The number of remote workers has skyrocketed over the last few months as the COVID-19 pandemic forces companies to adapt. Some industries report that 58% of employees currently work remotely.
Remote work offers some benefits. You may discover that your call center saves money by moving agents off-site. Depending on your future plans, you might even find that you can lower the costs of real estate, utilities, and other necessities.
You will also encounter barriers and disruptions that make success harder to find. The challenges that managers face differ from industry to industry. In this article, you will learn about the difficulties of managing remote call center agents, and some ways that you can overcome those challenges.
Finding Software That Helps Remote Call Center Agents Succeed
Employees have access to the software tools that they need when working from your call center. You need to make sure that they have the same tools while working from remote locations. Without the right tools, your remote call center agents will not have the information to work efficiently.
Some of the tools your remote employees deserve include:
- A good CRM
- Call monitoring
- Whisper coaching
- IVR (interactive voice response)
Imagine your employees trying to function without these tools. Forcing them to do more work manually means that productivity will fall. Losing whisper coaching means that they won’t get the feedback that they need to close difficult deals. If they can’t see their metrics, then they don’t know whether they’re keeping up with expectations.
Call Tools Predictive has most of the software tools that your employees need to succeed while working remotely.
Training Remote Call Center Agents Despite the Distance
When training on-site employees, managers can walk the floor and listen to call center agents talk. Managers can also listen silently to calls without letting the employee or customer know.
You can’t walk the floor when you have remote workers, but you can still listen and provide feedback. Adopt software that lets you take advantage of call barging and whisper coaching. You can still help your remote call center agents succeed even when you’re miles away from each other.
Monitoring Employees Who Work Remotely
Remote work usually adds some flexibility to employee schedules. Unfortunately, your remote call center agents have a lot to deal with at home. Spouses, roommates, pets, and children can create constant distractions.
Many remote employees find that they can follow their schedules more easily when they know managers have ways to track their schedules from a distance. Live call monitoring and call recording can make it possible to monitor remote employees. Managers will gain a deeper understanding of how employees perform while working remotely, and employees will find it easier to stay motivated when they know managers could listen at any time.
Additionally, it can help by starting incentive programs that reward remote workers for doing their jobs well. Even small rewards help keep morale high for remote employees.
Maintaining a Positive Work Culture That Rewards Good Performance
A positive workplace culture encourages employees to do their best and exceed expectations. When workers feel appreciated, they’re more motivated to get their jobs done.
The most successful call centers often spend a lot of time and resources building positive work cultures that reward good performance. As your employees move to off-site locations, though, it becomes harder to maintain a cohesive culture that makes workers feel appreciated and consistently rewards them for doing well.
Your remote workers may also feel out of the loop. Since they don’t see managers and coworkers, they may suspect that they’re losing relationships and not getting the information they need to excel.
Managers can do a few things to maintain positive work cultures while staff members work remotely. Try holding regular training sessions that help employees adapt to the new tools, give people opportunities to discuss their frustrations, and get answers to problems that they encounter.
You should also hold regular meetings with your employees. Even if you can’t meet in person, you can have face-to-face meetings through services like Zoom and Google Meet. A few minutes of face time gives you an opportunity to coach employees. It will also give remote workers more chances to ask questions and get the answers they need to feel confident while doing their jobs.
Keeping Customer Satisfaction High With Remote Call Center Agents
You cannot let customer satisfaction slip while your employees work remotely. Plenty of your customers already feel stressed by the pandemic’s effects on their lives. They don’t want to deal with problems getting their questions answered.
Monitoring remote employees gives you an excellent way to keep customer satisfaction high. When you notice a call center agent going off script or offering incorrect information, you can step in after the call to provide coaching.
You can also use your regular team meetings and coaching sessions to address common problems among your remote workers. If you can get everyone on the same page with one call, then take that route. After all, you also have to adapt to the new normal, so it’s important to manage your personal stress.
Help With Managing Remote Call Center Agents
Call Tools can help you overcome the challenges of managing remote call center agents. A Predictive membership with Call Tools gives you access to a predictive dialer, power dialer, click-to-call tool, CRM, IVF, and much more. The sooner you identify and solve your remote worker problems, the sooner you can put your call center back on the track to success.