Most contact center managers understand the benefits of adding remote call center agents to their staff. However, knowing where to draw the line between enough and too many remote team members can be tricky. You still need enough people in on-site seats every day to handle customer service tasks that are too difficult to manage off-site.
Here, we’ll help you decide how many of your agents should be remote and just how heavily you should be leaning on outsourcing agents as a way of scaling your operations. Plus, we’ll help you determine where to find the tools and technology to equip your agents with the ability to go remote. Read on to learn more!
Why Should You Have Remote Call Center Agents?
If you don’t already have remote call center agents on your staff, you may be wondering why you need them. If so, you may also believe that you have to hire new employees to fill the roles of remote staff members, but that simply isn’t the case. In most scenarios, managers simply choose from their current staff rosters to create remote work positions that are either full- or part-time. This allows additional flexibility for employees and creates a desirable incentive that can be used to entice employees to work harder and perform better on the job to earn the right to work from home.
Some advantages that utilizing home-based agents boasts for your business include:
- Low overhead costs. Since most of the equipment these employees use will be their own, you have a relatively low overhead cost when it comes to both supplying and maintaining the hardware used by home-based agents.
- Wider reach and larger talent pool. Say some of your best agents are considering making a move to another city or state. With the global reach of today’s remote call center technology, this isn’t a problem. You can simply move them into a remote agent position and keep them on staff - a boon for both you and the employee.
- Flexibility and easier scaling. The ability to quickly and easily scale your operation is important for contact centers today. Nothing makes this easier than employing remote agents. They can be called upon on very short notice and work only as needed. This means your company is paying only the necessary labor costs to keep up with call volume spikes - and not filling seats that aren’t necessary during slower business days.
Remote Agents are Advantageous - But How Many Do You Need?
It’s easy to see now why so many contact centers rely on a portion of their staff to work remotely. However, what’s harder to determine is how many of these agents your staff needs.
The answer is not one that is hard and fast for all companies. It depends largely on what kind of work you do and how important it is for your team to be able to directly collaborate with one another. It can be difficult to directly interact with your teammates or coworkers when you work in different locations.
Thankfully, today’s technology is making it easier than ever for multiple remote agents to work together on projects, proposals, and more. Teamwork from numerous locations is simple with screen-sharing, media integration, and other modern features at the disposal of these agents. In fact, some companies operate entirely on a remote basis, with their staff comprised of members from around the globe working together without ever actually meeting in person!
This doesn’t mean that your contact center has to be made up entirely of remote call center agents, of course. Finding a balance on on-site personnel and remote agents that works for your budget and your company’s vision of customer service is the ultimate answer to how many remote workers you should have. There is no specific number, percentage, or formula to determine the right quantity. It all comes down to what serves your business best.
How to Staff Your Center with More Remote Agents
If you decide that increasing the number of remote call center agents is the way to go for improved center productivity and profitability, transforming the makeup of your team is the next step.
As previously mentioned, there is no need to bring on a massive wave of new hires simply because you want to convert a portion of your team to remote workers. Simply add the option of remote work as one your current agents can choose or work toward and you will see a natural shift in the composition of your team.
Using home-based work as an incentive inspires agents to perform better while they are working on-site and can create a sense of urgency in their work that might not have previously existed. Once they earn the right to work from home, keep that momentum going by maintaining that privilege only for agents who continue to perform well. By treating the setup as a reward rather than simply another approach to work, you offer a perspective that is refreshing and energizing for employees - and makes them want to engage more in the work they are doing.
Be sure also that your remote workers have the technology and tools they need to do top-quality work. While most of your workforce probably own a computer, they may not have headsets and other tools already on hand. Be ready to provide these if necessary and remember - you’re saving a lot of money elsewhere by utilizing home-based agents. Don’t be afraid to invest in their success upfront!
Ready to put more of your agents to work in the field or restore balance to the number of remote call center agents you have? Whatever your goals are, ChaseData can help you accomplish them with our impressive and easy-to-integrate remote agent technology. With our software, your agents in the field will be working at the same caliber as your on-site staff - and your entire operation will be more productive and profitable.
Give us a call today to learn more!