciate the ability to work from home, as they won’t be forced to take days off for sick kids.
7. Increased Productivity
Forbes recently suggested that employees who work remotely are more productive than those who are required to be in an office at set times. An occasional package delivery or a barking dog may interrupt, of course, but distractions are fewer at home than in a bustling office setting.
Another study published in Harvard Business Review showed that employees who work from home are so productive, they gain the equivalent of an extra workday every week. It seems counterintuitive to many people, but working remotely really can increase productivity.
8. Workplace Happiness
Employees who work remotely often feel that they have a better work-life balance. Allowing employees to work from home can relieve some of the stress that comes with an office job, like worrying about kids at home or feeling like too much time is spent at work. Happier remote customer service employees are more likely to give their best effort and stay in the company.
9. Environmentally Friendly
As part of the corporate social responsibility program of your company, remote customer service workers can minimize their commute and maximize their positive impact on the ecosystem. Remote customer service work is not just good for you and your employees, it’s also good for the environment. Think of all the gas your team uses on their drive to work each day, all the electricity it takes to power an office building, and all the paper printed. Much of this can be reduced and even eliminated when your team works remotely.
10. Bigger Talent Pool
Talent acquisition is no longer limited by geographical boundaries. Hire the most competitive and talented workforce anywhere in the world. You no longer have to worry about not being able to find a certain area skill set within your area. Remote customer service empowers your hiring team to choose ideal candidates from anywhere, regardless of their address.
Besides all the benefits it can offer your business or contact center, having a remote customer service strategy is just plain convenient. Employees will appreciate the extra time and money they save by not commuting. You’ll avoid the stress of managing physical office space.
Both you and your team will have more time and energy to put into providing great customer service, which in turn will make clients happier. Remote customer service is the way of the future, and it’s time to get out of the office and embrace the benefits of working remotely.
Interested in learning more? Request a demo from Playvox today.