There has been a shift towards the remote working model in the past couple of years. This change has been possible due to advancements in digital technology and to some extent due to the cultural shift as well. Thanks to the cloud contact center technology, the agents who were earlier tied to their desks attending calls have gained flexibility and work-life balance.
Managing remote contact center can be tricky if you have not thought through the idea. Below is everything that you want to know to manage virtual call center agents.
Benefits of Remote Call Center Agents
1. Hiring the Best Talent
Hiring someone from a different country is difficult and expensive to say the least. But with remote contact center agents, your talent pool increases significantly. You can hire the most skilled agents without having to incur an additional cost. However, if the job demands frequent meetings, training, or collaborative work then having them onsite will make more sense. But just the thought of not having to go through the daily struggles of travelling and reaching office will be a motivational boost in itself.
2. Reduced Operational Costs
Setting up a work from home call center is much more cost-effective than an on premise call center. As in the latter you need to invest in getting a site or office space, hardware and overall maintenance cost as well. Whereas, with a cloud based call center software, you can just get going with a laptop and internet connection. The WFH model is particularly common with startups who are bootstrapping their business.
Be Prepared with Right Technology
Now, that you have made the decision to have a remote support team, you need to setup a remote contact center which powers your operations smoothly . Below, I have listed some of the features that will make working from home a lot easier and productive
Live Monitoring & Dashboards
When you are not working onsite, having the monitoring tools become even more important. A call center software with live monitoring let’s you do just that – real time monitoring of operations. Moreover, with the dashboards in place, the supervisors can get a peek into the agent’s activities while identifying any emerging trends. Since you are not having face to face interaction where the agents submit their reports at the end of the day, you can also get these reports or schedule them with a remote contact center software.
It refers to the application of game-design elements to the call center operations. For example, having a competition among the agents to see who has the best FCR score with least handling time. These rules, regulations and a sense of competition is a great motivator for the agents to strive to be the best. Rewarding and incentivizing the most productive and efficient agents, drives other agents to do the same. Most of the contact center solutions come with a pre-build gamification option. However, in the absense of it, you can always make use of wallboards.
Knowledge Base for Training
Your agents are dispersed, they are not having many face to face interactions – how to onboard and train the call center agents? Well, but obvious – remotely. You can build an online knowledge base and training modules to help the new recruits. At the same time, you can also start a forum where agents can interact and get answers to their questions.
Build a Sense of Community
Working from home can be lonely at times. It’s important to encourage team activities and collaboration. There are plenty of tools available in the market to enable that such as Facebook for Workplace. It’s a great medium for employees to interact, share information while having some fun. Also, if some of your employees are working from the office, you can have some team activities in-house while WFH agents join remotely. That way they won’t feel disconnected.