With time, businesses are leaning more towards working remotely. A lot of companies, including tech bigwigs like IBM now allow their workforce to work from home in certain conditions. The same model is being embraced by the call centre agencies too. Remote call-centre models have become more commonplace than it was even a few years back. The availability of cloud call centre applications and enhancements in high-speed wireless internet access has fueled this trend to an extent.
Advantages of using remote call centre setup
There are some obvious advantages of using remote call centre service setups. These are:
- Greater flexibility in scheduling.
- It is less taxing on the workforce and so they remain in better spirits.
- It is possible to hire skilled employees, regardless of where they live.
- Remote setups enable the call centre management to cut down on infrastructure costs in a big way. The same advantage is there for the maintenance of the hardware setup.
The problems faced in managing a remote call centre
While there are advantages of using a remote call centre model, it is not perfect. There are a few drawbacks of deploying such setup. The management may have to cope with woes like supervising issues and keeping the remote workforce motivated. The employees working remotely may not feel the same vibe as an in-house setup-based team member can feel while working. Security can also be a concern for the management since most employees will use their home internet network which will not be as secure as a VPN or enterprise-level network.
Ways to ensure workforce in remote call centres perform optimally
Running a remote call centre setup is not easy, the management can adopt certain strategies to ensure workflow is smooth.
1) Using software /digital surveillance
While the managers or team leaders cannot track punctuality of remote call centre employees, there are workarounds. It is possible to use call centre applications with inbuilt logging and tracking features. The management can also tweak the software settings to track the punctuality and activity of the employees. A log in time can be set and the employees have to log in using the software at that time and that cannot be bypassed, for example. The same thing can be set for logging off as well. These applications can also be used to check the call log and daily online activities of such remote employees.
A lot of call centre solutions come with an integrated call centre dashboard. Using such software dashboard UI, the call centre managers can keep a tab on all activities. No matter where the remote employees are located, the management can watch each of them and their online activities courtesy the dashboard UI. They get metrics on calls in progress, calls on hold, average call time, individual call timing and more. So, if they spot any anomaly with any remote employee, they can take immediate action.
2) Real-time chat
Nowadays, the call centre applications support myriads of online applications including live chat software apps. The management can make use of such chats to contact the employees working remotely anytime and track work progress. The same chat software can also be utilized by the employees working remotely to stay connected with one another and share resources.
3) Call management
The latest call centre management software solutions have extensive features for call management. These features can be used by the management to ensure work quality remains on the desired level. Using call conferences is possible and the managers can also tap on calls handled by individual employees.
When the call monitoring is in place and employees are aware of that, they will focus on each call with attentiveness. The managers can listen to each call without letting the caller and employees feel anything. Calls can also be recorded and using the call recorder logs the employees can be notified of their errors.
4) Customer feedback
If the provisions for customer feedback are there, the remote call centre employees will be mindful to maintain a performance quality all times. The management can take note of feedback after each call and at the end of the day, the employees will be notified of overall call rating and performance score. This will help the employees give their best and they will not try to waste productive time.
5) Interaction with employees
There is no denying remote call centre employees feel aloof even when they work compared to in house call centre employees. While digital surveillance and app-based interactions are fine, the management can walk an extra mile. To make the employees feel good and stay motivated, the management should interact with them regularly, take stock of problems faced by them and suggest ways to improve performance.