Virtual teams accomplish much of the same work that onsite teams do; they just do it while spread across timezones, either at home, in cafes or coworking spaces—and potentially while wearing slippers or sunscreen. In many cases, having a virtual team doesn’t mean less productivity, it means more.
We’ve discussed the advantages of remote work at length for organizations—the cost savings involved and its positive impact on the environment—and we certainly haven’t ignored the benefits employees experience in flexible roles.
Those who engage with remote companies, however, also stand to gain much in this scenario.
Here’s how having a virtual team can rock the customer experience:
1. By dispensing A-teams.
Your ability to hire and retain the very best talent regardless of geographic location means that your customers interact with the cream of the crop. (Take a moment and let that one sink in.)
With a global talent pool, you have the ultimate advantage of selecting the professionals who are ideally suited to your company culture and to serving your clients’ needs. Looking for someone whose skills complement those of current employees? With a diverse virtual team, you thankfully won’t have to compromise.
2. By offering localized support.
We’re all aware that different languages, cultural norms, and customs can make or break business relationships. When a company offers localized support, it shows great respect for the customer, along with a willingness to conform in a way that suits their needs and challenges. Possessing a heightened sensitivity to different workweeks, religious observances, or national holidays also demonstrates your competency in providing support when it’s needed.
For instance, in some countries such as Israel, the workweek begins on Sunday and concludes on Thursday. Hiring folks in other parts of the world to accommodate such a timeframe ensures that nobody works on their weekend (unless they want to, of course).
3. By staying ahead of trends.
A geographically distributed team has more opportunity to monitor the pulse of an industry. Think about it: the world of business is extremely connected and is changing rapidly, especially in technical sectors.
If your staff attend conferences in different regions—let alone live in those places—imagine what notes they would have to compare with one another. Having greater insight into and awareness of emerging global and regional innovations in your industry means that your team can share best practices.
You can learn and adapt much faster than the competition. The result? A broad awareness of the latest developments in your specific field, and an enhanced experience for your customers. Being viewed as ahead of the pack certainly can’t hurt your thought leadership efforts, either.
4. By providing 24/7 accessibility.
Like the vast British Empire of old, the sun may never set upon your distributed company. Someone—an actual human being—is always available to field prospects’ inquiries and respond to customers’ needs. And they accomplish all of this with genuine compassion and a desire to assist.
Due to a number of technological innovations, this level of service is gradually (and unfortunately) subsiding across many industries. But others’ cost-saving decisions could actually become your brand’s advantage. In an era when pundits speculate about a coming robot takeover, you can offer your customers intelligent support with actual pros rather than chatbots. Who wouldn’t want to receive that level of personal attention?
5. By investing in top-notch customer service.
Money saved on overhead or compensating for cost of living differentials can be reinvested into providing higher quality experiences for your customers, such as designing more thorough onboarding or ensuring a greater support staff-to-customer ratio.
Groove seeks support staff whose “radically different backgrounds” elicit more empathy for their customers. “Those with young families, for example, or those who don’t live near the big tech cities that many of our peers are headquartered in gives our employees a tremendous amount of empathy for our customers…99 percent of whom are not tech companies based in San Francisco or New York,” Len Markidan, director of marketing, told us. “That empathy makes our product better, it makes our business better, and it certainly makes our support better.”
Interested in having a virtual team? Post a remote job.