What do agents need to work from home?
The lure of the remote contact centre workforce has been evident for some time now. Even before the global pandemic of 2020, around 61% of contact centres said that they were planning on moving to the cloud. Now around 82% of business leaders are planning to allow their employees to work at least some of the time remotely.
A remote and flexible workforce delivers a lot of benefits to the modern business leader. First, your overheads are reduced, with less demand to pay for power for huge groups of agents answering phones. Additionally, you have the freedom to hire the talent you need anywhere in the world, increasing and decreasing the number of agents you have at will.
However, to run an effective remote workforce, companies do need to ensure that their employees can access the right tools. Here are some of the tech investments you’ll need to address as you digitally transform.
1. The Hardware
It’s easy to immediately focus on software requirements when you’re empowering a cloud contact centre. However, you’ll need to get the hardware right first. Each employee in your team needs a solid internet connection that’s secure and reliable. Using browser-based and cloud-based contact centre software ensures that they don’t need a specialist telephone line.
Check that your employees have the computers they need to access all the tools they’ll be using on a regular basis, along with a good microphone (or deskphone), a high-quality headset, and even a video camera if you’re planning on offering video support.
2. Contact Centre Software
Probably the most obvious must-have for the cloud contact centre. Your company needs access to an immersive cloud-based solution that allows them to access the same tools they would otherwise have in the office. All you need to make a call with the right software is an internet connection, computer (or smartphone) and a headset.
The right contact centre software needs to be easy to provision, scalable, and flexible. Look for a CCaaS service that your employees can easily use and ensure that your provider can give you access to new features as and when you choose. An innovative contact centre provider will allow you to use everything from AI assistants to sentiment analysis, smart routing and more.
3. Collaboration Tools
The market for collaboration applications has accelerated at an incredible pace in the age of remote and at-home working. It’s set to reach a value of around $35.71 billion by 2027, and demand continues to grow. Collaboration tools that allow employees to work together on team projects, share files, and interact through online meetings will help to keep your employees engaged at work.
More importantly, having the right collaboration tools on hand means that your staff members can easily reach out to other members of staff and get the support they need to tackle complicated customer queries.
4. CRM Software
Just as the workplace experience is evolving for many business team members, the customer journey is changing too. Businesses need an easy way to keep track of every touchpoint that the client moves from on their journey to a purchase and beyond. A comprehensive Customer Relationship Management tool will help with this.
Your CRM solution should integrate seamlessly with your contact centre software so that your employees can easily access valuable information about a client’s preferences, previous experiences, and purchases during any conversation.
5. Workforce Management Tools
Workforce management tools allow business supervisors and managers to keep track of the employees that are working remotely and help them achieve their best outcomes. With the right tool, employers can assign specific tasks and clients to the employees with the skills required to deliver amazing results.
Business leaders can easily evaluate which of their employees are the most successful, and which might need extra training. It’s also possible to engage in some basic gamification strategies to encourage positive competition between staff members. Wallboards that showcase employee metrics can boost engagement for team members – even when they’re at home.
6. Call Monitoring and Recording Tools
Even in the age of remote work, it’s important that you can keep track of your calling quality and other important details. Call centre monitoring tools allow business leaders to keep track of what’s going on in every conversation. You’ll be able to see whether there’s a problem with audio quality in a certain part of the world, or whether lines are congested.
Call monitoring tools also allow supervisors to provide whisper coaching, drop in on live calls, and remotely train employees when necessary. Monitoring tools also help to boost security in your virtual call centre. Elsewhere, call recording solutions can ensure that businesses remain compliant with their industry requirements in a remote working space. Recordings can also provide better training opportunities for teams.
7. Analytics and Feedback Tools
Comprehensive analytics systems will allow you to keep an eye on important metrics in your contact centre. You should be able to instantly see which of your team members are delivering the best outcomes, and what kind of channels your customers are using the most. Analytics can help you to examine everything from average hold time to the average number of transfers, so you can make informed decisions about your company in the future.
At the same time, don’t forget to pay attention to the feedback that you get from employees and customers. Your clients will be able to give you great insights into where you can improve customer service, while staff members can highlight the tools they need to perform better.
Today’s call centre agents don’t need to be tied down to a specific desk in a building to be productive. The modern agent can be anywhere, thanks to the versatility of cloud technology. However, it’s important to ensure that you have the right tech tools available.
Solutions that allow your team members to remain productive, secure, and informed in any environment are a must-have in the work from home space.