In recent years, remote Inbound Call Center operations have grown significantly more common. In remote call centers, agents work from home or in a hybrid arrangement.
According to statistics, the US call center market is worth 23.9 billion dollars while saving an average of 43 percent. However, the global market for call centers is expected to hit 496 billion dollars by 2027.
Virtual call centers provide tremendous benefits to enterprises. Facility overheads are typically reduced. This is because agents can operate from anywhere as long as they have call center software. In an uncertain and changing world, it provides flexibility and agility. Commuting distance becomes irrelevant, broadening the pool of candidates.
All of this is very tempting for startups. Furthermore, because physical space and distance are no longer constraints, scaling up a remote call center software as a firm expands becomes substantially more straightforward.
Migrating to virtual call centers brings ease and flexibility. However, it may pose problems with remote agents. But don’t worry! In this article, we are going to discover six proven tips for managing remote agents.
Let’s get started!
6 Proven Tips for Managing Remote Call Center Agents
For successful remote call center software training, you must be well-prepared to use a variety of tactics. It necessitates a combination of the following: eLearning courses, one-on-one video training, virtual classroom sessions, remote training tools, and other resources.
Here are some practical tips for managing your call center’s remote agents.
- Invest in Tools that Support Remote Agents
Remote agents require the proper tools as well as extensive training in their utilization. As a startup grows, new needs may arise, necessitating the development of new digital systems.
Let’s take an example of multiple customer channels. Using more customer channels may require a switch to enterprise contact center software. It also necessitates further training. Furthermore, remote agents must have access to a digital ecosystem of tools and resources. These resources should explicitly assist professional development. This could include:
- Tools for video communication that facilitate conversation and collaboration
- Knowledge management tools hosting agent’s eLearning
- Artificial intelligence systems that assist agents during phone calls
- Tools for shadowing and whispering, help training during calls
- Analytics measure agents’ performance quantitatively and qualitatively
These enable professional development to become an established part of the culture outside the classroom. Moreover, it also complements distinct training sessions.
- Trust in Remote Agents is the Key to Success
Trust is essential for successful remote agents. People will deliver better quality if they feel trusted.
You can’t keep an eye on everything. You can only prepare an agent for some possible scenarios. However, if you can trust your agents to optimize their workflow, learn from their failures, and keep moving forward.
The trick is to develop a robust work-from-home strategy. Moreover, develop a model tailored to your organization’s philosophy and culture. Then you must take a step back and trust your employees to follow your established rules.
You can create trust with your remote agents by doing the following:
- Communicate with your agents regularly so that they feel like part of a team. Allow for group messaging as well as one-on-one communication.
- Motivate and empower your agents to accept responsibility for their work. Encouraging agents to follow protocols is crucial. The best agents can think for themselves and outside the box rather than simply following the process.
- Engage with your agents by hosting regular virtual events, such as virtual drinks. When you work with your agents, you create a community and a culture that provides comfort and safety.
- Request feedback from your agents on their remote training experience. This will make them feel important and keep them interested in the process.
- Utilize KPIs to Assist and Direct Training
You can track the progress by using key performance indicators (KPIs). Expectations will differ depending on the industry. However, they may include the following:
- Rate of first contact resolution
- Time spent on call handling
- Metrics for qualitative monitoring of agent customer service.
You can share these KPIs with employees and link them to individual and team training routes. This will justify, shape, and inspire their growth.
- Schedule One-to-One Video Calls
Training in a virtual environment is challenging if communication is not your priority. And one-on-one video calls play an essential role in this. According to research, 96% of people agree or strongly agree that video conferencing helps remote team members feel more connected.
Various video software allows you to connect with trainers and trainees just like you would in person. You can see the other person and interpret their facial expressions and body language.
Moreover, these tools also make it simple to share resources. You can share your screen to discuss crucial metrics, take notes in chat, and much more. Even better, when training via video, you can record the session so that the call center agent can review it later for clarity or additional guidance.
One-on-one video conferencing removes many hurdles to remote training. This will allow you to communicate with your words, tone of voice, and body language. Moreover, this method makes communication crystal clear and also removes distance restrictions.
- Provide Comprehensive Training
You must have training and development opportunities to instill a broad range of information, skills, and habits. For example:
- Market and context knowledge: Agents must have sector-specific market knowledge and a broad cultural and linguistic understanding if they address many areas. Knowing legal obligations (such as data privacy) is also helpful.
- Product knowledge: To do a product justice in customer engagements, they must understand its benefits and features.
- Internal systems: Agents must be familiar with all the systems involved in their duties. These include call center software, sales quote software, and order processing procedures.
- Soft skills and customer service: In addition to explaining product details and benefits, agents must demonstrate emotional intelligence and empathy, defuse tension, and suggest solutions.
- Team Unity: Creating a collaborative culture in which reaching out to ask for or offer assistance is the norm.
- Find the Best Remote Agents for Your Business
We must address hiring before we can discuss remote agent training. Hiring the appropriate remote agents from the start is critical to your success. You should start by hiring high-potential agents.
The truth is that when you hire remotely, you have access to a considerably larger pool of candidates. You can look for agents with the specific skills and knowledge you require; it makes no difference where they live.
If you shift your thinking towards remote employment, you’ll find that there are so many people to choose from that you’ll be able to cherry-pick the best profiles for your organization.
Managing remote agents can be difficult. However, following these eight virtual call center solution training recommendations can boost engagement, productivity, and overall performance.
Using the appropriate methods in your virtual call center training can significantly impact the success of your remote employees, from people management to technical best practices.