Remote Call Center Jobs is an increasingly popular choice in call centers around the world. As technology and cloud connectivity open the door to virtual call centers, more and more companies are hiring remote employees into their customer service departments.
While there are endless benefits to implementing a remote call center, there are some challenges with the transition. One of the common concerns that businesses face when moving to remote operations is how to maintain effective agent management when the customer service team is distributed across multiple locations.
If you are a call center administrator who shares this issue, we would like to provide you with this guide for managing remote agents. These call center management tips can help you maintain high call center and agent performance across time zones.
How to best manage a remote call center
Before delving into the details of managing remote call center agents, it’s important to understand what a remote customer service support team means. Whether you are already using remote employees or are looking for possibilities, this information can help you optimize your remote work program.
What is Remote Customer Service?
When we talk about call centers, we are generally referring to physical customer service operations that are responsible for making and receiving customer calls. A remote call center provides the same customer service capabilities, but uses a team of agents who work from home or in a collaborative workspace rather than an office setup.
Remote teams use cloud-based contact center solutions to interact with customers and team members and collaborate online instead of collaborating in person. Features such as SIP trunking allow agents to contact customers by phone for inbound and outbound marketing. Administrators can also use the software for call center scheduling or agent performance monitoring. As the reliance on on-premises solutions decreases, companies can add more services and features to their call centers to deliver a better experience for all customers.
No matter where your business is, remote teams allow your contact center to recruit top talent from anywhere in the country and the world. The lack of overhead costs associated with operating an office location also provides cost savings and flexibility that companies cannot achieve with a physical call center. In all products and markets, businesses can use these benefits to focus on better customer support, sales, and growth.
How to effectively manage a remote call center?
Because agents are not in the same location, managing remote agents can be a bit more complex than managing a typical call center. You may not be able to walk on the floor or physically interact with your team, but you are still responsible for keeping your team engaged and productive. With the tips in this guide on managing remote agents, you can continuously improve the customer experience and get the right results for your business.
1. Hold a video conference
When managing remote call center agents, communication is key. Although you are not in physical contact with a remote worker, tools such as video conferencing can help you stay connected and informative to your agents.
Using video calls for remote team meetings allows agents to meet each other, which is an important factor in building relationships with colleagues. This technology provides each virtual agent with a face, strengthening their relationships with team members. By holding a video conference, you can listen to the information your employees share and encourage them to participate. It’s not as personal as a meeting with an in-house based employee, but video conferencing helps connect a team of remote workers.
2. Cultivate a strong corporate culture
Successful managers spend time and energy creating a positive corporate culture for their agents. Remote agents may be physically removed from colleagues and call centers and terminated along with the entire company.
Build around your mission
Emphasize your core values as you build your company culture. For remote customer service agents, we also outline our expectations for running a call center. Show your agents how you expect to treat your customers and what to do as calls increase. Give your team a solid understanding of how to reflect the company both inside and outside of work.
Show your agents that they matter
The company culture should also emphasize the value that every agent brings to the call center. You want remote workers to feel like important members of your team, so develop and maintain an environment that encourages loyalty and engagement.
3. Using the Remote Agent Management Tool
For call center supervisors, labor management is one of the biggest parts of their job. Managing remote teams can be more difficult, but call center software provides many project management tools to support your efforts.
Using call center analytics
Like performance management in general, remote management is based on data and metrics obtained from call center software. For example, when customer satisfaction is low, you can use the relevant information to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your call center.
Focus on agent metrics
The ability to view agent activity and call data is an invaluable asset when evaluating call centers and teams. You can use the call log to determine the number of calls made and the length of each interaction. You can then use this information to see how that performance measures against the standard. If you see specific areas for improvement, you can focus your training efforts on improving agent optimization.
4. Provide collaboration tools
Few resources are more valuable than collaboration tools for remote employees. Agents can be hundreds or thousands of miles apart, so they rely on the tools they provide for team collaboration.
Getting Started with Call Center Platform
When choosing call center software, look for options that include agent-focused communication tools. For example, if agents are collaborating on a project, they need the ability to send messages to each other and share files internally. Resources must always be supported without interfering with the agent’s work.
Use agent training resources
Collaboration tools are also a valuable asset for agents who need assistance during customer interactions. If you notice an increase in conversation while monitoring a call, you can use this tool to join the call without the customer’s knowledge. By providing real-time coaching support, you can help your agents feel confident in their jobs.
5. Gamify customer service
Because everyone likes to play and win, gamification at work is very effective for increasing productivity and better results. This technique appeals to the competitive side of each agent as they work, using rewards and recognition as “rewards” for the highest performing employees in the call center. Rewards may include gift cards, company decorations, special privileges, paid leave, or items that may be of interest to employees. Whatever you have to offer, make sure it’s worth it enough to get your team to put more effort into it.
