A lot has been written about how to find great remote workers, and for good reason. It’s hard enough to hire a great workforce right under your nose; doing so with workers who are rarely (or never) in the office is like trying to find a unicorn at the end of a rainbow holding a clear and verifiable photo of the Loch Ness Monster. Once you’ve hired great remote workers, the key to keeping them is to provide them with plenty of support. One of the primary things you can use to woo and win extraordinary remote workers is a system that offers a stellar user experience. How can your IT service desk do its part?
Offer a Variety of Ways to Receive Help
Some workers need to be able to pick up the phone and speak to a live person. Others prefer the ease and anonymity of looking up their own answers through a self-help portal. Have you provided your remote workforce with as many choices as possible for getting the help they need? Consider offering a chat feature, email help, and as many other options as you can for your remote workers.
Be Sure Help is Available Around the Clock
Remote workers are rarely in the same time zone as your help desk, so it’s important to provide them with help when they do need it, even though that means nights and weekends for your help desk workers. Empowering your remote workers with help when they need it means that they don’t have clients waiting for answers, or worse, losing clients because they can’t get the answers.
The Knowledge Base Needs to Be a Work in Progress
The company knowledge base is only as good as its last revision. A great knowledge base is one that provides users with a way to notify the help desk of errors, missing information, and new information. Keeping the knowledge base updated means that remote workers can get quick, easy answers and get back to being productive faster. It also lessens the burden on the help desk, because fewer of those remote workers have to call or email in for the help and answers they need.
Make Your BYOD Policy Clear and Easy to Understand
If your company provides devices for its remote workforce, or if they are responsible for buying and maintaining their own, you need a precise and clearly communicated policy governing the devices used for work and the data stored on the devices. What will the employee be reimbursed for? What are the requirements for passwords and authentication to access the systems? What is the procedure for the help desk to follow if the worker goes AWOL with sensitive data stored on their device? Make sure both IT and the remote workers know the policy, understand the policy, and consent to the policy.
Establish a Fast, Predictable System for Moving Help Tickets Up the Ladder
When a worker is stuck with a problem that the Tier 1 folks can’t fix, far away from home and in need of help, how long does it take to get them the help they need? When you’re trying to meet a deadline or close a deal or smooth things over with an angry customer, twenty or thirty minutes might as well be a week. Set up a protocol to get remote workers the help they need quickly and hassle-free, so that they can be productive contributors to the workforce as a whole.
Providing a consistently positive user experience for your remote workers assures that your company can keep the best workers on staff instead of letting them take those needed skills to your competitor.