The shift of moving employees, based at corporate headquarters, to working in branch offices and remote locations has been nothing short of a monumental change. Companies have become supportive of work-from-home initiatives as part of an effort to help employees achieve work-life balance, reduce real estate costs and become more environmentally conscious.
That same support is now being extended to the very people who are on the front line, delivering outstanding service to customers. Using a distributed contact center can be a real opportunity to improve customer service as well as deliver bottom-line efficiencies. However, many companies — both large and small — have yet to make the leap because of concerns about managing remote workers.
Open the Doors to Talent
A distributed contact center allows businesses to hire the best agents, no matter their location. A distributed contact center opens the door to new pools of talent, whether they are retirees, college students, stay-at-home moms, or other professionals who prefer at-home or flexible hours.
For businesses that have come of age in this era of global connectivity, a virtual contact center is a natural extension of how they already function — hire the best and brightest wherever you find them. Technology has changed the game, and a generational shift is under way that is adept at working remotely.
Here are four best practices to follow when considering shifting to a distributed contact center:
1. Proactively address management challenges. Having contact center agents work from home can complicate supervision. To ensure oversight of the employees, your contact center solution will provide real-time information about the status of agents, which enables contact center supervisors to proactively manage agent productivity.
2. Create training that clearly spells out business processes. Contact center agents are expected to be knowledgeable about a company’s products or services. Keep personnel on the same page from a training perspective by making sure everyone has a solid understanding of your business processes, including policies and procedures for working from home.
3. Leverage real-time visibility to simplify management issues. Real-time analytics go a long way in building the confidence and trust that reflect remote workers’ productivity. Having visibility into agents’ work can give managers assurance that agents are focused. Analytics enable you to balance the workload.
4. Understand the impact on operations as well as human resources and IT Many contact center managers focus on the HR and IT aspects of moving to a distributed call center, but overlook the impact on operations. The companies who approach distributed contact centers as an organization will be more successful.
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