We are all in the middle of a global pandemic outbreak right now, and if you are using ChaseData CCaaS, more and more of your call center agents are working from home. It is imperative that you know how to best manage remote agents while dealing with potentially higher than expected call volumes.
The more the number of COVID-19 cases grows across the world, states, counties and cities are even issuing emergency orders to shut down any facility where people are likely to gather and spread the virus. In recent weeks, we have all witnessed school closures, suspensions of sporting events, closure of non-essential business and yes, order to close call centers.
As scary as this global pandemic is for many people, especially those dealing with the health and economic impacts, it is more essential than ever that you have your remote call centers prepared and working properly to help deliver answers, save as much of your business as possible and maintain operational continuity in the call center despite COVID-19. That means making sure that your employees are actually working and managing the calls that they’re taking and making every day.
How to manage remote call center agents with call center software
Are you a call center manager who is dealing with the stress of having to manage remote call center agents in the midst of this global pandemic? Use this guide to help you manage your remote call center agents at this time.
- Let agents know that you are present and able to help. Establish as sense that despite the fact that there are no visible supervisors present, that the quality of their work is still being measured and observed. Use the ChaseData monitoring functions liberally and make the supervisor’s presence known in positive effective ways when appropriate.
For example: If an agent is sticking to a script and doing a good job then send them a simple “good job” chat message. Conversely if things are going off the rails during a call, don’t hesitate to initiate a whisper coaching session.
- Randomly confirm that agents are at their workstations. Ensure that agents get used to being at their computers with headset on and paying attention to their work and calls. Working from remotely from home is very different from working in a physical call center. Agents will have to be a bit more self-directed in order to remain successful in their jobs. Use ChaseData’s monitoring allows managers and supervisors to securely listen to calls, observe an agent’s desktop activity, whisper coach agents and even take over call when required. Knowing that they are being monitored typically produces more effective agent behaviors.
- Minimize the feelings of isolation that agents may develop. Get agents used to a new sense of being part of a physical group. Migrate your regular shift and weekly meetings into online meeting using ChaseData’s conference calls feature. Provide your agents with a “virtual break room” where they can talk during breaks, lunch, etc. in order to preserve their senses of comradery.
- Invite customers and employees to provide feedback. With any system that’s new, it’s important to get feedback from everyone to make sure that it’s working across the board. It’s crucial not only to get feedback from your customers or users but also from your remote employees. Give your remote employees the chance to talk about which parts of the work environment they like and which they dislike. Where would they like more training and interactions with you, and where would they like to be more independent?
- Reinforce your corporate culture. Actively reinforce your corporate culture online and offline because one of the reasons why you have a successful business is because people enjoy working at your business. Every company has a history, ethos and rituals that make up its unique corporate culture. Create events online that reinforce that winning corporate culture because it will give trainees a sense of being part of something larger, something greater. Offline suggestion could include the delivery of small tokens of appreciation such as corporate branded gifts (mugs, mouse-pads, upgraded USB headphones, etc.), gift cards, etc.
Throughout the process it is important to monitor, score and track the agents’ performance. Agents who are consistently disengaged and under-performing are not likely to improve as this COVID-19 emergency continues. Everyone is simply not equipped for remote call center work and that’s ok. Good news, the agents who perform well, and remain engaged are likely to exceed performance expectations. Numerous studies have shown that remote workers are typically happier, more productive, and produces better quality work.