What is a remote call center?
For many years, call centers were strictly brink-and-mortar, partly due to technology constraints, and also due to lack of technology adoption. Recently, with the move towards digital transformation and concerns for working closely together in-person for health concerns, many call centers and contact centers have made the move to the cloud and fully remote workforces.
Agents are more frequently working from home, which brings new challenges and considerations for organizations to optimize performance and maximize ROI even with a distributed workforce.
How to Manage Remote Agents Effectively and Optimize Call Center Performance
- Optimize Company Culture
Agents are the connection your customers have with your brand. Keeping them happy and productive is key to their success and your customers’ experience. In remote working environments, supervisor interaction becomes even more important. Schedule regular group check-ins and 1x1s to sync up about team goals and current campaigns as well as individual feedback sessions. Ensure your agents feel heard and supported.
- Coach, Coach, and Coach Some More
Without the ability to walk the call center floor and support agents in-person, supervisors and call center leaders need new ways to measure agent performance and understand how to coach effectively. Your agents may need more training and coaching than ever before if they are feeling unsure or struggling with the new changes in their work environment.
An “agent success” reporting dashboard with agent-centric metrics can help you understand who may need more coaching and around what activities they can use the most support. For example, are certain agents falling silent more often on calls than other agents? Voice Analytics can track where those silence gaps are happening, and what topics the silence periods are related to. Managers can then source knowledge base material for those agents or connect 1×1 with their tips.
- Have Internal Knowledge Shares
Supervisors & middle managers should have daily and weekly check-ins. Get all the supervisors together and talk through what’s working best, challenges they are experiencing, how they are utilizing tools and technology, etc. This promotes knowledge sharing between teams and keeps managers engaged. Similarly, have agent teams meet regularly to socialize and share work experience amongst each other. This helps promote connectedness and shared skills.
- Gamify Performance
Utilize QA software to give real feedback to agents. Offer incentives, and put their own performance in their own hands. Give them agency. By providing agents visibility into their output and KPIs, you allow them to own their learning and improvement process. Changing their approach to a call and seeing the positive results on the leaderboard is a great way to reinforce new practices.
- Embrace Collaboration Tools
Establish some collaboration technology to keep your team connected and in communication. This can include scheduling technology, internal chat, and other programs to help your groups feel like they are working as a team instead of working in a vacuum.
- Continue to Optimize Coaching Programs
Set a schedule for the reevaluation of training and coaching policies. Customers’ needs can change, products can change, and many variables can contribute to the “degradation” of your training program. Review your methods and resources regularly to ensure your agents have the most effective manuals at hand.
- Measure Agent Experience Along with Customer Experience
Your agents are the main touchpoint for your customers, so their experience as employees is a key metric to understand and track. Agent sentiment, emotion, expressions and other emotional cues can be measured with voice analytics software like VoiceBase. Agent experience has a direct correlation with customer satisfaction, so optimizing AX can help your CX.
- Create Supervisor Dashboards
Enable supervisors to see big picture metrics for their team with the ability to drill into individual agent performance. Factors like average handle time (AHT), call resolution, amount of silence, average customer sentiment, and script adherence can all be great statistics to track and optimize.
Learn how the most innovate enterprise call centers are leveraging speech analytics to drive performance.