3 real ideas for staying connected to customers while remote

Working remotely means making the extra effort to stay connected to your team—but what about your customers?

Emily Hackeling, Content Lead at Front
26 November 20203 Min Read

Working remotely means making the extra effort to stay connected to your team—but what about your customers?

Many employees are expressing how they’re feeling disconnected from their teammates while working remotely, but there’s another critical problem many teams are experiencing: feeling disconnected to customers. 

In our survey of remote workers, 69% of respondents said they feel disconnected from customers—and furthermore, they’re questioning their purpose. 58% of remote workers said that working from home has made it difficult for them to see the larger purpose of their job within the organization.

We asked a few of our customers who are working remotely. How are you staying connected to customers with a team that’s spread far from one another, and from your customers? Here’s what they said. 

Sharing email threads to share language customers use

Sometimes they best way to stay close to customers is to let teammates see the language they use in their emails. It’s often better than summarizing feedback and sharing it—you can feel the weight of their words when you read it firsthand. 

Warren Kucker, CEO and Co-founder at Boxton shares that his team shares email threads with one another regularly to communicate. In Front, “sharing an email” is kind of like forwarding, but better and horrible formatting and clunkiness. It’s what forwarding should be. 

The real kicker about sharing an email thread in Front, though, is being able to comment on it. That means you and your teammates can chat about an email without actively being in the email thread. It’s all internal. 

When you’re in an office, you can lean over and chat with a teammate about something, but Kucker says his team accomplishes this with comments. “The communication that would have just happened out loud as a quick question can happen easily, directly on the email thread in Front,” he said.

Creating shared inboxes for full visibility into customer experience

When your customers are emailing a teammate’s individual work email address, like bob@acmecorp.com for instance, then no one else can see those conversations. Sometimes that’s fine, but what if your entire team could have context of all customer conversation when they needed it?

That’s the workflow for Animalz, a fully remote content marketing agency. They have teams of writers and captains who collaborate to produce work for clients. They use shared inboxes in place of their Google Groups to collect emails in one place. Then using rules and tags, they automatically assign emails to writers, while team captains can still see emails and keep a pulse on how projects are going. 

Leverage communication tools that fuel fast-paced connections, like live chat and SMS texting

When you’re far apart from a friend or family member, being able to connect in an instant through a text can help strengthen a relationship. When it comes to talking to customers, this remains true. 

Empower Work is a text-based counseling service for workers. Their remote team of volunteers has to stay close to customer needs by necessity: they’re providing on-demand counseling services for employees to use in the moment they need help. Responses need to be immediate whenever possible. They leverage Chatra and Twilio to field conversations and quickly assign them to an available teammate in Front. Through keeping these lines of quick communication open, they’re able to forge quick connections with customers, no matter where they are. 

Read more from Front Page on efficient remote work:

Written by Emily Hackeling
Originally Published: 25 November 2020
Customer experience

7 fresh customer appreciation ideas

Did you know that feeling unappreciated is the number 1 reason customers switch away from a product or service?

Read more
Leadership

Make customers happy with these 12 email templates

Most of our conversations with customers don’t take place in person.

Read more

Get the latest stories, videos, and more.