A 2015 global survey of contact centers indicates that the majority (77%) are, or will be, utilizing home workers in some capacity by 2017—and that’s double the size in just three years!
Mobile technology advancements continue to propel the work-at-home model for contact centers, and to simplify things even further, there have been a couple of recent technology company mergers that are helping to lower costs and increase ease of deployment.
The following are a few best-in-class practices, tools and technologies that connect remote workers to each other and their office-based counterparts.
TRANSPARENT VIEW OF CALENDARS
Team leader/manager accessibility is key to making a home-working program go, and it starts with the calendar. Giving remote team members visibility to your calendar is very similar to someone glancing across the contact center floor to determine whether you are at your desk, and available or not.
DESKTOP VIDEO CONFERENCING FOR TEAM MEETINGS
Employees like to see each other, and share customer/job, social experiences with each other. In the remote world, this means seeing each other on regularly scheduled video conferences.
Tip: For the most effective video meetings, schedule them frequently (optimum is twice per month).
Managers use desktop video functionality from unified communication (UC) platforms (i.e., Skype for Business/Lync or Cisco Jabber) to meet “in person” via video. Alternatively, managers can utilize Adobe Connect, Go To Meeting or WebEx for one-to-one meetings each of these tools works very well.
WEBCAST CONFERENCING FOR TRAININGS AND TEAM MEETINGS
When content or systems need to be shared, managers most frequently utilize web conferencing or webcast meetings (share the desktop, share files, navigate systems and share). Top web-conferencing systems include Cisco Jabber, WebEx, Go to Meeting, Skype for Business/Lync, Adobe Connect.
Tip: For the best virtual team meetings, start on video, switch to your desktop or file sharing (from a stored file); invite others on the meeting to participate in sharing of the content, and share your controls with others.
DESKTOP SHARING AND CO-BROWSING
Navigating a system or sharing a file with another remote employee is easily accomplished by utilizing either a UC platform or a web meeting platform (Jabber, Skype for Business/Lync, WebEX, Adobe Connect, Go to Meeting).
REMOTE ACCESS TO RECORDED CALLS
Team members should have the ability to access calls and listen to them, regardless of where they sit (in office or at home).
Tip: To hold a great quality session, give a rep access to 10 to 12 calls and the time to listen to them before your one-to- one session. Ask them to bring one call to the session that demonstrates their best assets, and one where they would like to improve. This practice shifts accountability, and some administrative burden, and empowers your team members.
Flexible scheduling is the No. 1 new benefit being offered by companies, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. Thousands of people would love to work in a split-shift or flexible schedule environment that is home-based. For a demo of a self-scheduling tool for home-based contact center employees, consult Pipkins (www.pipkins.com).
DESKTOP KPI SCORECARDS
Contact center positions are highly transactional, which is why it is so crucial for people to understand how they are performing against expectations. Realtime (or near real-time) access to key performance indicators (KPIs) provides the clear view, and gives employees time to shore up their behavior if they are off track from individual or team goals. See VPI (www.vpi-corp.com) for a sample scorecard.
Tip: For a fantastic scorecard review session, transfer ownership for scheduling the session and leading the session discussion to your team members. It shifts and balances accountability and ownership.
– Reprinted with permission from Contact Center Pipeline, http://www.contactcenterpipeline.com