Many businesses are now operating remote or semi-remote (hybrid) working models. With that in mind, here are five top tips for running a remote contact centre.
1. Have your morning meeting everyday
When you’re not all working in the same building, regular scheduled communication with your team becomes even more important. Luckily, tools like Zoom or Teams allow everyone to get together and talk at least once a day.
Morning meetings give you a chance to update your team on any changes to the campaign or market that may affect their day, find out about any issues they have, and deliver feedback on performance. It’s an essential way to keep your team motivated and performing at their best, wherever they’re located.
2. Trust your reports and dashboards
A remote contact centre team makes it more difficult to gauge how well (or badly) things are going at any time. In these circumstances, reports and dashboards are even more indispensable. Build specific dashboards to monitor agent, team and campaign performance, as well as one to give you an overview of everything. Most importantly, trust what they say.
Then, act on what they’re telling you. Somebody’s figures don’t look right? Dip test a few of their call recordings or do some live coaching. Sales figures looking down across the board? Get in touch with some of your team and find out why they’re struggling.
You also need to make sure your agents have access to relevant data. Wherever they’re working, set up report schedules to automatically send hourly and daily figures via email. Build team specific dashboards so they can see in real time the metrics that define their own performance. Leaderboards are a great way to keep healthy competition going, too.
3. Monitor regularly, and pass direct feedback over
It’s very easy to start feeling anonymous when working in a remote contact centre, and that’s when bad habits can set in. The ability to remotely monitor and coach your agents is crucial, because it gives them a sense of being properly and proactively managed.
Functionality such as whisper coaching also allows you to pass feedback directly to the agent and can even help you train staff in real time regardless of their location.
4. Make sure your IT is up to scratch!
There are steps you can take to ensure you don’t face any technical issues when your workforce is working fully or partly from home.
- • Make sure your team has working laptops/PCs, and operating systems and software are up to date.
- • If you need to use a VPN to access certain applications, DON’T go for the cheapest option. Do your research and get a proper solution as this may need to be used for all of your voice traffic.
- • Ensure your IT team can access agents’ PCs remotely to troubleshoot any issues.
- • If you use OneDrive or similar, make sure your agents have permission to see what they need and are trained on how to use it.
- • If you don’t have any internal IT now is the time to bring in an ITMS partner. There are loads out there to choose from.
- • It may also be time to upgrade your systems, as you rely a lot more on technology in a hybrid world. If you’re using an Open-source Dialler or Contact Centre you should definitely look at upgrading to something more resilient and feature rich.
5. Make sure your policies are nailed down – and adhered to
Now is the time to dust off policies on remote working and data security, and make sure they’re suitable for your current circumstances. Get everyone to read them again. The really crucial ones are:
- • Working from home – what do you expect of your staff when working from home?
- • Information security – how do your policies protect your customers’ data? Think about issues like working from unsecured WiFi networks and making sure devices are locked.
- • Acceptable use – you may well be issuing your staff with company laptops or PCs, so what do your policies say about what they can and can’t do with these devices?
- • Password policy – are your staff regularly changing passwords in line with your password policy? This has never been more important with many systems now open to the public internet.
- • Phishing policy – make sure your employees know how to check if a communication is genuine, and what to do if they have doubts.
MaxContact is a super-secure cloud-based contact centre solution which makes working from anywhere easy. Our powerful analytics and reporting platform lets managers stay on top of team and individual performance, whether agents are in the office or at home. For more information on MaxContact, please contact our team.