This was originally published on ICMI, here.
In many areas of the world, Fall is the loveliest time to travel. It’s less crowded than Summer, there are so many beautiful colors in nature, and the weather is usually cooperative! Employers recognize and support their employees’ desires to go out and see new places—without having to use PTO days— by being more flexible on remote working and work from home policies. As more jobs only require being in front of a laptop with a reliable WiFi connection and a mobile phone, people can work efficiently from just about anywhere.
When it comes to customer service jobs, however, many people would assume that there’s no way a company can deal with customer questions and requests if their representatives aren’t in a formal contact center with a headset and access to a supervisor. Today, the stereotype of rows and rows of customer service agents in cubicles is far from true as customer service operations have become more digital. Like other industries, the use of cloud technology enables people to be flexible and collaborative in how they work. This is the perfect scenario for a contact center agent, and today, we’re seeing that contact center agents aren’t even in a contact center at all. What’s more, customers don’t even notice that the agent they’re interacting with is working remotely—the service remains seamless.
Here are three common tasks customer service agents can complete when interacting with customers away from the physical contact center. You’ll see just how smooth and stress-free their jobs can be when you equip them with the right tools.
1. Proactively checking in with new customers
Once a customer makes a purchase, begins a subscription, has had a service, etc., it’s important for customer service representatives to check in to make sure their experience is positive and they don’t have any questions. Even when a customer service agent is working in a location far from their office, they can still log into their organization’s CRM dashboard to see these types of customer details. With insight into what a customer has been up to, the agent can proactively reach out—whether that be via phone or email.
2. Processing a customer's bill
Bill pay is a widespread inbound customer service activity. Dealing with a customer’s finances has the potential of being a complicated process, but when a customer service representative has easy access to the company’s third party finance application, it’s easy. Customer service agents working remotely are automatically prompted to address the request, and they don’t have to toggle between browsers.
3. Fixing a suspicious charge for a customer
For financial institutions, in particular, frantic questions come in all the time when customers believe their account information has been compromised. When there are suspicious charges, the customer service representative follows a process to determine how and where the issue occurred. In some cases, sign off from a supervisor is needed to give the customer their money back. But even when the representative is working remotely, the customer’s experience doesn’t differ; the agent can easily chat message their supervisor or share screens to resolve the issue efficiently.
All aspects of our lives are becoming more convenient, so why should the work day fall behind? Companies are investing to be as digital as possible, so when there are opportunities for employees to take advantage, leaders should be onboard. In many cases, it’s clear that a person’s job can be completed just as efficiently when they’re working in the comfort of their own home—or even in an out of town coffee shop. Customer service is one of the most important aspects of business, and there are many modern ways to excel at it.