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Call Centers, don't be afraid of Work-at-Home programs

Call Centers, don't be afraid of Work-at-Home programs

[fa icon="calendar"] May 28, 2013 10:06:35 AM / by Briana Songer

Briana Songer

Work from home programs have become an appealing option for call center agents. Even with the benefits, there are several challenges that call centers must work through that cause some hesitation or rejection. Yet, these problems are not impossible to overcome when making managing or making the transition.

Work from home programs have become an appealing option for call center agents. Even with the benefits, there are several challenges that call centers must work through that cause some hesitation or rejection. Yet, these problems are not impossible to overcome when making managing or making the transition.
Issue #1 Lack of support

Support can become complicated with Work-at-Home (WAH) agents. If basic resources are not available within seconds, agents will become frustrated from trying to locate information and service will plummet. Solution? Invest in technologies that encourage ongoing communication that let agents find/ask for information. Put together a virtual support team to help supervise remote agents and give them easy support. Web chat is another effective way to communicate between agents and supervisors.

Issue #2 Plummeting productivity

Many centers fear that WAH agents will view working from home as a chance to catch up on sleep or chores. How do you keep an eye on employees who are working miles away? Avoid this problem by carefully selecting the right people for the program. Also, like the agents in the brick and mortar centers, you can use the recording and monitoring tools to virtually manage.

Issue #3 Difficulties in Training and Coaching

When agents are not on-site, ongoing training can seem like a huge challenge. It's key to help agents be ready for changes in service or new products. Learning should be an ongoing process. Make sure you can train any agent, anywhere, at any time. Offer real-time eLearning capabilities that include the ability to send targeted training and coaching content to agents. Your solution should offer tools to assess learning results, enable quizzes to be embedded or linked to course material.

Use a learning management system that allows remote learning to be interactive and streamlined for WAH agents. Online visual and audio learning combined with instant feedback will let agents communicate easily with the instructor. This is important especially if they don't do well on an assessment, and it allows for virtual individual time with an instructor to help them out.

Built-in assessment tools can track the impact of specific training. They allow you to easily measure training results and impact on group or individual performance. Make it easy for WAH agents to look up their performance results to keep them motivated. Integrate tools that will allow your managers and trainers to measure whether training was viewed and understood.

Issue #4 Separation

Working from home makes it difficult to get to know those working around you. How do you make WAH agents feel part of the team? Make sure your tech encourages teamwork and interaction between agents. Organize virtual team meetings where members of both teams participate. The most important part of a successful virtual platform is to personally connect with the team. Even though they physically work outside the call center, it's critical that your remote staff feel like they are a part of the team. Take time to communicate with them in any form available.

Research and continually use the most up-to-date technology instead of just relying on traditional hardware. This will not only help prevent harmful future incidents, but it will remove tech that does a mediocre job of supporting your WAH agents. Call Centers who support work at home programs enable employees to balance their work/personal life, which fosters higher engagement and productivity. So, call centers...what are you afraid of?

Taken from original post

About the author: Nicole is the Marketing manager with the PlayVox team. PlayVox is a platform that uses gamification, learning and social tools to make call centers better places to work.

Issue #1 Lack of support

Support can become complicated with Work-at-Home (WAH) agents. If basic resources are not available within seconds, agents will become frustrated from trying to locate information and service will plummet. Solution? Invest in technologies that encourage ongoing communication that let agents find/ask for information. Put together a virtual support team to help supervise remote agents and give them easy support. Web chat is another effective way to communicate between agents and supervisors.

Issue #2 Plummeting productivity

Many centers fear that WAH agents will view working from home as a chance to catch up on sleep or chores. How do you keep an eye on employees who are working miles away? Avoid this problem by carefully selecting the right people for the program. Also, like the agents in the brick and mortar centers, you can use the recording and monitoring tools to virtually manage.

Issue #3 Difficulties in Training and Coaching

When agents are not on-site, ongoing training can seem like a huge challenge. It's key to help agents be ready for changes in service or new products. Learning should be an ongoing process. Make sure you can train any agent, anywhere, at any time. Offer real-time eLearning capabilities that include the ability to send targeted training and coaching content to agents. Your solution should offer tools to assess learning results, enable quizzes to be embedded or linked to course material.

Use a learning management system that allows remote learning to be interactive and streamlined for WAH agents. Online visual and audio learning combined with instant feedback will let agents communicate easily with the instructor. This is important especially if they don't do well on an assessment, and it allows for virtual individual time with an instructor to help them out.

Built-in assessment tools can track the impact of specific training. They allow you to easily measure training results and impact on group or individual performance. Make it easy for WAH agents to look up their performance results to keep them motivated. Integrate tools that will allow your managers and trainers to measure whether training was viewed and understood.

Issue #4 Separation

Working from home makes it difficult to get to know those working around you. How do you make WAH agents feel part of the team? Make sure your tech encourages teamwork and interaction between agents. Organize virtual team meetings where members of both teams participate. The most important part of a successful virtual platform is to personally connect with the team. Even though they physically work outside the call center, it's critical that your remote staff feel like they are a part of the team. Take time to communicate with them in any form available.

Research and continually use the most up-to-date technology instead of just relying on traditional hardware. This will not only help prevent harmful future incidents, but it will remove tech that does a mediocre job of supporting your WAH agents. Call Centers who support work at home programs enable employees to balance their work/personal life, which fosters higher engagement and productivity. So, call centers...what are you afraid of?

Taken from original post

About the author: Nicole is the Marketing manager with the PlayVox team. PlayVox is a platform that uses gamification, learning and social tools to make call centers better places to work.

Topics: Contact Center, Agents, call centers, tips, Teletrabajo, training

Briana Songer

Written by Briana Songer

Marketing Director at PlayVox

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