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Article : Five Ways to Connect With Employees in the World of Remote and Hybrid Work

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio

Blend new technologies with tried and tested favourites to refresh your contact centre. Magnus Geverts shares his top spring-cleaning tips for supporting home-working agents.

Until recently, the majority of UK contact centres worked in a traditional, centralised model, with fewer than 4% of agents working remotely at home on a permanent basis, according to a report from analyst ContactBabel. That all changed when the realities of serving customers at the height of the pandemic forced many businesses to embed flexible working practices into their business continuity plans as a matter of survival. Today, 65% of agents work remotely, either part or full-time, while a hybrid model is on the rise and more popular in the UK than in the US (33% vs 22%).


The pros and cons of remote and hybrid work

While agents have embraced flexible working with open arms because of the greater control it gives over their schedules and reduced commute times, it also yields significant business benefits in terms of recruitment and retention. For an industry often plagued by staff shortages, remote working instantly deepens the talent pool by opening the door to more people. Those who might not otherwise look for employment in a typical contact centre may be happy work in their own home responding to customer enquiries.

On the flip side, contact centre leaders generally find it more difficult to on-board, train and coach agents when they are based remotely. Likewise, home-working agents can quickly become isolated and disengaged from each other and their employer. Concerns over security and fraud, cited by 1 in 3 contact centres to be the greatest hurdle also inhibit adoption of remote working - especially in the financial services sector.

Five ways to connect with home-working teams

To maximise the positives and reduce some of the negatives associated with remote and hybrid work, it’s time to look at key contact centre technologies through fresh eyes:

  1. It’s all about the individual - so make team communication count – focus first on your leadership style. Be accessible at all times and show staff you care and value their contribution by checking in regularly and giving them the autonomy to do their job without micro-management. Next, make the most of instant messaging and collaborative tools like MS Teams, Zoom and WebEx for instant (WFH) bonding. Real-time message boards on an agent’s desktop, short video clips from senior executives and online Town Hall meetings are all great ways to create a sense of belonging while keeping frontline staff updated.

  2. Be WFH savvy with cloud – the majority of contact centres (66%) have already implemented cloud-based call routing functionality, while speech and CRM/desktop analytics are next on the list. Cloud is integral to remote and hybrid working. However, it is important to involve IT in assessing every home-working agent’s personal devices, broadband speeds and security software to guarantee WFH-readiness.

  3. Think digital-first, think WFM – the pandemic has taught us that automating scheduling and forecasting is a powerful way to improve the efficiency, productivity and cost-effectiveness of the contact centre. Make workforce management a core component of your digital-first strategy but encourage good housekeeping. Make sure that agents’ contact information is up-to-date and available to management, on and offline, and put in place easy-to-follow log on and off procedures for agents and their supervisors to ensure agent adherence and agreed response times.

  4. Focus on the Voice of the Employee (VoE) – understanding how agents truly feel about their work helps identify and address the causes of boredom, burnout or areas of underperformance. Launch a VoE programme alongside your regular Voice of the Customer (VoC) programme to optimise customer experience (CX) by improving employee engagement. Involve staff in both programmes by encouraging them to add customer feedback into VoC initiatives. This will make them feel an important part of the business as well improve CX. Remember that successfully using VoE insights is a long-term, ongoing project rather than simply being a snapshot of a moment in time. It’s also important to gain buy-in from the top by sharing goals and insights with senior management and linking any results to improvements in business performance.

  5. Make people feel loved, introduce self-service automation – using the latest innovations in self-service, agents can help build their own schedules and improve their work/life balance. Finally, apply modern AI-infused analytics for performance coaching to reveal skills gaps and give agents the flexible, personalised training they deserve for meaningful career progression, wherever they are located.

#contactcenterworld, @Calabrio


About Magnus Geverts:
Magnus Geverts is VP, Product Marketing and Management at Calabrio, formerly Chief Business Development Officer at Teleopti ahead of the Calabrio acquisition. He has more than two decades of experience in the Workforce Management and customer service space, working in a mix of roles, in RnD, consultancy and business development.

About Calabrio:
Company LogoCalabrio, a customer experience intelligence company, enriches human interactions with its analytics-driven workforce engagement management (WEM) suite. In 2019, Calabrio acquired Workforce Management (WFM) vendor Teleopti combining the best of both Teleopti WFM and Calabrio WFM into a single WFM solution fully integrated within the Calabrio ONE suite. The new Calabrio ONE empowers agents and management alike with a smarter approach. Through AI-driven analytics, Calabrio uncovers important customer behaviour, sentiment and reveals vital insights from contact centres worldwide.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Factors When Considering IP

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, July 22, 2022

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2022 Buyers Guide SaaS Solutions

 
1.) 
CrankWheel

CrankWheel Screen Sharing
CrankWheel is an easy and simple screen sharing solution, made for the needs of salespeople and customer service agents.

CrankWheel complements voice calls by adding visuals to ongoing calls. There is no need to get the customer off the phone, onto another platform.

Agents share their screens by directing clients to a link that can be sent via SMS, email or simply spelled out.

The client can enter on any device, mobile, desktop or tablet and enters the session instantly. There is no registration or download required by the client.

Features:
- Screen sharing
- Agents can hand control over to the client
- Warm lead capture widget that alerts the sales team instantly of an intere...
(read more)

2.) 
enthu.ai

We help you automate your QA program using artificial intelligence. Why just listen to 6 calls when you can listen to 100% of your calls that too without adding any additional resources.

We empower QAs to get to the right calls, find coaching and training opportunities and improve overall Customer experience.
 

About us - in 60 seconds!

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