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Maximizing the Benefits of At-home Agents

Most experts agree the future of work in a post-pandemic landscape will be defined by “hybrid” schedules. While not every professional will necessarily be able to work consistently from home, remote operations and flexible schedules are likely to continue.  

Specifically, many contact centers now leverage the benefits of remote employees to help keep costs low while improving employee engagement. Work-from-home agents provide several benefits to an organization, such as improved business continuity and lower overheads. That said, businesses benefit from learning how to leverage their team correctly. 

Here are some of the ways you can maximize the benefits of your at-home employees. 

  • Hire the Right Agents from Day One 

The first step in making the most of your at-home agents is knowing who to hire. Some employees will be better suited to remote work than others so keep this in mind if you’re bringing new team members on board. Try to find out if these professionals have experience working from home and question how comfortable they are with autonomous work. 

The good news is work from home strategies should allow you to access a broader range of talented professionals from all over the globe. Depending on your needs, you may decide to hire contact center professionals worldwide, resulting in better coverage for around-the-clock service. 

  • Optimize Schedules as You Go

 With a flexible at-home workforce, you should be able to handle fluctuating periods of high and low call volume. Part-time team members can be utilized during periods of peak demand to help you address an increased need for various forms of customer service.  

Of course, the best way to prepare for any change in demand, is to pay attention to your contact center metrics. Collecting information about how your customer requirements change over time versus what your contact center can provide should help you plan more effectively for seasonal changes. The more information you collect, the more you’ll be able to predict and respond to any challenges your team might encounter. 

  • Empower and Motivate Your Agents 

Remote workers can be just as productive and efficient as their in-house counterparts (if not more so). However, when employees are disconnected from the rest of the team for long periods, they’re more likely to disengage. A great way to make the most of your remote agents and maximize their performance is to find ways to keep them motivated.  

An agent wallboard or dashboard provides your employees with valuable insights into their performance to see where their workflow needs improvement and which KPIs need their attention. You can even use dashboards for gamification, setting up competitions that prompt your employees to work harder at reaching benchmarks. 

  • Develop Stronger Managers 

A highly trained supervisor or manager can be the key to reducing agent attrition and turnover in the contact center environment. The happier your employees are with the guidance they get from business leaders, the more likely they are to remain focused and dedicated to the job.  

To help your supervisors and managers, give them access to all the information they need to effectively run their teams. Start by providing access to dashboards, wallboards, and contact center analytics to track important KPIs.  

You might also consider looking into additional solutions to help your managers support your workforce. Call center whisper functionality and regular training sessions can be extremely beneficial. 

  • Equip Teams with the Right Tools 

To make the most of a remote or at-home team in today’s digital world, business leaders need to ensure they’re thinking beyond the basics of essential software and applications. While it’s important for your agents to have access to things like cloud-based contact centers and wallboards, they’ll also need the proper hardware to make them more effective in their roles.  

Paying for higher-quality routers to improve internet connectivity and speed for your at-home employees or investing in their call quality with a good headset and microphone could drive better customer service. At the same time, when employees have access to the right tools to do their best work, they’re more likely to feel motivated and empowered in their role. 

Make the Most of Your At-Home Agents 

At-home agents can be part of a strong foundation for today’s businesses, offering access to more flexible scheduling, a broader range of talent, and a greater level of efficiency and productivity. However, like all transformation initiatives, making the most of your at-home agents requires a careful strategy along with a strong plan for implementation and continued support. 

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