Article : Home Agents - Do They Really Work?
Home Agents. What's the verdict on this hot topic? We wanted to know, so we asked members from around the world to share some tips, experiences and opinions on this growing workforce.
b) Technology should drive the process, with up to date information about productivity, call waiting and skill routing facilities.
c) Professionals, and IT can manage home background noises, and interferences at home.
d) Motivation and agent management should be done daily, weekly and monthly and interaction is key.
e)The optimal approach to scheduling this workforce within and across call centers is complex. So is ensuring that customer service agents receive the right performance feedback delivered in the most effective way to improve their performance."
- Attilio Dalvit, Technology Implementation Manager, Europ Assistance, South Africa
Sponsor message - content continues below this message
Employee Engagement Awards NOW OPEN!
Enter your center,and compete for this prestigious award to attract new staff and show investors and customers you are #1 in your nation!!
Content continues ….
- Marquisha Bridgeman, Manager, Member Communications and Marketing, Pace Professional Association, United States
- Amy Mortenson, President, Call Smarter, United States
- José Francisco Garrido Casas, Purchasing Manager, Spain
- Christopher DeVany, President, Pinnacle Performance Improvement Worldwide, United States
1. Do your homework. Talk to as many companies using At Home agents as you can. Doing so can help you avoid any pitfalls when you launch your own program.
a. Understand the differences and potential impact to the agents, quality and success of the program if you use VoIP versus Telecommuting (using a standard phone line).
b. Think about drafting a special "At Home" work agreement so you can outline your expectations and what they can expect in return, and what qualifications they may need to meet in order to be eligible for the program. Look not only at the professional requirements, but other areas, like ergonomic as well.
c. Will you provide the equipment or expect them to provide their own equipment and what kind of security issues will each situation mean? What type of internet connection will they need to have to support the configuration?
d. How will you conduct ongoing training? What extra steps can you take to keep the corporate culture alive and have the At Home agents still feel part of a team?
2. Understand your business needs. Is it just a call center agent solution, or are there other areas that in the department who can be At Home? Consider your non-critical roles as well.
3. Understand your people. Not every agent is going to be a successful At Home agent.
a. Many times, staff of the Y generation may not want to be at home – they want the daily social interaction they have in a bricks and mortar environment.
b. Other staff may not be as technically inclined and may struggle in a situation where they are not immediately supported by their peers.
c. Consider that it could not only be a recruitment tool, but that it could also be a retention tool for employees who may have to move out of the area or have a lifestyle change.
4. Make friends with your IT department. It is critical that this group be included in the development process as the network will be the backbone for your technology. Understand how big your network architecture is and what it can support. In having launched our own program, each of these steps were ones we took. By taking the time in the beginning to truly understand each and every aspect of the program from start to finish, we are able to successfully support many At Home agents and ensure they are successful from the start."
- Patti McDougall, Quality Control Manager, ADT, Canada
Today's Tip of the Day - Service Level Agreements
Published: Wednesday, June 10, 2009