Remote work is here to stay, and that means contact centers are adapting to the opportunities and challenges presented by this new way of working. Some of those opportunities include more flexibility and well-being for agents. And that’s important because happy agents are 3.3x more likely to feel empowered to resolve customer issues.
The challenges, though? Making sure every agent — no matter their experience level — is engaged and is given the proper training opportunities to help them feel connected to their team and work environments. Managers must create engaging moments that don’t come naturally in a digital space to level the playing field and build a positive remote contact center. Here, we’ll explain three digital tools to help managers do just that.
Tool 1: Remote Contact Center Automation
One of the biggest disadvantages of remote work is the lack of access to information. When agents previously struggled with a call or needed help finding customer information, managers or coworkers who were available could quickly hop over to their cubicle and assist in real time. With that not possible in remote settings, managers should turn to automation to help bridge the information gap.
Automation tools enable customer information to be pulled from multiple sources (including multiple CRMs and third-party systems) into a single viewpoint for agents. There’s no need to dig around different systems to find important information. Automation can also be used for:
- Virtual queuing, which reduces an influx of calls that can overwhelm agents.
- AI-powered self-service routing, which pulls in critical information from the interaction in case the customer does reach out for further assistance.
- Automated outbound SMS, which can provide customers with personalized, relevant information so they don’t need to call in for simple inquiries.
Automation is a powerful tool that helps reduce redundant and low-value work, freeing contact center agents to focus on more complex, rewarding tasks. When agents have more time for high-priority cases, they build better customer experiences that lead to customer loyalty.
Tool 2: Real-time Feedback
Only 20% of remote employees strongly agree that they have received meaningful feedback in the last week. How can managers find ways to provide better feedback and opportunities for training in a remote setting?
Companies should look for contact center tools that provide real-time feedback during interactions so agents can learn in the moment. For example, perhaps an agent is struggling with a difficult interaction. The customer has called in two times already and is becoming increasingly frustrated, but the agent — who is new — isn’t sure what additional options are available to resolve the issue. Once the interaction hits the five-minute mark, it’s automatically flagged for the manager who can then read the transcript and provide support by leaving comments directly inside of the interaction. There’s no need to pull the agent from the call or place the customer on hold.
The agent is then able to view the notes and respond back, creating a feedback loop that not only helps resolve the customer issue more quickly but serves as a real-time training opportunity. And even if the agent isn’t able to respond right away, they can review the comments, digest the information, and respond at a later time when they’re ready.
Tool 3: Performance reporting dashboards
Managers are responsible for 70% of team engagement, and that’s important because engagement is a key indicator of retention and employee happiness. But how do you keep agents engaged when you no longer work from the same office space?
A tool that helps create moments for engagement is performance reporting dashboards. These dashboards can track, analyze, and display agent performance in real time and provide more personalized training. With the right data at hand, managers can build one-on-one conversations around an employee’s strengths, providing motivation and encouragement. They can even pair individuals based on their strengths and weaknesses to improve peer-to-peer engagement.
Managers can recognize agents for their hard work by calling out impressive performance stats during weekly team meetings, too. Even discussing cumulative poor performance stats is an opportunity to address challenges head-on as a unified unit. Creating a safe space where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities is an important way for managers to build a positive remote work culture.
With the right digital tools, managers have the power to transform their workplaces and help agents be more productive, successful, and happy. Learn more about SharpenCX’s platform and how it helps remote contact centers thrive.