The remote workforce is here to stay for many service-based organizations. We explore the top five non-negotiables when it comes to serving clients remotely.
If a service can be offered remotely, enabling a remote workforce allows companies to retain the best talent and provide the best services. Win-win-win. While the days of geographical limitations are gone for many remote-capable service organizations, there are unique needs to consider.
Establish consistency in the team set up
Implement a remote quality management system
Security & compliance: Protect client information
Budget additional expenses for remote workers
Empower your team members!
Rule #1 Establish consistency in the work from home set-up.
When working from home, what’s acceptable? Laptop on a couch, in front of a TV with a cat making a cameo during a video call with a client? Err… no thanks. Maybe that’s obvious, but consider a codified remote work standard that ensures the consistency of service quality your clients have come to expect.
“If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline, and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down.”
— Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
When your team is working from home, consider standards that address items such as:
• Internet speed requirements
• Wifi or hard-wired
• Distraction-free background
• What not to wear
• What to wear
When running a remote services business, you cannot over-communicate! Everyone communicates differently.
Avoid the assumption that the remote work expectations have been fully understood. Seek out feedback on your delivery by asking questions.
How are you going to inspect what you expect?
Rule #2 Implement a remote quality assurance system.
“Quality management involves more than the implementation of specific management techniques. It involves a commitment to consumers and the creation of an organizational culture that puts quality first.”
A strong organizational culture committed to quality excellence requires tools to make it happen. Consider automation and software tools that offer quality assurance support.
|Screening potential service providers in onboarding through remote assessment tools designed.||Consider customer and service provider compatibility by establishing a system to filter and track based on a set of criteria.|
Certifications required to provide services to a contract location?
Filter out those that don’t have up-to-date records on file
to avoid breach of contract terms.
Filter out providers that don’t qualify for services at a particular contract location by automating assignments solely to those that fit the requirements.
Create opportunities for discrete feedback (from both the service provider and customer).
Rule #3 — Protect client information through security and compliance guidelines.
If your team members handle student or patient information, then you are no stranger to the protection of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Protected Health Information). With a remote workforce, the pressing question becomes — How to ensure the security of information handled by remote team members?
Whether it’s a student, patient, or other
type of client your team is serving —
ensure client data is protected.
When it comes to HIPAA and FERPA requirements, we compiled some resources from the experts.
Rule #4 — Budget additional expenses for remote workers.
When a specific set-up is mandated, it’s fair to assume that an organization will shoulder a portion of the costs to the team member. This may also require a look at how you bill customers. Streaming video isn’t cheap!
Considerations include —
• Supplying your team members with a specific pop-up background for consistency.
• Sound machine to drown out the sound of life happening in and around your home!
The Society of Human Resources Management breaks down a few of these costs and anticipated necessities. Some businesses do not cover additional costs, thinking of it as a trade off for lack of commute and other benefits provided to employees by working from home. For service businesses, it’s not as cut and dry.
Rule #5 — Empower your team members!
Those interfacing with your clients day in and day out are your front-lines workers. As the face of your brand, it’s impossible to overstate their importance to the business. In a #RemoteRevolution, we have nothing without trust.
Trust is built when your team is empowered with the tools, and resources to serve customers well.
According to a report by Forbes, VMWare, and Entrepreneur, empowering employees makes all the difference.
"Digitally empowered employees are significantly more productive and make smarter decisions in a shorter amount of time — thanks to technology ... a digitally-driven workplace has employee satisfaction."
Consider business software solutions designed to —
• Process client requests
• Schedule service providers
• Oversee quality assurance
• Automate compliance
• Streamline accounting
• And more!
In short, the #RemoteRevolution is here to stay. Now is the time to adapt to meet the needs of the changing service landscape. It may seem like a lot, and it probably is for many small and medium-sized businesses, but keep in mind that sweeping change is built on small steps.
“When making plans, think big. When making progress, think small.”
— James Clear
Who made us the experts? Glad you asked! We are a software company with deep roots in the world of interpreting services.
All-in-one service management software designed for the non-traditional workforce and serving clients well.
uSked was built to juggle quality screening, scheduling, services, and reporting. Any organization that has people serving people can appreciate the complexity and value of good services.
uSked helps businesses realize service excellence through software and automation tools. If you are a business owner in need of an all-in-one solution, we would love to connect with you. Schedule your demo today!