Contact center agents have fully embraced the flexibility that Work-From-Home (WFH) offers. But as the world begins to open back up, a new type of work environment is emerging: the Work-From-Anywhere environment. This is a hybrid work atmosphere where some agents will continue to work remotely while others will move back into physical offices—posing a conundrum for contact center managers.
The first part of the solution is establishing a concrete plan for finding the right talent in this new environment. The next step is to evaluate your onboarding and training process. Below are some specific steps that need to be taken by senior leaders to deliver excellent customer service regardless of the agent’s physical location.
Treat Every Agent Equally
When onboarding and training new agents, the process should be the same—no matter their location or experience. All agents will be on an even playing field in this new world. Even though an agent might have years of experience, they most likely do not have experience working in a structure where agents are scattered at home, in an office, across states, or even countries.
Ensure all agents have access to the hardware required to do their new job. As part of the onboarding process, give remote agents the same computers, headsets, and other equipment that their in-house counterparts would receive. If you ask your new remote agents to purchase their own equipment instead, make sure they are reimbursed in a timely fashion.
Just as we provide the same hardware to all our agents, make sure we provide them with the same technology. It is key to remember that when it comes to agents and technology, less is more. Our agents need technology that makes their jobs more efficient, effective, and consistent — not more complicated. It is also a best practice to provide our agents a stipend to cover internet or other costs they accrue while working remotely.
Set Clear Processes, Timelines, and Expectations
Though we will have agents who have years of experience working in a contact center, we may also have agents who have always worked remotely. It is important that all agents are taken through the same onboarding and training process and given the same time to complete that process.
It’s also important to set clear expectations of the hours they need to be in front of their computers daily. This will help keep agents accountable and ensure that remote agents do not burn out while attempting to work excessive overtime.
Here’s how to set clear onboarding procedures and processes that will be followed by all agents, regardless of background:
- Re-evaluate onboarding procedures and processes
- Do not take the old practices and adapt them to this new environment. Create new procedures and processes that set up all agents for success.
- Create a digital agent portal
- A digital portal will allow agents to get quickly onboarded with basics like payroll and benefits while providing access to an employee handbook with clear work expectations.
Create a Connected Culture
Our goal must be to create an atmosphere where agents feel connected to our organization, regardless of their physical location. A disconnect already exists between agents, managers, and supervisors.
[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]About ZRG
Founded in 1994, ZRG International is an ICT solutions company with a major focus on customer interaction technologies and solutions. We offer experience and innovation to help businesses manage customer relationship and achieve higher customer satisfaction and increased profitability.
ZRG has a proven track record of introducing innovations and exciting new possibilities in the customer communication areas. Our line of solutions cover all aspects of customer communication including customer contact center, CRM application suite, quality assurance suite, call center management tools, self-service automation tools, campaign management and teleconferencing. Our solutions are deployed at mission critical contact centers that are being used to provide information, assistance and services to millions of users each day through live agent and self-service based applications.
ZRG has an experienced and knowledgeable team capable of quickly designing and adding tailor-made features in our solutions for site-specific requirements. By using open standards systems, specifications and protocols, we ensure maximum flexibility and future growth of our solutions. We use innovative techniques to deliver latest features and integration capabilities in a most cost-effective manner. Our deployment team has successfully completed all our projects well before the deadlines.
Every day, on every project, we deliver value through our accumulated technical knowledge and project management skills. Our expertise delivers immediate benefits to our clients with cost and time savings. Our solution delivers increased operational efficiency and staff productivity to our valued clients. This is what we do. We deliver beyond expectations.[/box]