Talking is decisive in remote interaction 

Talking conveys emotion

We live in exceptional times, in which conversation is emphasised in remote working and customer service. Talking has been our primary communication tool throughout the ages. Most of our interactions are based on talking, and mutual trust depends on interaction and dialogue. Although talking is not the only communication channel, it is still the most effective way to convey emotions. As a rule, talking is two-way, a form of dialogue that helps us understand each other. 

During face-to-face interaction, talk is complemented by expressions, gestures and postures, but even when they cannot see each other, people can ‘hear’ a smile, sorrow, anger, and many other feelings. When you cannot see the other participant in a conversation, but can hear them, there are many issues to consider: emotions come across anyway; your message may be unclear if you are unprepared; and you may not get your message across if it isn’t clearly audible.

 

Our customers' views and experiences

Talking will always remain important

Services based on handling issues through talking are still needed alongside digital channels. 

Pohjantahti logoOf course, companies have grown used to providing customer service from home as well as offices, regardless of time and place, but most new customer service staff are still inducted face to face. When its offices were closed and employees moved to remote work, our client, Pohjantähti, was quickly forced to adopt a new approach. However, they did not want to postpone the induction of new customer service staff. Pohjantähti’s trump card has always been good personal service, which the company wanted to safeguard during the crisis. 

"We and our customers were delighted that new recruits began work in our customer service centre. We usually induct new customer service staff face to face, but experimented with remote induction when this was no longer possible – and it went really well! A crisis is also an opportunity to learn and try something completely new!"

Santtu Ruikka

Account Manager / Pohjantähti

TaksiHelsinki_asiakastarina2

Some of our customers have had to develop completely new services quickly, as their existing business has slowed down. Taksi Helsinki began providing local store services to ease shopping under the exceptional circumstances. The ordering, delivery and collection of shopping can easily be handled by phone as well as order forms. The driver makes purchases, based on a list, on behalf of the customer and delivers the purchases to the door. The customer can use cash, a payment card or MobilePay to pay for the purchases. 

"We want to use the service to make everyday life easier, particularly for those who now have to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. The elderly, families with children and quarantined people need new services to help them manage the basics of everyday life. This is our way of supporting them in this unprecedented situation."

Juhani Pitsinki

Sales Manager / Taksi Helsinki

Luona_tunnus
Luona Oy set an example of how to take a firm grip and apply a solution-oriented approach when contacts and greater need for spoken communication had to be handled quickly as staff switched to remote work. This is a prime example of the kind of response needed in a situation characterised by unexpected change. 

"Customers using our Luona path services are among the most vulnerable in our society. This means that we cannot simply close down our services during the corona crisis. So we sought solutions to help us maintain our ability to operate and ensure that we could keep working alongside our customers, while providing counselling and advice. We took a range of measures in a short time, setting up a remote service in our reception centres together with Benemen. We trained our staff, who have taken an amazing attitude to securing our services by adapting to the requirements of the current operating environment."

Suvi Salonen

Business Director / Luona Oy

Theatre Works logo-1

Satu-Mari Jansson has quickly had to change her approach to coaching work, which was previously based on face-to-face meetings. She now arranges coaching online and helps her customers to be persuasive in remote meetings based on their voice, energy and presence. 

"A person’s voice is highlighted when influencing others remotely. In Teams meetings, our state of mind and energy level are communicated by our voices, even if we keep the camera switched off. Remote influencing is subject to the same laws as face-to-face meetings. Our appearance, sounds and respiration tell others whether we are ‘paying attention’ or not. You can use simple tricks to raise your energy level. If you want to influence people, you should think about how to present issues."

Satu-Mari Jansson

CEO / Theatre Works

Remote working and customer service

How do I ensure that the customer service team’s transition to remote working will not change the customer’s experience? We have switched to remote customer service at Benemen, and manage customer service efficiently based on the following tips.

Matias Rantanen joined Benemen’s customer service four months before the team switched to teleworking a couple of weeks ago. However, the change has been surprisingly easy. Matias's experiences of switching to remote working are given below:

"Remote work has been a long-standing practice at Benemen, but it has never been the norm in the way it is now. With modern tools, we can respond to customer contacts from home as effectively as at the office. We have no jobs that cannot be done remotely. With up-to-date tools and expertise, the handling of tasks is not tied to a common office facility."

 

Matias’s tips for smooth remote working by customer service teams

Preparation is the basis of everything

A customer service team should prepare for teleworking in good time, by ensuring that it has the right tools and software. 

A laptop may be enough, but if you're used to working on two monitors, for example, it may be a good idea to have similar equipment at home. Arrange mobile subscriptions for customer service representatives well in advance, so that customer service is smoothly transferred to the home office — or wherever necessary. 

Trust in your own work is important  

Independent work is inevitably highlighted at a home office, where workers cannot simply peer over a partition and ask for help. Trust in your own work is important, to ensure that customers get the help they need and feel that they too are succeeding. Our tools also provide an unlimited opportunity to talk to colleagues when necessary.

Well-functioning tools and channels  

Our tools enable me to work easily, regardless of my location or device. Customer service by mobile device is easy with Benemen’s tools and software. 

I can take calls by computer and mobile phone — which enables me to answer using the device that's best available — during internal Teams calls, and when mobile calls come from outside the company.  

How to help your team to success in remote work?
Download the tips!