Managing Time Zone Differences: Outsourcing and Customer Service
Many business owners have taken their businesses fully online, with all employees working remotely. One strategy that business owners have recently been using is hiring outsourced team members for their business.
As customer service and other administrative tasks have been delegated to remote workers across many different time zones, entrepreneurs may experience some difficulties with outsourcing and customer service.
Outsourced members can be hired directly by your company or provided by a third-party provider. Although it may be a big investment, it does have its advantages that can benefit your business. For example, hiring outsourced employees from different time zones can open your customer service lines 24 hours a day as you have employees covering different shifts.
If you’re still planning on outsourcing team members or having a hard time adjusting to this setup, it’s not an unsolvable problem. It may not be easy to manage a team that doesn't have the same time zone as you, but there are some things you can do to effectively handle your team.
Set clear goals for your team to follow
From the beginning, make it clear to your team what outcomes you expect from them at the end of their shifts. Set a schedule and delegate tasks as early as possible to leeway for questions and concerns. This way, they have some instructions to follow while you are not yet available to address their concerns.
Goals and tasks can be assigned per day or week. Give a clear and specific deadline to lessen confusion among your employees.
There should be overlap hours
For every task, there are bound to have queries. So, make sure you set overlapping hours to accommodate your onshore and offshore team's concerns. Not only will this expedite the meeting times, but it will maximize your team's time in doing their actual tasks rather than repeating the same inquiries that the other team might have already raised.
Assigning a specific time for all onshore and offshore employees will also help productivity as less time is given for team meetings, and effective communication is ensured. It will also help with work turnovers and better communication.
Use reliable communication tools and platforms
As businesses have fully transferred online and are outsourcing help, it is only fitting that communication platforms have evolved to cater to these specific needs. Online platforms allow you to manage teams from different time zones, allow for video conferencing, and can easily be used by your employees.
These platforms also have team scheduling, planning, file sharing, timesheets, and task trackers. In addition, there are apps like monday.com, Smartsheet, Forecast, Anydo, Todoist and others that you can use for this. In this way, you and your team ensure effective communication and productivity. Outsourcing and customer service can be difficult for you to handle in the beginning, but you can immediately tell how it can positively impact your business. With the right tools and a great team, managing time zone differences will not be a problem for anyone. Reduce your business costs, expand your coverage, and efficiently carry out your work with the help of your outsourced team.
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