With the majority of our client base now working at least partly remotely and all of our new business inquiries coming from companies looking to do the same I have put together my 5 top tips for people wanting to run a contact centre remotely.
1. Have your morning meeting everyday
Whilst you aren’t all going to be working in same room or building anymore, communication with your team has never been more important. Luckily, there are tools such as Zoom or Teams Meetings which allow you and your team to get together and talk about what is important and we recommend planning these sessions in at least once a day.
Morning meetings give you a chance to update your team on any changes to the campaign or market, find out about any issues they have been facing and deliver feedback on performance to keep your agents motivated and performing at their best.
2. Trust your reports and dashboards
OK so this is something you should be doing anyway, but without being sat in the middle of your team it’s going to be a lot more difficult to gauge how well (or badly) things are going with your campaign at any time. Your reports and dashboards are going to be indispensable to you so make sure you and your team have access to whatever they need. Build specific dashboards to monitor agent, team and campaign performance as well as one to give you an overview of everything and most importantly TRUST WHAT THEY SAY.
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 it touch with some of your agents and find out why they’re struggling.
You also need to make sure your agents have access to the relevant data too. Set up report schedules to automatically send hourly and daily figures to your agents via email and 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 up.
3. Monitor regularly, and pass direct feedback over
When working remotely it’s very easy to start thinking that nobody cares what you’re doing and bad habits can quickly sit in. Having the ability to remotely monitor and coach your agents is imperative as it keeps up the feeling of being properly managed and motivated agents into working to the best of their ability as they know any call could potentially be being monitored.
Having functionality such as whisper coaching allows you to pass feedback directly to the agents on positive and negatives from calls and can even help you train staff in real time without having to be sat with them.
4. Make sure your agents IT is up to scratch!
Your IT team are going to become invaluable to you over the next few months as they are going to have to support not just one site, but every one of your agents homes. Aside from making sure your IT team have everything they need and more there are a few steps you can take to ensure you don’t face any technical issues whilst everyone is working from home.
- Make sure your agents have working laptops/PC’s and all Windows updates 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 PC’s remotely to troubleshoot any issues they have had
- If you use OneDrive or similar, make sure your agents have permissions 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 and every single one of them has spent the past few weeks gearing up to help businesses go remote
- It’s probably also the time to upgrade your systems too, as you’ll be relying a whole lot more on them over the next few months. If you’re using an Open-source Dialler or Contact Centre you should definitely look at upgrading to something more resilient and feature packed.
5. Make sure your policies are nailed down and being adhered to
Remember when you wrote all of those policies for your business for things like Working from Home and Data Security? Now is the time to dust them out, make sure they’re suitable for the current situation and get everyone to have another read of them. 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? Thing about things such as working from unsecured WiFi networks and making sure devices are locked
- Acceptable use – You may well be issuing your staff with company laptops or PC’s, what do your policies say about what they can and cannot 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 being open to the public internet
- Phishing Policy – This is something which could become very important as hackers will inevitably try to exploit the current situation to their benefit. Make sure your employees know how to check if communication in genuine and that they know if in doubt to ask!