Being in the call center industry poses several challenges to a person, let alone managing a call center and a lot of remote call center staff. Similarly, striving to maintain the call center’s stability amidst various challenges and uncertainties caused by the worldwide pandemic can be a daunting task to accomplish, especially in the remote working setup. Aside from that, call centers have many difficult challenges to deal with when it comes to working remotely.
Remote call center operations have been flourishing even before today’s current situation. However, the urgent need for such a remote working setup has been amplified by the alarming menace of the COVID-19 pandemic and the intensified necessity of observing social distance to restrain the spread of the virus. While this particular working setup may initially seem advantageous because of better work/life balance, reduce commuting, and infrastructural cost-saving, working remotely in a call center industry may still pose several challenges, not to mention having a lot of staff under your supervision.
As a call center team leader or an employer, performance monitoring is crucial to quality control in the call center. More so, handling remote call center agents effectively isn’t an easy feat to accomplish today. As a leader, you’ll learn the need for effective software tools, a high degree of trust, and strategic planning to effectively manage remote call center staff. Also, you can learn more from various online service providers and call center analytics to have more ideas about it.
The Challenge of Managing Remote Call Center Staff
If you’re a call center manager working remotely and have a lot of call center agents under your supervision, you may find guiding them and monitoring their work performances a daunting task to accomplish, especially due to various factors that may affect your responsibility to them. Aside from the fact that you can’t monitor their performance personally, several factors can also disrupt the smooth flow of communication with them and reduce your work of motivating and supervising them to be somewhat a difficult job.
In particular, supervising a team of remote call center staff can be a daunting task to accomplish, especially with today’s current situation. This job isn’t as simple as just hopping on a call to listen in or walking up to someone’s desk and can be a struggle for call center managers. To effectively pull this off, you have to go further to train, influence, inspire, and engage the call center team and to build trust in the virtual environment. Aside from that, you also have to know how to behave as an efficient virtual team leader and implement structural elements to impact performance positively.
To help you more, below are four essential ways to effectively manage remote call center agents to help you boost productivity, enhance the brand’s reputation, and secure more favorable results.
1. Provide Tools for Team Collaboration
Providing tools for team collaboration is crucial for any remote working team, especially for remote call center staff. These collaboration tools offer many benefits, which young and amateur agents can utilize for their benefit. Primarily, these tools allow workers to receive much-needed assistance from their senior workmates through communicating with them using the features of team collaboration tools.
Aside from that, this also cultivates stronger team dynamics and nurtures profound connections among agents who never even met in person. Also, providing collaboration tools for your remote call center staff paves way for more collaboration spaces and helps build harmony among them.
Additionally, team collaboration tools consist of scheduling, chat features, and supervising functions that enable workers to monitor the things that are keeping their workmates busy at the moment. Through these tools, they’ll feel like working with an actual team and make them feel a part of a substantive group, rather than working on their own in an isolated closed place.
2. Use Appropriate Software to Boost Productivity
The use of Quality Assurance (QA) software is crucial in managing and supervising call center agents who’re working in a remote work setup. For starters, QA software is an application that mainly helps in carrying out software quality assurance regarding agents’ performances. This software is also responsible for ensuring software quality. To name a few, this may include source code quality, functional testing, and performance testing.
What’s good about QA software is that it allows you to oversee your team’s work and performance to identify areas for improvements regarding their capabilities and capacity. Rather than focusing on customer complaints or agents’ mistakes, this software allows you to take an enthusiastic and more positive approach to advance workers’ performance.
Additionally, with the use of integrated messaging, you can now provide real-time constructive feedback to your agents, allow them to discuss plans on how they’re going to improve each other’s performance, and motivate remote call center agents to meet work demands properly. Also, in finding areas that are praiseworthy or that need improvement, you can keep close monitoring of customer experience metrics to better assist in analyzing interactions.
3. Cultivate A Company Culture
One of the most common elements each business shares with each other is the company culture. This primarily boosts agents’ engagement toward their work, inculcates a sense of growth mindset among them, and intensifies each other’s drive to succeed in their respective fields. However, it’s relatively harder for remote call center agents to feel a connection with their company, especially while in a remote working setup. To instill a culture of company autonomy among agents and advance their engagement to the business, some of its core values include:
- How the agents are supposed to present themselves following the company’s standards?
- How would the customers feel about an agent’s work performance?
- What are the company’s core values?
Instilling a company culture among your staff may also help them understand their role in the company and their contribution to making it flourish. Other ways to inculcate company culture include positive reinforcements and a reward system to motivate them more.
To properly manage remote call center staff, it’s best to embed into their minds a growth mindset. Through this, remote workers will focus more on the development and improvement of the quality of their work and performance rather than focusing on their shortcomings.
4. Work On Constructive Feedback
One of the key ingredients to effectively manage a team of remote call center agents includes working on customer experience metrics. Your remote staff can gain invaluable information about their performance through the collection of feedback. This process is usually done after catering customer feedback through surveys or polls regarding their interaction with remote call center agents.
Obtaining customer feedback is important in formulating strategies to effectively cater to their needs. Also, this will help you understand the difference between customers’ views about your services, as well as determine if work spiels coming from workers are already inappropriate and derogatory. Collating customer experience metrics and utilizing them to enhance the quality of performance is crucial in improving your remote call center agents’ performance.
Working remotely in a call center industry is never easy, not to mention managing a lot of people who are relying on your expertise. As a call center team leader or manager, you have to make sure that they’re getting adequate knowledge on how to improve the quality of their performances.
Opportunely, there are various options, which you can choose from to effectively manage them and these may include: providing team collaboration tools, using appropriate software to boost productivity, inculcating a company culture, and working on constructive feedback to help them improve themselves more. Also, it’s important to know that making your remote call center staff feel at ease with your presence can significantly help you manage them effectively.