Uncovering the Technology and Management Styles Central to Hybrid Work Success

Aircall’s CMO discusses how advances in technology and changing attitudes toward work are kick-starting a golden age of customer support 

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Uncovering the Technology and Management Styles Central to Hybrid Work Success
Contact CentreInsights

Last Edited: December 24, 2021

George Malim

George Malim

The world of work remains in a period of transformation. However, one thing is certain: Hybrid working is here to stay. In the U.S., research shows that at least 52% would prefer a flexible and hybrid working model post-pandemic. Meanwhile, Gartner suggests that over half of workers in the U.K. will be remote by the end of 2021. 

The intensity of this shift is only magnified in the customer service and support sector. Pre-pandemic, just 10% of service employees worked from home. Today, around 70% would like the option to work remotely. 

Jeff Reekers, Chief Marketing Officer of the leading cloud-based call centre and phone system, Aircall, joined us to discuss how customer-centric businesses and services can navigate this period of change and the rewards that come with a successful hybrid strategy. 

Building a remote-first tech stack

“Almost every company on the planet, including ours, is going through this transition to hybrid working. And without a doubt, it comes with challenges,” Reekers admits. “In the customer service industry, to overcome those challenges successfully, teams need to be able to scale teams with flexibility. We need remote-ready, location-agnostic tools to become the default,” he adds.

Reekers likens the approach to app development. The rise of smartphones has led developers to prioritise mobile platforms first, followed by desktop. “In the world of business technology, solutions providers need a remote-first mindset,” Reekers says. And that mindset needs to be embraced by decision-makers and IT leaders looking to adapt to the hybrid world of work. “If you optimise for in-office users, you will struggle. The mindset must be remote-first with all your infrastructure, technology, communications and management systems built around that ethos.”

Aircall itself has always been a cloud-first platform. This means it can be set up almost instantly, regardless of location. With the ability to add new users on the web, desktop or mobile apps and dozens of integrations with other key business tools, Aircall can streamline any hybrid customer support operation in minutes. 

Getting to grips with hybrid management

While choosing the right tools for hybrid working is essential, leadership also needs to reevaluate some of their habit-hangovers from the office-era for hybrid customer service teams. “A new leadership style is required to manage remote and hybrid workers. Extroverted styles, which meant a lot of face time with individual agents on the office floor, may have dominated in the office era, but now we need something subtler. How we enable seamless workflows and empower teams to do great work is now becoming a differentiator in great management,” Reekers explains. 

Reekers notes that while this is a cultural shift, it’s closely tied to the technological transformation discussed earlier. “Anyone who goes from the traditional office to a hybrid approach knows they need new ways to interact with their team. With customer support hires being made remotely, it’s critical that businesses have solutions that can help remote employees feel like they are welcomed and valued part of the team,” he says. 

With features like Warm Transfer, which provides teammates with an option to quickly speak to one another before transferring a live call, Aircall enables those mini-connections that build teamwork in the hybrid workplace. 

Meanwhile, real-time analytics and dashboards showcase support performance, giving managers transparent, instant access to key wins or where additional training or coaching may be needed to support an agent’s development. And, of course, the more tightly connected and supported the service team is, the better the end customer’s experience of the business will be.

“Fantastic support is a way to differentiate your business, both internally and externally. And, as support-work becomes increasingly hybrid-first, great customer service means building a great remote-ready workplace—culturally and technologically. With the right mindset alongside tools like Aircall, any business can do just that,” Reekers concludes.

Find out more about Aircall’s cloud contact centre platform.

 

 

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