Remote work environments: adjusting your communication with customers
Updated: Apr 28, 2020
In these unconventional times, numerous companies were forced to shift from working daily in their offices to working remotely almost overnight. Adapting to this new environment while understanding the best strategies to improve your communication with customers is a real challenge. So how does your company make sure that it’s addressing your clients critical questions and needs?
This is the tough topic that Nika Fel, Head of Customer Care English Teams at Wix discussed with Megan Bowen- VP Support of Platterz and Vanessa Hannay- Director of Customer Success at Muck Rack during our Life After Offices Webinar.
Companies that want to continue to provide amazing customer experiences during this crisis may need to adjust their service offerings to cater to customers’ current needs. It is important to focus on what you're broadcasting to the world, to ensure both your current customers and new prospects feel heard and understand that you are there for them and willing to provide any support possible in this time when a global crisis is changing the way we all work.
How to adapt during Covid-19
There has been an influx of new issues popping up across the globe that pose a challenge to support teams and company goals everywhere. Coming up with innovative solutions by figuring out which aspects of your business are helpful to people during this ordeal can be a game-changer. We are seeing a shift in how companies are approaching their customers with an emphasis on modifying their offerings to match the current needs of their customers.
A practical example of this approach includes Platterz proactively offering care package options that clients of the service can send to quarantined employees. Muck Rack has also utilized this technique by realizing that some of their lesser used tools, such as their alert or reporting functions, are more relevant than ever for their users and to highlight them accordingly.
Strategies for keeping your customers engaged and connected during this time
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By offering something that you know will truly help people during this ordeal, you provide authentic value to your customers and show you really care.
Be aware your clients needs
You must be hyper-focused during a time of transition to be able to hone in on what your clients really need. Then, you can react accordingly to figure out how your company can make a difference.
If you don’t speak, you aren’t heard. Ensuring that your clients are aware of the changes you're going through and how it affects their lives will help earn customer loyalty.
How to interact with customers during quarantine
What we’re all experiencing on a global level is truly unprecedented. Therefore, both customers and businesses are dealing with the unexpectedness of the situation simultaneously. It’s helpful to view support communication as a platform to exchange ideas and brainstorm together towards a common goal of shared success. Utilizing a flexible, adaptable and context focused method of communicating with your customers can help develop a mutual respect and appreciation of one another that will provide beneficial insights to both parties. If you base these conversations on empathy and solution-oriented creativity by focusing on what truly matters, you’ll help each other overcome this difficult time together.
Keys to communicating with your customers effectively
Everyone is struggling in their own way. Having a flexible attitude during a time of uncertainty will help bolster the mutual respect necessary for a healthy business/client relationship.
Practice patience and empathy
It’s important to recognize that people chose to use your particular service because they truly need it. Now, everyone has had to reassess their own circumstances- retaining that patient and empathetic approach will help you achieve genuine customer respect.
Be a partner, not just a vendor
As opposed to being rigid about payment terms or due dates for your customers, act more like a partner who is in this situation together with your clients. You’d be surprised how much they’ll appreciate the difference.
How to work remotely without sacrificing internal & external communication
Whether you're at the office or in your living room, the key to a productive workday is setting goals and establishing a plan to help you meet them. Setting aside a dedicated space in your home for working, including whatever you need to be comfortable is what will help you remain focused and efficient.
Embracing healthy communication without becoming overbearing is really important to ensure alignment across your team while navigating the remote work environment.
Ultimately, your customers will benefit from receiving consistent solutions for their issues as the agents providing the answers will have a shared understanding of how to approach these problems.
How to keep your team aligned while being apart
Providing clarity through communication.
There is a need to create opportunities to communicate and ensure team members are engaged throughout all the challenges we’re dealing with. Things change, but goals and understanding remain constant.
Create a space where your team can collaborate online
Whether Slack, Microsoft Teams or the technology of your choice- having a spot where everyone can share what they're working on that day will help keep each other accountable and in lockstep.
Always send a virtual link
Especially when working remotely but even as a general practice to make sure all the correct stakeholders can be involved when making decisions.
Treat employees as humans before all else
Keep in mind that people are dealing with more between the pandemic and family obligations than ever before. Nurturing your team to work in a way that is successful for them, without sacrificing output should be greatly emphasized.
Achieving balance between the big picture and small details during the pandemic
As we traverse this unique time in our world's history both as people and professionals, we must keep in mind that balance is optimal to overcoming whatever challenges will be thrown our way. Remember to be human and that humanizing communications will help everyone adjust to this unexpected reality both personally and professionally.
Bring back the voice of the customer into the product. Tweak features to help people on a tangible level for today’s needs. Communication and personal connection is what everyone craves during a time where the world seems so disconnected. Humanizing your outreach and actively acknowledging the situation can go a long way for building lasting relationships with customers.
The reality remains that we’re all working through this together and providing clarity through communication is something everyone craves during crisis. If you adjust your message accurately you would be surprised how people will truly listen and make the stride with you.