Will customer service suffer if UK businesses introduce remote working?

remote working

Recent studies have shown that remote workers feel happier and more productive than those people working in an office environment. In light of information like this and with advances such as cloud storage, Skype, and telephone answering services making remote working easier for more and more UK businesses, it’s reasonable to believe we will see more people working remotely in the future.

While this is great news for staff, could this be bad news for customers? Having less staff in the office means there are fewer people to answer the phone and deal with customers on a one to one basis. Customers expect a personal level of customer service at a time convenient to them, and if your business is unable to provide this your reputation could suffer.

Email and Social Media vs Telephone Answering

It could be argued that with wider access to email and the rise of social media, there are so many other ways to talk to your customers that phone calls are no longer as important. While it is true that a strong social media presence and good email availability is vital, more often than not being able to talk to a customer one to one over the phone is still the best option.

Answering the telephone and giving your customers access to a real human voice shows your company has empathy and is dealing with their problem on a personal level. And, as this article from Social Media Week shows, phone calls can actually be more efficient in the long run when it comes to solving complex customer service issues.

How to Maintain Customer Service Standards

It’s clear to see why it’s important for a business to provide a high level of customer service over the phone. The problem with this however is telephone answering requires a lot of in-office staff, which flies in the face of the recent trend for remote working. How then can businesses offer their staff remote working opportunities while still providing their customers with the high standard of phone based customer service they expect?

One way many companies are choosing to tackle this conundrum is by outsourcing their telephone answering services. Whether call handling is completely outsourced, or handling services are used to deal with call overflow when staff are busy, using a telephone answering service means you need less staff in your office to answer the phone. With your staff free from their phones they can work remotely and reap all the benefits remote working brings.

While some smaller businesses may show concern about outsourcing their telephone answering, top UK call handling services have a proven track record of providing excellent customer service to a wide range of industries. With the option for a 24 hour customer service line through an outsourced telephone answering service, staff will be free to work remotely and prioritise customer enquiries based on their urgency. This doesn’t just allow for remote working, it could actually improve customer service in the long run with longer hours of telephone answering for customers.

As flexible working hours and remote working options become more and more common in the UK, businesses will have to find a way to adapt, and while customers still show a desire to pick up the phone, outsourcing may be the best way to please staff and customers alike.

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