If you’re just starting out with your team, then it’s hard to get to know each other. It’s not like you can just walk down the hall or over to their desk to say hi.
When you work in the same space as your team, it’s easy to see how you should communicate with them. You are able to tell when they’re happy to be interrupted, or when they need to focus. You can see when someone is withdrawn, and needs some space. When you work as part of a remote team though, team communication becomes more difficult.
In customer service, it’s even more important to stay connected with your team. You all need to be on the same page, and that can be hard if you’re all in different locations. No matter where you are, though, thanks to modern technology and some creative thinking you can stay connected.
This guide will show you 8 ways how to improve team communication in a remote team, and help you understand each other better.
1. Use voice and video chat to build a rapport
In an office, you can make the rounds, introduce yourself to everyone, and make yourself known to your team. As part of a remote team, it can feel as though that’s a lot harder to do. In fact, thanks to modern technology, it’s not much of a problem. Voice and video chat can help you build connections right away. Create or join a chat and introduce yourself. You can say hello to everyone at once, and if you use video they’ll see your face, just as they could have in an office.
2. Stay up to date
With remote work, it feels as though there’s a lot of chat channels going on at once and it’s difficult to keep up. It’s worse when you’re working in a different time zone, as things will be happening when you’re asleep. Thankfully, you can use this technology to your advantage. When you wake up, spend a few minutes scrolling through the chat to see what’s happened, and get yourself back up to speed.
3. Use emojis
“Emojis feel like the preserve of teenagers on their phones, but they can actually be very helpful for you. A huge amount of communication is body language, something that’s lost in text communications. It’s very easy to misconstrue something that’s said over text. Using emojis can show what you mean, just with smiley faces. It can certainly avoid a lot of confusion and irritation, so make sure you’re using them,” says Dana Tories, customer support representative at Elite Assignment Help.
For example, a common issue that happens within customer service teams is that a complaint comes in and your team needs to deal with it. You can send someone a message asking them to handle it, but via written message it can seem as though you’re saying it’s their fault, even when you’re not. Instead, try using an emoji. ‘”This complaint has come through for us. Can you please read the attached letter and respond to them? A money off voucher may be the best approach here. Thank you :).”
4. Use team communication tools that help
There’s a plethora of tools out there that your team could be using. New tools to help you communicate more efficiently, keep all your work together, and generally help you save time emerge every day. Tools such as:
- Flowdock: This tool brings all of your communications into one place. There’s lots of helpful features that will help you communicate without the hassle, such as threads to keep chat topics in one place. There’s also instant video chat, and 1:1 chats if you need to speak to someone in private.
- Essayroo: This writing service can help you write much more effective emails. Speak to the writing tutors at this service, and they will look at your recent emails, and decide where you need to improve. Then, you can send new emails to them before you send them, so they can help you improve them before they reach their recipient.
- Uber Conference: This hassle free tool can help you set up and hold conference calls.
- Type My Essay: It’s easier to communicate if your messages are well written. This service will proofread any messages before you send them. They’ve been recommended by Huffington Post in “Write My Essay” post as a service that can really improve communication.
- Easy Word Counter: Keep your messages short and error free with this tool.
- Mikogo: This tool allows you to screen share effortlessly.
- Marketing Essay Help: Get in touch with the tutors at this service to improve your business writing.
- State Of Writing: This site offers expert writing guides, so you can improve your communication.
- Write My Paper: Improve your grammar with this tool. The experts at this site know grammar inside and out, so they can help you get the most out of your writing. Send them samples of your work, and they can identify where you’re going wrong with your grammar. Then, they can help you make the corrections you need.
- Calendly: Schedule meetings with this tool without the hassle.
- Via Writing: This site features a lot of writing a grammar guides that can help you with day to day communications.
5. Allow your team to be open with their needs
When you’re busy, you can feel bombarded with all the messages that come in. Create a rule in your team that if someone needs to knuckle down, they can announce that they’re turning off notifications until a certain time. This means everyone knows each others’ needs, and respects them.
6. Take the time to get to know your team
If you’re just starting out with your team, then it’s hard to get to know each other. It’s not like you can just walk down the hall or over to their desk to say hi. Instead, you’re going to have to put the effort in. A good way of doing this is with a virtual ice breaker. For example, ask your team to take a picture of something on their desk, and ask them to tell everyone about it. It’s a fun way to get to know one another that doesn’t take very long, either.
7. Proofread and edit
Always check every message that you send, before you send it. One slip of the keyboard and you’ll be saying something that you certainly didn’t mean. Remember the Romney election campaign, where ‘America’ was spelled ‘Amercia’ on some of the campaign materials? Taking this time means your communication will be much better. Don’t be another Pen Island, a company that looked a lot less wholesome when you put the whole name together in the website address!
8. Pick the right tool to communicate with your team
Most of the time, you’ll be communicating via a chat client so you can all keep in touch. Sometimes though, you’ll need to use another method. As a team leader, it’s up to you to recognise when the standard methods of team communication aren’t right. For example, if the message is more involved than you may first think, an email may be better than chat. If it needs a lot of input from others in the team, a video meeting may be the way forward.
Use these 8 tips and you’ll find team communication much easier, and more rewarding. Take the time to get to know your team, and help them out when you’re miles apart. It’s amazing what you can get done if you communicate effectively.