Internal communication is a priority for companies—but with remote work becoming the norm, the ways that teams keep in touch have changed.
To ensure that customer service teams are aligned with the direction of the company, you need to learn how to communicate strategy effectively.
In this article, we share the best ways to improve internal communication with remote customer service teams.
Simplify Communication for Remote Customer Service Teams
When communicating strategy to team members, focus on who you are communicating to.
While sharing high-level strategy, don’t go into too much detail—share the most important aspects of the plan, along with action points.
In other words, keep it simple so your team knows what direction they are supposed to go in—this is possible when you outline the goals they need to prioritize.
For individualized communications, you can delve into more detail by including actionable next steps, guidelines, and end goals.
Avoid micro-managing or breaking down the details too finely—your customer service team has experience and knowledge and doesn’t need to be told how to do their jobs.
Give them a push in the right direction but let them take it from there.
Visualize Your Remote Customer Service Strategy
Visualizing your communication makes the process easier for all involved—and more memorable.
Look at this mind map that outlines how the collaboration process works in a company, and why it is important.
Without going into too much detail, the process visualized here outlines the core steps and procedures for teams to follow.
The visual works because it breaks down the main goal points with specific next steps. Note the color-coding for the goals—it makes the visual easier to absorb.
A strategic visual like this works well to share ideas and can be regularly referenced by the team to refresh their memories.
Save visual strategies on the company’s shared drives so they can be accessed when needed.
Advocate Awareness for Remote Customer Service Teams
The current situation is evolving on an almost daily basis—when new information becomes available, it impacts how companies and their customer service teams function.
It is important for companies and managers to be aware and informed—and to advocate that awareness to customer service teams.
Share updates from the state and reputed organizations like the CDC or WHO in internal newsletters so the entire company is on board.
Always verify information received before sharing it further—the spread of misinformation could be harmful to the company’s image.
Prepare answers for any questions teams may have—take note of concerns that have yet to be addressed.
Your customer service team’s awareness will impact their interactions with customers—the FAQ prepared for internal staff can be used to address customer queries as well.
Create a process where managers share regular updates—or the fact that there aren’t any updates and existing procedures should continue to be followed.
Staff or team meetings are a good time to share these updates—but also acknowledge that you may not have all the answers.
In such instances, let your team know that you will get back to them when you know more—this keeps internal communication lines open.
Be Empathetic Towards Remote Customer Staff
There is a certain cadence to internal communications—procedures need to be followed by managers and staff alike.
But the current remote situation is unlike anything people have faced before. With that in mind, companies should adjust their messaging to be more empathetic.
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.
Staff working in isolation will also be struggling with loneliness as the months wear on.
If companies can take measures to improve people’s mental health, they should do so by sharing helpful tips like this graphic below.
Internal emails and newsletters should acknowledge that customer service teams are in a uniquely complex situation and that the company is there to help them get through this.
A stressed worker can’t complete their tasks properly—or follow through on company strategy—and it will negatively impact how they interact with customers.
Managerial Responsibility Towards Remote Customer Service Teams
Managers have an additional responsibility during such torrid times—not only do they need to handle their roles and concerns, but they need to be aware of their staff’s needs.
Set up systems and tools to make remote work more efficient—so customer service teams feel that they’re getting updates and that their managers are accessible.
Management should create a regular system of communication—hold weekly catchup meetings to share new ideas, roadblocks, and customer feedback.
Check in about the health and wellbeing of remote customer service team members—whether they are comfortable with the strategies in place, or need more guidance and assistance.
Be open about flexible scheduling and give staff the option to work hours according to their needs—with children take classes at home, this may become a necessity.
Use Slack apps to facilitate faster communication and to hold virtual get-togethers with your team members.
Video chats are great for seeing team members—this helps close the physical gap between staff.
Let staff members know that they aren’t on their own—their team and managers are with them every step of the way.
Key Takeaways: Prioritize Communication for Remote Customer Service Teams
The state of the world has changed the way internal teams work and communicate.
The five methods we have shared above will help companies share strategies and work more effectively.
To recap, it is important to prioritize communication within and without companies by following these steps:
- Keep communication simple
- Use visuals in your communications
- Be aware of changes and share them accordingly
- Use empathy to boost communications
- Managers need to be more aware of their teams’ needs
With these five tips, companies can improve their communication with customer service teams and help them work better to get through this tumultuous period.