Customer Experience News & Trends

3 keys to help your remote CX employees thrive

Can your customer experience be better from home? With more CX professionals working from home these days, it has to be. 

Leaders behind the scenes can help front-line employees be more successful handling the challenges of working from home.

“A work-from-home workforce, if managed and nurtured properly, can raise productivity, engagement and employee retention,” said John Quaglietta, senior director analyst in the Gartner Customer Service & Support practice. “Overseeing a team of work-from-home employees doesn’t come naturally to many leaders who are accustomed to engaging with service reps frequently throughout the day. This will require changes in leadership and management approaches to ensure engagement and productivity, but service leaders should understand that most day-to-day functions will remain relatively the same.”

Embracing and improving on the work-from-home approach will be vital to the customer experience going forward. Nearly 80% of CX leaders plan to increase their remote workforce, despite concerns about onboarding, employee well-being and work environment.

To help build and maintain a remote team that delivers top-of-the-line experiences, Gartner suggests:

A tweak in the leadership approach

“Communication is one of the key differences when shifting to a WFH approach, so service leaders must ensure they communicate clearly and often with their workforce,” says Quaglietta.

Be proactive in building a new culture. Give employees more opportunities to collaborate, offer feedback and participate in developing your remote work program development.

Also, work at reading and reacting to employees virtually. Ask more often how they’re doing, what challenges they face and how you can help them.

Increase levels of trust

You’ll need to continue to monitor performance with a remote team. Quaglietta suggest you take the approach of “trust, but verify.”

“Implement standards, controls and management systems to enable teams to stay accountable while being able to thrive in this new setting,” he says. “For example, take the time to understand the performance peaks and personal commitments of individual team members, and develop daily, weekly and monthly performance management reviews.”

Offer different incentives and rewards

“Those incentive and reward programs that worked on-site may now be irrelevant in a work from home setting,” says Quaglietta.

Instead, recognize team members for qualities and behaviors that work in remote settings. That includes productivity, accountability, collaboration and communication.

You’ll want to switch up rewards programs, too. That might include preferential schedules, microshifts, additional paid time off, ergonomic desks and chairs or larger monitors.

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