Remote secretary: What are the communication tools you need?
New technologies have revolutionized the way companies work. For example, it is no longer necessary to be at a fixed location to attend to customers. This has led to the reinvention, not only of corporate processes, but also of traditional positions in any business, such as, for example, that of a secretary.
In this sense, this position, like many others, has gone from being carried out solely in an office at the company’s headquarters to being able to do so remotely from anywhere, even offering the possibility of incorporating automation tools such as callbots or chatbots.
However, in order to carry out a remote secretary service, it is essential to have the support of the right systems, especially communication tools, as one of the main functions of these positions is to attend to and share interactions with clients among the company’s employees.
In this article we provide you with a list of what we consider to be the most important ones.
What is a remote secretary?
This term refers to people or systems that, like traditional secretaries, carry out administration, document management and customer service tasks to ensure the smooth running of the company. Unlike the latter, they are not physically located in the company, but can perform these functions remotely, from anywhere in the world.
Often, organizations have this figure, either in their office or remotely, to prevent employees from becoming overburdened and save time to devote to other tasks that are more specialized or require greater concentration.
Moreover, it is important to note that, until recently, these appointment management and customer service functions were performed by a person in an office organizing the company’s appointments, taking calls on a landline and forwarding them to the appropriate agent. Nowadays, however, new technologies have made it possible to fully or partially automate this process, making it simpler and more convenient.
Communication tools needed for a remote secretary
A secretary position, regardless of whether it is carried out face-to-face or remotely, must meet certain standards of productivity and efficiency.
In fact, in the case of customer service, this position is usually the first point of contact between the customer and the company, as it is responsible for welcoming them, finding out the reason for their request and passing it on to the appropriate agent. In this sense, the communication tools they use should also have a number of features that help them to meet these requirements.
Here is a list of the 3 systems that every remote secretary should rely on, as well as their main features:
Call center software
This is the main system that a virtual secretary should rely on. This WebRTC tool allows a large number of interactions to be handled from anywhere, as it has extensive functionalities that favor productivity and efficient call distribution. In addition, it can be integrated with other software such as those described below.
A call center software like the one we offer you in Fonvirtual allows you to perform customer service functions through multiple channels (voice, chat and video). Simply, it will be necessary that the employee who performs the tasks of remote secretary has a device with Internet connection (computer, mobile or tablet) to access with an username and password to the platform from which you will manage all interactions.
From this moment on, the virtual secretary will be able to maintain contact with clients and suppliers, receiving voice calls, video calls and chats, and transferring them, if necessary, to the appropriate colleague.
The latter can be done manually by the secretary or automatically by an ACD system, in which case our system should also have:
Drag & drop delivery system
In case the delivery is done manually, it is essential that you have a receptionist license, which will allow you to simultaneously answer calls and messages and deliver them to the most appropriate agent.
With this, an employee will be responsible for dealing with customers in the first instance, welcoming them and finding out the reason for their request. He or she will then transfer the call or chat to the agent using an intuitive drag & drop system.
Depending on the needs and characteristics of the company, it is important to evaluate the possibility of automating this process. For these cases, our call center software has an ACD system that carries out this distribution of calls and messages automatically and efficiently.
This system distributes the conversations among the available agents according to a series of skillsets defined for each of them and the distribution priorities set in the configuration. In addition, this function can be complemented by an IVR system or menu of options in which the customer selects an option and the ACD delivers it to the most appropriate agent to handle the interaction.
With all this, the remote secretary can devote time to other tasks of greater added value for the company.
Customer management software or CRM
Complementing the above, another tool for a remote secretary is a CRM that can be integrated with call center software.
Like any member of the company, a secretary must be able to access updated customer information in order to find the most appropriate agent in each case. In this sense, a CRM connected to a communications platform allows for functionalities such as the possibility of the customer’s file being automatically raised when the interaction is received, of modifying the customer’s data without having to leave the conversation…
In addition, the changes will be recorded in real time, so that any employee will be sure that he or she is consulting updated information. And all this from anywhere in the world and with any device.
Appointment management software
Appointment management is another of the main tasks of a secretary. However, finding a slot for each client, the need to continually write down appointments, managing cancellations, sending reminders… can become a repetitive process and take your focus away from other actions that may be more important.
Fortunately, this can be easily automated by using an appointment management software connected to the call center. So, once, for example, the appointment with the customer has been confirmed, either by speaking directly with the secretary or with a virtual agent, the system will automatically send confirmation of the appointment and subsequent reminders via voice call or instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp or Telegram.
Artificial Intelligence Systems
Finally, it is important that a remote secretary relies on the possibilities offered by Artificial Intelligence.
As mentioned above, this position must meet a number of productivity and efficiency requirements. However, this is not always possible, as there may be moments of high activity when the conversational AI agent is overwhelmed and cannot pay adequate attention.
To prevent this from happening, in the event that the secretary is busy attending another conversation, Conversational AI agents will take the calls and messages and ensure that clients are attended to from the beginning.
In addition, these systems offer a great advantage: their 24/7 availability, 365 days a year. In this way, we can cover requests outside of business hours and ensure that customers can contact us whenever they need to.
If you would like more information about any of these tools and systems, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will help you to implement them and choose the ones that best suit the characteristics of your company.