Dealing with customer service can increase the number and quality of customer interactions by motivating agents. Agents are encouraged to do their jobs better, which in turn improves the quality and overall results of customer support.
Investing time and money in gamification programs also increases the loyalty of your contact center agency. Fun activities show that we care about our employees and their job satisfaction and that we value the work of each institution and its employees. This can further increase agent satisfaction and lower call center turnover.
6. Development of detailed training programs
Building the best remote call center agent team starts with the hiring and training process. We have a list of skills and qualities you are looking for when looking for new candidates to fill an open agent position. We use pre-employment assessments, face-to-face interviews via face-to-face or video call, and targeted interview questions to find the right agent for you.
When hiring remotely, it is very important to have an effective training program. These agencies cannot benefit from working with more experienced agents, so they must provide resources that provide the same level of knowledge and proficiency.
Trial period planning
Start by giving each new employee a three-month evaluation period. This time, it gives the agent the freedom to adjust to a new location and routine, along with the worry of losing a job. Instead, use this time to guide your new agent through all processes and policies for your call center.
Before you connect new agents with real customers, have them put you on a training call with an experienced guide. Different scenarios and outcomes help prepare them for the interactions they may face.
A trial period allows contact center agents to use customer service applications with confidence and comfort. Please help us understand how to use this technology to improve our currency and results. Contact center software can do more than just make calls, so give your agents the knowledge and experience they need to get the most out of the tool.
Distance vocational training included
Good agents and capable remote workers need new hires. Be prepared for your telecommuting needs when training on customer service. Covers policies and expectations for workspaces, shift behavior, and participation in team activities. Optimize every aspect of your call center training to increase agent retention and customer service outcomes.
7. Customer service quality monitoring
An agent may be happy with the number of calls it can make and receive, but if the customer is dissatisfied with the service, these numbers are useless. Quality monitoring allows your call center to be successful in every way, providing value to your company.
Use quality assurance tools
To ensure the quality of customer support, use a call center solution to monitor all interactions. Use voice analytics to determine customer satisfaction during support calls. Audit calls to ensure agents follow call center best practices. Take a look at our data on first contact resolutions to ensure that agents are providing adequate support. Use our tools to stay proactive and avoid diminishing customer satisfaction.
Call Center Compliance Management
They have the best call times and excellent customer satisfaction, but call centers fail when organizations don’t comply with regulations and standards. When monitoring the quality of your contact center, evaluate the processes agents use to manage sensitive data. Check your call logs to make sure you are following the DNC listing rules. Protect your call center and company from potential fines and future lawsuits by avoiding mistakes today.
Use a direct approach to management
As a call center manager, you are ultimately responsible for your customer service results. All agents must be actively managed and monitored to ensure that interactions meet company standards. If you see agents struggling with their jobs, take action to address them before they get worse.
Fine-grained care can reduce satisfaction at work, so instead of hanging on the shoulders of an agent, use recorded calls and previous interactions to gather the information you need. But if you need a more proactive approach, don’t be afraid to use whisper and silent listening training to guide agents through calls. Mentoring and intimidation can vary depending on the call center tools and how they are used.
8. Collect Call Center and Customer Service Feedback
The best way to learn is always to listen. When deploying and managing remote call center operations, we collect feedback to identify areas where work is most needed. Gathering feedback is only effective if you keep an open mind, so we are willing to listen to hard truths and diverse opinions. You don’t have to implement every suggestion you receive, but this feedback can help improve your call center processes for more successful and growing operations.
Listen to your customers
Although agents interact with customers on a daily basis, most managers see primarily negative feedback and complaints. Instead of waiting for this response, actively invite feedback from your customers.
An easy way to gather customer feedback is with a satisfaction survey. After completing the call, the agent can invite callers to stay connected for a quick survey. This allows customers to evaluate their experience and provide recommendations for improvement without investing significant time and energy. Customers can further increase overall satisfaction with your business.
Communicate with the agent
Contact center agents are at the forefront of customer service, so their feedback is very important. Ask your agent about policies and procedures to see what works and what doesn’t. It is important to seek feedback from remote agents because employees may feel they lack the opportunity and freedom to make suggestions.
Measuring agent satisfaction helps you optimize internal processes and customer support. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our training programs, meetings, and even management. By encouraging informative conversations between agents and supervisors, you can also foster positive team collaboration. The more the team communicates, the better the call center operates.
ZelenaPlus allows you to deploy a cloud-based contact center solution that enables effective remote team management. Contact our sales team today to learn more about the platform and its benefits with a custom demo.