With the advancement in technology, the call center agents are not limited to office space.
Call center agents have the luxury of working from anywhere because of high-speed internet availability, cloud networks that powers VoIP and contact center solutions, etc., giving them access to work remotely.
But this luxury has become the necessity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, it is important (now more than ever) to understand how to manage remote call center agents because a large part of the workforce are and will be working from remote areas.
6 Ways to Manage Remote Call Center Agents
1. Communicate expectations to agents
Agents who work remotely faces many challenges as compared to agents who work on-site.
When agents work remotely, they do not have the luxury of many resources such as in-person feedback.
Make sure to clearly communicate and set remote work expectations.
2. Hold video conferencing meetings
When call center agents are working remotely and you have no physical contact with them, it is best to use video conferencing tools that help you connect to agents.
Also, it is the best way to get informed about the activities they are performing directly with the agents.
Doing team meetings using video calls helps agents to meet each other and make them feel that they are not working alone.
Video meetings ensure that other team members listen to the information you are sharing.
Video calls also makes agents feel that they are not working remotely.
3. Motivate agents with rewards and incentives
You cannot keep an eye on agents 24/7 when they are working remotely as compared to when they are working on-site.
So, if you want that agents works efficiently even when no one is looking, then the best way is to reward agents for the work they have done.
You can start by giving scores to their everyday tasks and based on their scores, you can reward them prizes.
This will feel like a game and agents will be motivated to do their best.
These rewards and incentives will give agents to push a little harder and aim higher than what is expected of them.
Also, it creates a healthy competition between the agents.
All this will make the task of managing remote call center agents a little easier.
4. Ask for customer feedback
Asking for customer feedback is essential when you are managing remote call center agents.
By providing customers with polls or surveys, immediately after a call or a few days later, it helps you gain a different perspective of how agents are performing.
This is important because what you think is happening and what is actually happening can be totally different and you can gain this perspective only from customers.
You can understand whether they are taking too much time or not to provide solutions, the way they talk is in line with the benchmarks set or not and more.
Collect and analyse this feedback and use it improve remote call center agents’ performance.
5. Use tools to keep a check on agents
When you are working remotely, it can be hard to look into individual performance and keep a track of activities they are performing day in and day out.
This calls for you to invest in tools and mechanisms that will help you look into the activities performed by agents and the interactions between agents and customers.
Having the right tools will help keep a check on agents and brings transparency to your daily processes.
Also, agents will know what they are doing and how other team members are performing.
Select the right soiftware that helps you communicate with agents, analyse the agents interactions with customers and give opportunities for personalized coaching.
You can use conversation intelligence softwares like Enthu that helps to monitors and analyzes customer interactions and provides you feedback for each call.
6. Provide autonomy
To manage remote call center agents, it is essential that you give them power to take decisions.
But before doing that, you need to make sure that agents know what is expected of them, they are well-trained on tools and resources they are going to use, and have a framework for accomplishing their goals.
After this, you can give them automony to do work.
You can let them decisions on their own as long as they are meeting deadlines, you are communicating with them on regular basis, you are giving them proper feedback and more.