How can you equate the current supply and demand market with the shut-down environment in today’s COVID-19 pandemic? Foremost, most businesses don’t stop; they pivot. Progressive companies take advantage of a work-from-home model that is boosting customer services while reassuring their customers that “business” is happening, albeit in a novel form.
Customer experience (CX) provided in a work-from-home (WFH) environment can boost your engagement and loyalty with customers. How so, you may ask? The key is to pair the right research with an action plan. Let’s look at a few examples of research-rich action plans.
When you research your needs, you’ll realize you have no borders for recruiting employees that will make your CX shine. Instead of competing for the few shining stars in your local area, you can brand out across the country and even overseas. When you have a bigger pool to choose from, you can focus on more nuanced skills, backgrounds, education, and brand experience. This helps you find the most valuable co-workers to create an amazing CX. And if you see your CX as a competitive differentiator, this will make sense.
Another boost you’ll get from global recruiting is having access to candidates who might not otherwise be able to come in your office as an employee. WFH offers opportunities to remote workers that they’ve not seen in the past, meaning your talent pool is vaster than ever before.
Higher employee satisfaction
You know the correlation between CX and your employee satisfaction. When you offer flexible WFH opportunities, you’ll boost your employee satisfaction and retention rates. When you survey your employees, you’ll be surprised at the number who say they enjoy their jobs, can’t imagine leaving, and will be with your company as long as you offer WFH positions.
Don’t forget happy employees are productive employees. Global Workplace Analytics found that remote workers are almost 50% more productive than their in-house peers.
What this all means is you keep more of your satisfied employees who are more productive, and your customers have an amazing CX that brings them back for more.
Better training opportunities
If you find it challenging to schedule your customer relationship employees for required training classes, WFH makes it easier. Regardless of time zone, you can offer training when best for your employees. It also means you can train more employees in a single offering than you ever could before.
Today’s digital training classes are highly interactive and involve multi-media. You might combine live group interaction series with self-directed learning. Especially helpful is the inclusion of lots of interactive elements like small group collaboration or live call shadowing.
Remote training opportunities can reduce your training time needed, making training more efficient and offering it in ways that engage your employees better. And you don’t have to provide lunch for everyone.
Consider how you can more efficiently scale your customer service capacity when you hire WFH employees. You need not find office space; and you need not set up phone lines, internet service, and other utilities to accommodate rapidly scaling your CX co-workers. You can scale more and faster when you set up a WFH customer service workforce.
Rather than face the long hold times experienced when call volume spikes, customers appreciate a quick deployment of WFH employees to pick up the slack.
For example, companies that promote big sales or once-in-a-lifetime events should expect larger than average call volumes to help customers navigate their options. Your customer service reps can become the cornerstone in your marketing strategy when you engineer your response around your CX specialists.
When you recruit your employees from around the globe, it makes it easier to maintain a customer response team that can field customer calls any time, day or night. It doesn’t matter where your customers are in the world; they will always connect with someone who can help them answer questions or fix problems. You’ll rise as the company that cares about your customers every minute of every day.
And again, you save the expense of maintaining a 24/7 workforce physically on your company grounds every day of every year.
And your employees are happy to help customers 24/7 because you’ve helped them create a work/life balance that meets their needs.
Everyone has concerns about a WFH force, but the survey data and statistics are clear. It’s a win-win situation for both businesses and their employees. That doesn’t mean you need not do your due diligence to find out what that means for you and your employees. Surveys help you gather the data you need to create a WFH plan that meets both the company’s and the employees’ terms.
Make sure you put a support framework in place. This means a process comprising easy hiring practices, clear position description and performance guidelines, firm information security training, the technology platform they need to do their job, and continuous support.
It’s clear that a WFH model will help your business grow and flourish, especially during uncertain times.