How to address support department problems

5 useful practices for businesses that (plan to) employ a remote support team
All companies are different, but often face similar problems with fulfilling their support tasks. In this article we'll try to cover most common of these problems for remote support teams and provide possible solutions.
1

Rapid growth

When the company grows fast, it is a thrilling time. Seeing big perspective motivates founders more than anything. But sometimes following the pace proves to be a big challenge. Your support department needs to grow with your customer base, and at some point you might find the staffing process difficult and time-consuming.

This is where you can consider turning to remote customer service providers. By doing this you will delegate staffing duty to an outsource customer service team, freeing up your time for other business tasks. Training and onboarding will also become mainly their duty, not yours. You'll only need to check if the training is successful.
2

Outdated documentation

It comes to everyone at some point: you find new people to strengthen your support team, and start planning on their training schedule. That's where you find out your training documentation needs adjustments. This happens more likely if your product / service is technological, and you constantly improve it.

There is no limit to perfection, and you can always find some ways to refine your training program. If you delegate your support to a remote team, they will have to do it for you. In any case, you'll need to choose one person responsible for this task. A person with clear perspective and solid plan on how to maintain high quality of your training processes.

Dealing with angry customers should be an essential part of the training. So you need to create a documentation tailored specifically to that. Not everyone knows how to calm down infuriated clients. Not everyone hears a bell notifying about the incoming storm. A set of rules and resolution examples should serve as a reference to your customer care team.
3

Coordination mechanism

When part of your team is remoted, making them cooperate becomes a tricky task. You can see questions like "who is responsible for this" or "why should I answer to him, he is not my boss" rise up. With a remote team it's easy to lose track of some tasks, so strict coordination is the answer. Someone needs to be in charge of the whole process, revise each person's actions and ensure tasks completion.

Choose one specific channel to maintain ongoing communications between the team members, like slack. It will help them ask each other questions and get answers, share knowledge and understand what's going on in the support department. It's also a convenient place to store contact details (skype, phone number, email and anything else you add to your profile).
4

Company values

It is quite hard to pass on your idea of the business, your passion towards it. And when part of your team becomes virtual, this issue escalates. How to make your remote assistants care? How to teach them your understanding of customer care? First, you should think about it during the hiring.

When you are looking for a remote customer service provider, you need to choose the team that shares your company values in general. You need to aim for similar principles and practices. During the interview, opt in for behavior-based questions to see how this particular remote team makes its choices. Past performance is a good predictor of future results.

Next step is to express your core values through channels like social media pages, corporate booklet, blog and such. Be descriptive and provide real-life examples, so people can catch the idea.
5

Conflicts in team

Conflicts between people are unavoidable. We can have different opinions on various topics, and that's natural flow of things. There are two practices that help you resolve these issues.
Assign a responsible person for each case
A dedicated person in charge can listen to all parties, sum up the feedback and provide a resolution of the problem to the whole team. It is important to count in every opinion here. When all the preparations are done, the team gathers for a discussion and works out a solution to the problem. You can turn to voting for the best decision if no consensus can be achieved.
Respect privacy
At some point people will want to discuss problematic issues privately, without the whole team involved. While you normally encourage your co-workers to share their frustrations, you should also stay respectful to their private conversations with other team members. Sometimes the issue can be resolved faster and easier this way.

Valentine Grishkevich
Support Rock Star
About the author
Valentine has joined Dream Support as part of Hidrate support team. Responsible and serious, thoughtful and silent, Valentine finds great inspiration in helping people and digging into the nature of things. She is also keen on writing structured articles. No lyrics, just facts in bullet points.
In free time Valentine listens to music, drives her car and pets any animals she can get her hands on.
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