How to Manage Operations & Customer Service as a Remote Company

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Knackpackers post on social media about joining the remote workforce.  Having been a remote company since our launch two years ago, we wanted to share our experience and help out with actionable tips and advice for working remotely.

We’ve shared how to avoid burnout and how to work from home with kids and today we’re going to jump into customer service.

Managing operations for a company remotely

Rachel, Knack’s Director of Customer Support, and her team have built a customer service and logistics system at Knack that works well for us and for Knackpackers.  

Below, Rachel has shared some of her key customer service insights for small companies forced into remote operations:

Skeleton Inventory at Home

We mostly communicate with our warehouse via FaceTime and email, and, of course, before the Corona virus restrictions, I visited often to review packing, shipping, and product.

managing operations and shipping as a remote company

When travel restrictions were put in place, I created a skeleton inventory of product at my home office so that I could overnight Knack Packs in a pinch.  This is for any emergency shipments and to help me answer the specific questions of our customers while I’m at my home office.

We get a variety of customer service inquiries, and we’ve found that it’s really helpful to have this inventory at home to test packing, share measurements, etc.

I recently did a Facebook Live, and you can see the inventory behind me!

Keeping inventory at home to answer customer questions

Customer Service Software

A great logistics plan starts with a robust customer service system.  Knack has integrated all online customer service inquiries (email and social media) into one simple system, making sure that everyone’s questions get answered.  Since our system is cloud-based, it’s easy to use it remotely. 

Some people prefer to talk to a person on the phone, so we set up our Customer Service phone number (401-404-4003), where customers can leave a message and we get back to them ASAP.  And sometimes a customer wants us to call them, but at a time that is convenient for them. So they leave us an email with contact information and the best times to reach out.  

Managing customer service inquiries on The Cloud

A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS:

One of the other benefits of our Customer Service Software, is the ability to load pictures by the customer and our CS team.  It can be very tricky for a customer to describe what kind of shoes they are trying to pack, which chargers would fit, or what issues they are having with their bag.  A picture can say it all. And it also helps for us to show customers pockets, packing suggestions, or laptop sizes (not all 15” laptops have the same dimensions) with a picture. 

So between pictures, emails, Facebook chats, and phone calls, we are able to satisfy all our customer’s different needs with their preferred method of communication.  

The Knack Pack backpack for remote workers

Work Life Balance & Customer Support

We get customer inquiries 24/7, and our goal is to respond to all of them promptly. 

Since we have customers all over the U.S. and some can only reach out to us after work, I personally try to save an hour or so later in the evening, as well as on Saturday and Sunday, to check our customers’ emails and phone calls.  

If a customer is having an issue that is really worrying them, it’s great to answer their questions and put their mind at ease so they can enjoy their evening or weekend.

Managing your schedule while working in customer support remotely

Track Popular Questions & Share Answers in Multiple Places

As Knack has grown, my team has made a point of tracking popular questions we receive.  Using that information, we work with our website and social media team to share answers to commonly asked questions.  This sharing has been particularly helpful over the past few weeks as the broader Knack team has not been able to get out and see customers in person to hear feedback directly.

For example, tracking all this type of info helped Knack develop the comparison page on our website, making it easier for Knackpackers to find the right size of bag!

Countries we have shipped the Knack Pack to

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What to Read Next - Remote Work Series

Here's a list of the other posts in this series: