9 Tips for Managing a Hybrid Customer Support Team

Work environments have changed a lot since the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing mandates kickstarted a rapid switch to a hybrid employment model. As it’s proven effective, more and more organizations jumped on the bandwagon.

That’s especially true for customer support. Nowadays, you can attend to customers and elevate their experience from different locations without it impacting the quality of service. Providing flexibility in work locations can be a great benefit for employees. But, it leaves managers with the challenge of finding new ways to effectively lead a hybrid customer support team

In this article, we discuss challenges that managers may face and some tips that can help to effectively overcome them.

Challenges in managing a remote/hybrid team

Challenges in managing a remote:hybrid team



Image source: iStock

Being a manager is a complex role. You are constantly juggling the responsibility of leading teams, ensuring productivity, and facilitating your team’s personal and professional growth. As if that wasn’t enough to handle, a remote or hybrid situation raises even more issues for managers to worry about.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these issues.

1. Different locations (and time zones)

Keeping up with team members in other locations can be challenging for various reasons, including:

  • Difficulty aligning activities across different locations
  • Limited time to interact with team members in different time zones.

Team members may not always be available to work simultaneously, which could disrupt business operations and workflow. So, it’s no surprise that 50% of company leaders want employees to return on-site five days a week, according to CNBC Make It.

2. Communication and scheduling problems.

Several factors might impact a team member’s ability to communicate via specific channels. These can include:

  • Cultural festivities and national holidays
  • Environmental barriers
  • Political barriers
  • Family interference, etc.

For instance, the responsiveness of a team member in an area with a high-quality internet connection will not be the same as for a team member in an area experiencing rain storms and power outages. 

These factors can also make it difficult to schedule calls and meetings. But when working in person, a quick stroll to a team member’s desk can quickly resolve such issues.

3. Retaining company culture

Managers are responsible for passing down company culture to their employees, but this can be challenging with a hybrid team. Since physical interactions play a vital role in shaping company culture, it takes extra effort to instill a feeling of camaraderie in a hybrid working team.

4. Monitoring work and productivity

Some managers have difficulty ensuring team members’ productivity in a hybrid workspace. Team members are often underutilized or have too much on their plate. Both of which can be detrimental to an organization. Keeping tabs on the working hours and workload of team members across time zones is a crucial part of hybrid team managers’ jobs. 

5. Building trust

It’s no surprise that a remote setting can also make it difficult to establish and maintain trust between a manager and their direct reports. With team members working from different locations, managers might not understand individual working styles, working hours, or the current workload. This lapse in communication can result in uncompleted tasks and missed deadlines.

To maintain trust among team members, managers might consider holding daily or weekly stand-up meetings. This gives employees an opportunity to talk about what they’ve been working on and where they may need help. Understanding how everybody has been spending their time helps team members feel like they’re working towards a collective goal, which of course they are! 

9 tips for leading customer support teams

9 tips for leading customer support teams







Image source: iStock

As hard as managing a hybrid customer support team may be, it’s not impossible. You can navigate most problems you encounter with a little guidance. In this section, we’ll tackle ways to solve the above-mentioned issues. 

1. Communicate often as a team

Organize weekly team meetings or periodic team bonding activities. This will give your team something to look forward to and provide take a break from constantly speaking to customers and chatting about work experiences.

Frequent team communication through networking apps like Teams and Slack is also an excellent way to enable team members. They can share ideas on handling customer-related problems and the different temperaments a customer service professional encounters daily.

Other benefits of frequent communication include:

  • encourages trust
  • enhances team engagement
  • prevents potential conflicts
  • increases team productivity
  • boosts innovation
  • fosters better customer relationships.

2. Communicate work schedules in advance

Communicating work schedules across the team is an excellent way to maximize team members’ utility to ensure no one is underutilized or overworked. 

As a manager, you can assign various aspects of customer relations, as well as daily or weekly goals for each team member. It will also make scheduling meetings easier with timely, advanced communication.

3. Unite your team

Your hybrid customer support team members may be focused on supporting customers, but they have needs too. One significant professional need lacking in organizations with hybrid models is inclusion. With team members spread across different locations, it is easy to feel left out. This can affect both motivation and productivity. 

As a manager, you should find ways to make all members feel like part of the team. Some examples include:

  • organizing team bonding activities
  • rotating meeting hosting responsibilities
  • encouraging team members to share positive feedback 

4. Initiate individual problem-solving

Make room to address your team member’s individual needs and the challenges they face. Ensure that the entire problem-solving process is not treated as a customer service issue and remains confidential, to build trust. Communication improves when your team is in a good mental space.

5. Leverage technology and collaboration tools.

Promote a culture of exploring and utilizing available customer service-related technology and collaboration tools

Regardless of the challenges of remote and hybrid work, most businesses have succeeded because they leveraged innovative solutions, such as virtual call center software, to stay connected with employees and customers. 

Managers can promote asynchronous communication to make it easier for team members to collaborate effectively. Recording essential calls or meetings for absentees to watch later helps to ensure you’re not leaving any team member behind.

6. Provide proactive support in the office and online

It is vital to offer helpful solutions to the challenges that your hybrid customer support team may face on the job. 

It could be providing backup internet services in the office or pooling written resources online — anything that helps to make their job easier. You could also host team webinars to help team members further develop their skills and techniques from time to time.

7. Use monitoring tools

Implementing monitoring tools can be a helpful way to track team member workflows and ensure that deadlines and KPIs are met. Clockify, for example, can provide insight into how your team is spending their time across tasks and projects. Another option might be to have your team complete check-in forms before scheduled 1-to-1 calls to make your time together as effectively as possible. 

8. Set boundaries and expectations

Remote work doesn’t have to mean working round the clock. Make it clear to team members that as much as you appreciate a high-performing team, you want to prevent burnout as much as possible. 

Have team members work only during business hours in their respective locations and time zones. Simple tools like shared Google Calendars will allow team members to see all schedules and working hours. That way, they can respect each other’s work hours as well. 

9. Spread positivity

We can all agree that happy employees are more productive than unhappy employees. You can help to foster a positive work environment by being proactive and encouraging positive reinforcement. For example:

  • Regularly recognize great performances through team shout-outs
  • Help your team set realistic expectations and deadlines
  • Hold regular check-ins and forecasting sessions to keep goals and objectives on track
  • Ask where you can provide additional support
  • Encourage collaboration between team members

Take the time to understand the needs of your team. Celebrating wins, showing empathy, and prioritizing their well-being will help you to keep your team happy and healthy.


Managing a customer support team can be challenging, especially in a hybrid or virtual setting. However, with the right strategies and tools in place, you can effectively navigate these challenges and lead your team to success.

Establish clear communication and understand your team’s needs, both as a whole and on an individual level. Doing so will help you create a healthy, positive work environment and ensure customer satisfaction.

If you are looking for job opportunities in tech, click here.

The post 9 Tips for Managing a Hybrid Customer Support Team appeared first on CloserIQ.

How to Be Compliant During the Hiring Process

When designing a great hiring experience, interview timelines and candidate flow are often top-of-mind. But the hiring process itself is full of potential compliance risks – from collecting and storing applicant data to monitoring the hiring process itself.

With data breaches becoming increasingly prevalent, even in popular third-party HR platforms, it’s more important than ever for organizations to put preventative measures in place. By understanding the risks, developing policies and procedures to mitigate them, and training HR staff on how to identify and address them, you can ensure a compliant hiring process.

1. Understand the hiring process and which compliance risks are associated with it

The hiring process can be complex. In addition to ensuring that your candidates have a smooth and positive experience, it’s also important to understand the compliance risks. Several potential risks can arise during the hiring process. For example discrimination, failure to follow proper procedures or even bribery. The first step to preventing these risks is to simply be aware of them.

Discrimination is perhaps the most common compliance risk associated with the hiring process. Discrimination claims can occur when an employer improperly considers an applicant’s race, religion, gender, age, or other protected characteristic when making hiring decisions. It can also occur if an employer uses pre-employment tests or screening devices that have a disparate impact on certain groups of people.

Another common compliance risk is failure to follow proper procedures. This can happen when an employer doesn’t follow the required steps in the hiring process. For example, neglecting to conduct background checks or verify references. It can also occur if an employer doesn’t keep accurate records of the hiring process or fails to provide adequate notice of job openings.

Bribery is another potential compliance risk that can arise during the hiring process. This occurs when an employer offers a potential employee something of value in exchange for accepting a job offer. Bribery is illegal in many jurisdictions and can lead to serious consequences for the employer and employee involved.

These are not the only compliance risks associated with hiring but are the most common. By understanding how these situations occur and taking steps to avoid them, you can help ensure a compliant and positive hiring process for your organization.

2. Develop policies and procedures to mitigate compliance risks

The hiring process is full of data collection. From initial applications to candidate screenings, a lot of confidential information is shared between parties.

If your organization has adopted any HR platforms, it’s important to note that these tools often come with their own associated risks. They can be incredibly helpful for streamlining hiring procedures and even mitigating some of the risks we’ve discussed. However, they aren’t immune to data breaches.

When developing policies and procedures to mitigate compliance risks, you should:

  • Only collect information that is relevant to the job. Avoid discrimination when collecting applicant data by collecting the data necessary to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications for the job, not the data based on any protected characteristics. For example, an employer shouldn’t collect information about an applicant’s race or gender unless it’s relevant to the job listing.
  • Follow data protection legislation. All personal data collected from job applicants must be processed according to data protection legislation. This includes ensuring that applicants are aware of their rights concerning their data and that only the minimum amount of data necessary is collected. It also includes implementing proper data archiving practices.
  • Keep applicant data secure. Collected data should be protected from unauthorized access, disclosure, or use. An employer needs to ensure that this information is only accessible to those authorized to access it. Processes should be in place to prevent data from being disclosed or stolen.

3. Train HR staff on compliance risks

New legislation and regulations are constantly being introduced. HR staff should be provided with updated training and professional development around data privacy, employment law, and financial regulations on an ongoing basis. This will help to keep your organization compliant and informed.

In addition to internal processes, compliance training should also cover these components:

  • Employment law basics to ensure that job advertisements do not discriminate against any protected characteristics and that hiring selection processes are fair and transparent.
  • Financial regulations training to ensure that any financial incentives offered as part of the recruitment process comply with financial regulations.
  • Industry and state-specific laws that workers must comply with.

4. Continuously monitor the hiring process

Compliance isn’t a one-time checklist, especially with the evolving threat of cyber-attacks. Organizations should be monitoring their hiring process on an ongoing basis to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.

There are several ways in which organizations can monitor the hiring process:

  • Carry out regular audits of HR staff
  • Conduct regular reviews of job advertisements
  • Implement a system to track changes to applicant data
  • Ensure that all staff involved in the hiring process are aware of their responsibilities regarding compliance
  • Provide regular training to HR staff on compliance risks associated with applicant data

5. Take corrective action when necessary

Disciplinary measures can be an uncomfortable subject to address. However, it’s important to have a corrective action plan in place if an issue ever arises. If a team member were to breach a compliance policy, it may be a sign that more frequent training or review intervals need to be implemented.

A corrective action plan typically includes the following sections:

  1. Identify the problem. What should be fixed? Gather any data, reports, or related documents associated with the problem.
  2. Evaluate the extent of severity of the issue. Was it a one-time event that can be easily corrected? Does it point to a larger systematic or tool-related problem?
  3. Analyze the root cause. Why did this happen? Was it human error, a lapse in training, or an ineffective process?
  4. Develop an action plan. What is the proposed solution? Include a step-by-step plan that details each action item.
  5. Implementation of the plan. Each team member should know what the objectives of the corrective action plan are and who is responsible for each piece.
  6. Monitor and follow up on the results. Track the progress made and note any necessary adjustments. Create a report that shows how the problem was addressed and any areas of improvement.

Wrapping up

A great hiring process is a staple for attracting qualified candidates. Along with crafting a smooth and positive interview experience from application to job acceptance, it’s important to keep compliance risks top of mind. You can avoid these pitfalls by keeping up-to-date on compliance laws and best practices, and continuously monitoring your hiring processes.

If you are looking for job opportunities in tech, click here.


The post How to Be Compliant During the Hiring Process appeared first on CloserIQ.

How to Design a Strategic Interview Process for Software Engineers

As a founder, recruiting the right technical talent is vital to building a world-class engineering team. A great software engineer will help scale your product and ensure the growth of your company. Unfortunately, few founders have the expertise to build the perfect hiring process or time to interview hundreds of candidates.

Leaning on the expertise of an agency is a great option. But if your organization isn’t ready for that, we’re breaking down tactical recruiting steps that you can easily follow. This series covers how to scope a rolewhere to find the best candidates, how to outreach to them, and tips for designing a strategic interview process for software engineers.

Creating a Strategic Interview Process for Software Engineers

Before you begin conducting interviews, make sure that your current process is effective for the role you are filling. We’ll take a look at the best strategies for the first interview call, selecting and administering assessments and closing candidates.

Here are key points to remember when interviewing software engineers:

  • Your interview process should be quick but efficient
  • Everyone involved in hiring should be on the same page
  • There is no downside to providing a great interview experience

💡 Check out The Complete Guide for Interviewing Software Engineers for more in-depth interview tips.

First Call: How to attract and pull in candidates

As an early-stage startup, you might need to do a bit more selling to convince great talent to join your team. The first call is an opportunity for you to begin assessing if they are a good fit, while also building excitement for the role.

  • Know what you are going to ask. What information is the highest priority for you to collect at this step?
  • Review what you already know. Tailor your conversation around this and save time by not asking for basic information.
  • Pause after questions. Strategic pauses allow the candidate time to consider their answer and respond thoughtfully.
  • Set clear expectations for the interview timeline. Remember, speed is one of your advantages over larger tech companies.


Assessments are standard practice in the interview process for software engineers. The option that you choose should showcase the candidate’s competencies and skills, allowing you to evaluate if they are a good fit for the position.

  • Select the right assessment. List out the skills needed for the role and design a set of assessments that test for those specific skills.
  • Keep seniority in mind. General coding tests or interviews may be a great choice to test foundational knowledge for early career engineers. With senior engineers, an assessment that tests for domain knowledge or their ability to lead projects might be a better fit.
  • Determine how your assessments will be administered. Live assessments can be time-consuming, but they also give you the best data points. Take-home options are more efficient to administer but put more burden on the candidate.
  • Test for technical aptitude throughout the interview process. Start by including some quick, technical questions as early as the first call. Save larger assessments for mid to late-stage interview rounds.

Whichever assessment you decide on, make sure to include real problems that someone in this role might face. This will give the candidate better insight into what they’ll be working on in the future. It will also allow you to test their ability to solve problems and tasks relevant to the role.

💡 Tip: Skip expensive assessment tools. Instead, share the exercise via Google Docs and/or a public GitHub repository.

Closing Candidates

Closing candidates is the final step in the hiring process, and it can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you get software engineers to accept your job offer:

  • Be honest and transparent. Make sure to provide realistic expectations about the role, team, and company.
  • Highlight the unique aspects of your company. What sets your company apart from the competition? Make sure to emphasize those points.
  • Focus on the candidate’s growth. What opportunities are available for the candidate to learn and develop professionally?
  • Be flexible with the offer. Offering a competitive salary is important, but so is being flexible with things like vacation time, remote work and other benefits.
  • Make the decision process as easy as possible. Provide the candidate with clear next steps and a timeline for making a final decision.
  • Be prompt in your response. If a candidate is interested, make sure to follow up as soon as possible.

💡 Check out How to Close Top Engineering Talent for 4 steps that you can take to facilitate a smooth offer process and avoid common pitfalls.


Designing a strategic interview process for software engineers is essential for building high-performing engineering teams. It is important to have a well-defined process that is tailored to the needs of the job and to use assessment techniques that provide direct insight into each candidate’s technical skillset. Consistent process improvement is possible through thoughtful changes based on regularly collected feedback from both candidates and interviewers. Following these steps will help ensure that you are hiring the right candidates who have the necessary skills and cultural fit to be successful at the company.

If you are looking for job opportunities in tech, click here.


The post How to Design a Strategic Interview Process for Software Engineers appeared first on CloserIQ.