Call Center Management Tips for Remote Agents
As the web provides progressive alternatives to business management methods, more call centers move further away from the traditional brick-and-mortar way of doing business. The Internet allows for endless amounts of data storage and software access virtually anywhere in the world and as a result, call centers can easily employ home based call center agents. Call Center Management
But these changes affect more than just the geographic location of employees. All of a sudden, remote agents are representing their employers completely out of sight and sound of a manager. Transitioning to this new era of call center common practices requires a new approach to management that was once handled under one roof and face to face. So how do they effectively monitor and assist their remote agents?
Now that agents are able to work from remote locations, call center management has to find new ways to properly coach their employees. Any company that employs remote agents should have an effective coaching and development plan. With more and more agents working from remote locations, it seems impractical and just too costly to bring them to the headquarters for instructions. However, a helpful elearning program can provide a more profitable and efficient agent training method. When it comes to elearning, call center management can quickly deliver training as well as ensure a secure IP connection. At the conclusion of an agent's elearning session, managers can view their agents' progress.
Considering the fact that there could be hundreds of miles separating an agent from their manager, it's difficult to have an in-office meeting. However, a webcam conference is a great alternative as it allows for a face-to-face conversation. Another quick, hands-on training session could be done with a desktop sharing web conference, allowing the employee to see a manager walk them through any type of computer process.
Just remember to avoid holding a meeting in your remote agent's home. If you come knocking, they'll start walking-no employee should ever feel like they need to host their boss. So maintain a good relationship with your remote agent and refrain from invading their personal space.
With home meetings out of the question, you may wonder how you're supposed to ensure that your remote agent's workplace is sufficient for effective customer service. To be sure that background noise will not be an issue during calls, you can arrange for call monitoring sessions. Beyond monitoring, be sure to discuss with your remote agent the importance of working in a quiet environment for they play a significant role of maintaining a company's reputation. A bad call could result in an unhappy customer.
If you detect that one of your remote agents does not seem to work efficiently, you may consider implementing screen recording. This allows management to identify the reason for unproductive work. Efficiency is key to any call center and any business should welcome methods of improving efficiency. Screen recording is a good replacement for the traditional side-by-side monitoring abilities that were lost when call centers started expanding beyond one location.
Lastly, how do call centers provide remote agents with the assistance they might need when on a call? Traditionally, agents could raise a hand or press a button and have a manager by their side for help. But now, remote agents reside in remote locations and out of immediate hands-on assistance. And it's important to have a way for agents to receive immediate feedback if necessary. Make sure you provide a company chat room or an instant message service to give your agent necessary help.