Providing excellent and first-rate customer service is an endeavor that companies and businesses strive to achieve every day. As a way of providing efficient solutions, there is a shift these days from traditional physical call centers to virtual ones operating remotely.
The shift is attributable to many factors including, the availability of advanced call center software, virtual technologies for managing call centers, the desire by many to work from home these days, and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. As a note, the best practice is to strike a balance between onsite call center solutions and virtual ones used remotely.
To help you improve productivity, build an excellent reputation for your company, and achieve the best results, you’ve got to manage your call center well. And so, in this article, we take an overview of what it takes to manage a call center remotely. Read on and get valuable tips to apply in your company or business.
About Remote Call Centers and Associated Management Challenges
As the name suggests, remote call centers are customer service centers with agents working remotely. Unlike the onsite call centers, remote ones operate in a virtual environment where employees providing support services work from home. While it is a practice that has been there for some time, its popularity grew during the pandemic.
The benefits of running remote call centers include but are not limited to relatively low costs, efficiency, and the freedom to recruit the best talent irrespective of their location. Further, with a virtual call center with remote agents, it is possible and quite easy to provide services on a 24/7 basis. The costs of maintaining onsite hardware and office space are zero.
Operating remote call centers is, however, not without challenges. Arguably, it is a bit difficult to provide ongoing support and training to agents remotely. Also, agents may not be fully accountable in virtual environments. Thankfully, you can manage and overcome all these with proper management.
Tips for Effective Management of Remote Call Centers
By applying the right tips, you can effectively manage your call center. Here are helpful tips that you can consider:
- Hire the Best Agents
Every company or organization would like to have the best employees. However, finding such people can be challenging if you do not use the right strategies to source or find such talent. So, the first step to effectively managing a remote call center is to find the best.
When recruiting or hiring, reflect on your organizational values and vision. State in your job description what your organization seeks to achieve and what employees must have to help realize your vision. Strive to attract the best talent with the necessary skills and core values you want.
From the many interests and applications, narrow down to the best talent with the most relevant profile. Sometimes it might be challenging to find, but for remote call centers, you are free to hire from any part of the world. Remember, the idea here is to get the best talent and manage your call center remotely.
- Use the Right Onboarding and Training Methods
After hiring the best talent for your remote call center, you need to use the best processes and procedures to integrate them into your workspace. Quick orientation processes often lead to problems that, at times, might be hard to fix.
Effective onboarding and training should focus on making a new talent understand what your organization seeks to achieve. So, in your training, find ways of ensuring that the new hire understands the following most important aspects of your organization:
With a well-designed and implemented onboarding strategy, you set the pace right for your agents from the beginning. That way, you set the basis and tone for them to serve your customers and help achieve your organizational goals.
- Motivate and Set Your Agents for Success
A motivated team of remote call center agents will support your success. Find ways to encourage them regularly and ensure that they stay put. Most importantly, provide them with the tools and everything else they need to succeed in their service to your esteemed customers. For a call center, the following tools are very vital:
- Dual monitors
- Strong broadband connection
- Proper security measures
In addition to availing the right tools, provide advice from time to time and ensure that your virtual call center is a dedicated workspace. That helps maintain a high level of performance among your call center agents.
- Promote Self Care and Set Healthy Boundaries To Keep Agents In the Best Shape
We often focus on improving productivity and forget that health is vital for your remote call center agents. While it is good to promote success and ensure customers get the best, do not forget to promote health. So, sensitize employees on setting healthy work boundaries.
To promote self-care among your remote agents, create a remote work policy that outlines what your agents ought to do. In particular, let it highlight the clear expectations and boundaries for them. The aim is to help them strike a healthy work-life balance.
- Use Interactive Tools for Communication
It is pretty easy for agents to get demoralized and detached in a remote call center working environments. To boost their morale you need to keep an open line of communication with them. The point here is to provide extra support and encouragement for them to do their work effectively. Some of the best communication tools and platforms you can use to do so include:
- Microsoft Teams
Using these communication tools and platforms, you can quickly check-in, collaborate, and bring your agents together to promote teamwork. Make it part of your plan to promote comfort and safety while working. Communicate openly in these areas, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of having a highly motivated team.
Undoubtedly, remote call centers are increasingly becoming the norm in many organizations. With the increasing use of internet solutions and the desire to promote flexible working environments, having a remote call center is inevitable. It is, however, not enough to set up one. Proper management and running are very vital.
This article has provided an overview of what it takes to manage a call center. You get the best if you apply the right strategies and work with the best agents. Most importantly, your customers will get the best services. All the best!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Remote Call Centers Expensive To Manage?
No, costs are saved in many ways. No fees associated with running onsite hardware and regular maintenance. It’s thus cheaper.
What’s Remote Monitoring in Relation to Call Centers?
It is a way of ensuring agents and members are responsible and committed to top performance. Also,it is about making sure that every agent/member’s work is visible in the setting.
What Are the Most Common Challenges of Remote Call Centers?
Communication challenges, feeling unmotivated, and difficulty in delivering training. Virtual environments can also hurt employee accountability.
What Tools Can Help Improve Management of Call Centers Remotely?
Video tools, productivity tracking tools, e-learning content, and quality assurance tools are necessary for the successful running of call centers remotely. You need most of these.