Like it or not, the remote contact center revolution is in full swing on both sides of the Atlantic. The pandemic tore up the old rules of working and now flexible, hybrid models are here to stay. But are you ready to manage a distributed team?
Out of sight, can you guarantee your agents still deliver 5-star service? Are their metrics up to par? Are they feeling connected, engaged, and supported?
These are questions being asked in contact centers worldwide. Despite the many headlines about “back to office” mandates, our white papers reveal the scale of remote working growth.
A brave new world
In the UK, 57% of contact centers had no home working in 2019. This dropped to 0% during the pandemic (you read that right). Now, 67% have over half of agents working remotely at least part-time.
A similar story is playing out across the pond, with only 37% of agents based fully at contact center locations within large organizations in the US, and an average of 22% across the board.
This remote revolution brings new possibilities. It’s easier to hire without geographical restraints, and you can cover core hours with ease when your teams work across time zones. But a big question still persists:
How can managers adapt to leading teams that blend office and home workers? The answer lies in three key areas:
With fewer water cooler chats and quick desk conversations, you’ll need to be proactive about communication. Schedule regular video calls to check in with individuals and bring the wider team together. Take time to ask about their experience and flag any concerns early. Share successes and funny customer anecdotes to maintain morale. Small efforts to bond your hybrid team can pay big dividends.
Coaching from a distance demands new tactics. Use call monitoring technology to identify training needs and email focused feedback. Schedule video coaching sessions to roleplay challenging scenarios. Maintain an online library of training resources agents can access anytime. You want all agents to feel supported, not just those in the office.
When agents work remotely, how do you assure and improve quality? The answer is analyzing 100% of customer interactions. Speech analytics and interaction analytics surface insights to enhance performance. Are agents following best practices for first -contact resolution? How can you boost satisfaction scores? With an eagle eye on every call and digital exchange, you can coach agents to new heights.
The revolution will be data-driven
The remote agent revolution brings huge potential to build your best ever team. But it also requires adjusting old management habits. Follow the three strategies above to lead a successful, blended contact center where flexibility and excellence go hand in hand.
By analyzing 100% of your agent’s customer interactions, you gain visibility. You uncover coaching opportunities to sharpen their skills further. You deliver personalized feedback remotely to keep them motivated. And by tracking interactions across your distributed team, you pinpoint process bottlenecks frustrating customers. You surface insights to improve first -contact resolution, the key driver of satisfaction. And finally, importantly, you foster an inclusive culture virtually.
In short, you evolve using data-driven management strategies essential for contact center prosperity in the remote era.
Want more expert insights on the future of contact centers? Download the free white paper, ‘Voice: its place in a multichannel world’ from evaluagent and ContactBabel.