With the big multinationals and even the small startups trying to expand their horizons, teams comprising of people working in different locations are also on the rise. Companies have started expanding geographically and telecommuting has become a common phenomenon. People have become accustomed to working with peers from far-flung offices, shared workplaces and hotel rooms. The reasoning behind a virtual team is very simple. It has been instrumental in people managing their personal lives along with their professional stuff. It has given an opportunity for people to interact with and understand the work culture of people living in different countries.
On the flip side, it is very tough to get virtual teams right. People from different work environments often find it difficult to coexist. Research has also discovered that virtual teams are often less productive than a team working in the confines of a professional estate. It can be attributed to the fact that many people find face-to-face interaction as the best method to take the team forward as it leads to reduced confusion and also has a personal touch attached to it.
Many business units often make use of virtual teams in their customer support verticals. Even the small business setups have opted for outsourcing this vertical to a professional BPO which eventually leads to a virtual team from the people within an organisation and those of an outsourced call centre service provider. Such businesses often make use of answering services for small businessesprovided by a professional call centre well-versed with the art of delivering best in class customer service.
Let us now discuss some of the result-oriented strategies to make the most effective use of virtual teams in a call centre environment:
Defining Work Systems
The most definite problem that small businesses often face is that different people tend to have different methods of completing their tasks. Partnering with a proficient call centre service provider with pre-defined standards can shorten the time needed to achieve expected results. Professional call centres often have decent answering services for small businesses vertical in place which are adept in defining such standards for their executives who are also a part of the virtual teams of their clients. Such work systems lead to standardization of operations and people asking relatively lesser number of questions than that of an unorganized setup.
Establishment Of Numerous Communication Tools
The paybacks of setting up multiple communication tools in a virtual team is two-fold. Firstly, the team has a mechanism to connect to the right person at the right time. But, most importantly, it unifies the processes between the client and the partner team from call centre service provider. It is important to note that the required communication tools for different communication processes contribute to the feeling of togetherness between the people working at a different workplace altogether.
Meetings At Regular Intervals
If a small business entity decides to outsource some part of its call centre operations to a professional agency, it will require a great deal of effort from both the parties in partnership to emerge as a cohesive unit. Such call centres adept in delivering answering services for small businesses would be required to conduct regular meetings with the workforce in an actual organisational environment. This would enable the offshore call centre executives in better understanding of the organisational dynamics of their client and the attitude of their team members.
Ensure Overlapping Of Work Hours
This one is a highly recommendable practice that despite barriers in time zones, members of virtual teams need to be online for three to four hours at the same point of time. When a small business outsources its customer support vertical, problems are bound to come by. It is because of this very reason that team members from different work environments need to come across together on a daily basis for quicker resolution of problems.
Thus, it can be inferred from the above discussion that virtual teams, if used in a systematic and effective manner can be pivotal in achieving organizational goals of any small or big business unit. The techniques mentioned above are theoretical. However, the practical application of the techniques by professionals will surely exceed expectations of people at managerial levels.