Have Remote Employees Lost Touch with Customers’ Needs?
- March 19, 2022
- Posted by: Team HRI
- Category: Hiring Trends
After months of effectively working from home, a mid-sized company’s finance, HR, and legal departments decided to indefinitely proceed with a hybrid approach. Covid-induced remote work has demonstrated that physical presence was not required for productivity.
Some employees chose to be completely remote, while others came in a few days a week, and those who needed to work in the office were provided with safe spaces. Everything appeared to be okay at first; productivity remained high. However, after a few months, they began to notice that something — or someone — was lacking from their everyday chats.
Remote teams allow employees to work from wherever they want, whenever they want. This has led to an increase in the amount of customer service received. However, as remote teams continue to grow, it’s becoming harder for employees to stay in touch with customers’ needs. This is particularly evident in the tech industry, where customer support is often a significant revenue driver.
When companies outsource their customer service to remote employees, they hope to save money and increase productivity. But have these employees lost touch with customers’ needs? According to a new study from the software firm FreshBooks, the answer is yes. The study looked at the online interactions of more than 100,000 customers who used the firm’s cloud accounting software between January 2016 and April 2017.
As businesses grow and expand, it’s common for employees in the headquarters to lose touch with customers’ needs in distant locations. This happens because the employees need to get out in the field and see the customers in person. Remote working can exacerbate this problem because it further distances employees from their customers. Companies must design remote work policies to minimize the negative impact of this type of isolation.
Remote work has become the norm in many industries, but have employees in these organizations lost touch with the needs of their customers?
Most people would probably answer no when asked this question, but it’s a good reminder that those who work remotely need to be just as connected as those who don’t. That means being accessible, responding to emails and voice messages, and sending appropriate work-related messages in the office and when you’re remote. It also means making yourself available should your customers need you personally.
In the past, customers could visit a physical location and speak with a representative about their needs.
Today, customers can interact with a company’s employees via email, chat, and phone, but these interactions can feel impersonal. Many companies are turning to remote work to restore human connection and increase the likelihood that a customer will be satisfied. But while the benefits of hiring remote employees are numerous, it’s essential to ensure they are still connecting with customers regularly.
The Challenges Of Working Remotely
There are many challenges to overcome when designing policies for remote work. This includes ensuring that employees aren’t isolated from customers and feel like they’re part of the community.
IT Support is the part of the business that can’t afford to be in-house. For a company that doesn’t have a dedicated IT Support department, this means that employees have to be the ones to troubleshoot customers’ issues. For a company with a team of IT Support staff, the same IT Support staff is responsible for customers’ problems both in the office and in remote locations.
As many companies have moved to remote work, those who provide technical support find themselves with an even more significant challenge than before. Since they need to troubleshoot problems from a remote location, they often have to troubleshoot over the phone, which is more complex than sitting with their customers face-to-face. The only way to avoid this challenge for tech support providers is to offer the option of in-person visits and additional resources.
Leaders may help teams understand their customers
Remote employment may directly influence how executives interact with their clients.
But even though employees work from different locations, leaders still need to connect with their customers. There are three ways that leaders can bring their customers to life even when they’re remote: they can: host in-person gatherings, communicate more frequently via video, and utilize digital tools to improve the in-person experience. These strategies can help bring your customers to life for employees who may not interact with them daily.
Remote work can feel isolating. Feeling connected to your customers while working from a distance can take time and effort. But remote work isn’t the only option for leaders who want their teams to connect with their customers.
There are a few ways that leaders can bring their customers to life for teams who don’t interact with them regularly. One way is to create a customer advisory board. This group of non-employee stakeholders is brought in to provide feedback on the company’s products and services. Many leaders create an advisory committee to give their team a sense of what their customers are saying about them, and in some cases, this is all that the advisory board is used for.
Remote work policies can profoundly impact how employees feel about their customers. For example, if a salesperson only interacts with customers over email, they may lose touch with the human side of their relationship. This means that when those salespeople are on the phone with a customer, they may need help remembering what the customer sounded like and what their facial expressions looked like. As a result, the salesperson may need help providing the best possible service.
Remote work policies are just one thing that companies should consider when it comes to connecting with customers. As companies design their digital experiences, they can bring their customers to life in ways that couldn’t be done in the physical world. This creates a richer, more engaging customer experience and allows teams to feel more connected to them. Here are three ways leaders can bring their customers to life for groups that don’t interact with them.
How do make remote employees feel a part of the organization?
– Give honest and regular feedback
– Maintain an open channel of communication
– Make use of collaborative tools
– Hold weekly video conferences
– Be concise in your communication
– Allow staff to be flexible
– Create amusing company customs
– Make a mentorship programme
– Celebrate your group
– Make a yearly corporate retreat a priority
Also Read – ” Tips For Remote Employee Engagement Activities “
Why it's crucial to maintain communication among a remote team
When your team members operate from separate places, they miss out on interacting with one another and the organization. A Harvard Business Review survey of 1,100 employees discovered that remote employees are likely to believe that their colleagues mistreat them and leave them out. If your remote workers are experiencing these sensations, it may reduce their productivity and negatively impact business morale.
Employee connection, in addition to productivity and morale, may impact how team members perceive your company. If they aren’t linked, there’s a big possibility they won’t feel connected to you or your company’s objective, which can lead to a high turnover rate.
With more choices than ever, business leaders must ensure that all employees understand their customers and how they serve them. Bringing customers to life for backstage teams doesn’t have to be complicated but requires effort.
It creates an emotional (and practical) connection between leaders and their teams when they bring customers to life for them. The business’s why is infused into the organization’s groundwater through this process. The result is greater engagement, which leads to bolder innovation, resulting in faster, more lasting growth.
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