There’s more to managing a remote contact centre team than making sure they have the right tools and resources.
Even before we were confronted with our current situation, the trend toward working remotely had been growing.
More companies have been taking advantage of advances in tech to make it easier for their teams to work remotely, and they’ve been reaping the rewards. Their workforces are less stressed and more productive, and they’ve reduced their operating costs. Businesses that support remote work are more flexible, and are better able to respond to emerging challenges, as well as to sudden ones like the COVID-19 pandemic.
But how do you keep your contact centre running under remote working conditions? How do you maintain your high customer experience standards? And how do you give your agents the support they need when they’re all working from home? [Read our report: What You Need to Succeed in a ‘Work from Home’ Future] We’ve got a few pointers for you.
Make sure your agents have the right tools
This is where your cloud-based contact centre solution can really showcase its value, as your agents will be able to log in to their dashboards, take incoming calls, and keep an eye on their performance against KPIs. But that’s only for starters. They’ll also need access to the other systems they use to do their jobs – such as CRM, customer files, and company knowledge and procedures databases.
Our cloud contact centre solution Premier Contact Point can be integrated with any of your back of house apps to give your agents fast, seamless access to all the information they need.
Monitor team activity
One pitfall of working from home can be not defining clear time boundaries for when you’re in “work” mode or “at home” mode. You want to ensure that your team members are adhering to their rostered schedules and meeting KPIs. Premier Contact Point makes it easy to manage “work mode” and “off work mode”, because team members are required to be logged in and show “status” so the system knows if they’re available to be assigned to a queue, or not.
Monitoring team well being
Supervisors can use the Remote Agent Monitoring feature to monitor calls to assess engagement, performance and morale.
Taking care of our mental health during difficult times should be a high priority for everyone. In addition to monitoring calls, we suggest that supervisors check in with team members every day to say hello, and make sure they have everything they need to do their job properly, and that they’re coping with the changed conditions.
Hold regular catchups in a variety of ways
Working remotely does mean we all miss out on the informal interactions with co-workers. And while some of your agents may have busy home lives outside of work, those who live alone may be feeling the isolation more intensely than others. This is where video-based team meetings, and even one-on-one coaching calls, can be vital.
The screen-sharing capabilities of software like Zoom, Teams and Skype means you can also provide training through demonstration on your computer, or even better watch them do it on theirs, which is the fastest way to learn.
Video conferencing has an advantage over phone hook-ups in that you can capture non-verbal cues, and use visual aids to make sure you and your staff understand each other completely – almost as if you were in the same room.
Be accessible (but not a looming force)
Make sure your agents have a quick and reliable way of reaching you if they need help – just like you are when you’re all in the office together – but without compromising their autonomy, or your trust in them. Messaging apps and other team collaboration tools are a great way for your team to stay connected with you, and each other, while they work.
Photo by Ayla Verschueren on Unsplash