Multi-location Contact Centers and Work-at-Home Agents

Drew Bixby
Read Time: 3 minutes

The workforce is changing. Gone are the days when companies had to set up huge contact warehouses for agents to handle calls and offer customer services. A large chunk of todays workforce is work-at-home agents. Virtual contact centers can help companies manage this modern workforce scattered across the globe.

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) shows that home-based workers in the US increased by 4.2 million during 1997-2010. According to the survey, in 2010, 13.4 million people worked, at least, one day at home per week. SIPP attributes this growth in mobile workforce to advances in communication and information technologies.

Benefits of hiring work-at-home agents

In today’s market environment, it is not easy to retain agents. Ensuring a good work-life balance is the key to running a successful business. A virtual call center or cloud-based contact center solution can help you achieve this. For example, employing work-at-home agents can bring down operational costs as it eliminates the need to maintain or acquire expensive real estate and allied infrastructure.

Virtual contact centers can diversify the talent base by expanding hiring options. Flexible working hours and an opportunity to work from home can offer jobs to a deeper pool of candidates and help transition those individuals who have been out of the workforce for extended periods of time. This kind of recruitment will bring down the hiring and training costs by significantly reducing turnover.

With the help of at-home agents spread across different geographical locations, companies can ensure business continuity and offer seamless service to customers. You can also allow at-home agents to choose their hours that will cover the 24-hour span with available resources and improve employee satisfaction by offering flexible hours.

The Right Track

Work-at-home agents deployed across various centers does, however, present some challenges. You need reliable technical support to manage these remote agents efficiently.

The major challenge is managing at-home workforce on a real-time basis. In a highly-competitive environment, you cannot adopt a reactionary strategy. In other words, managers and supervisors should be in a position to know what remote agents are doing and how they are doing it during their work hours. They should have access to technology that can offer tools to monitor agents’ performance and their communication with customers. These solutions should also enable the managers and supervisors to intervene directly in a customer interaction if the situation demands it.

Considering that the client relationship is a major asset for companies in an evolving market and fluctuating economic context, you have to choose a technological solution that not only helps you meet new consumer expectations but also to anticipate their future requirements.

Cloud-based technology can help you manage an at-home workforce in the same manner as that of on-site center agents. Advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities that are available with Cloud platforms can also help you understand the customer better and thereby provide valuable insights into their behavior and expectations. Accordingly, you can plan effective business strategies to improve customer experience.

Monitoring performance

A virtual contact center can empower your employees and help align their key performance indicators with the company’s business goals. Apart from just routing incoming calls to the remote agents, virtual contact centers allow you to route calls based on agents’ skills and proficiency. It can also route calls based on customer context, thereby improving the quality of work.

There are times when call volumes may fluctuate, especially during festive seasons. Cloud-based contact center solutions can offer you the flexibility to handle large call volumes in an efficient manner. It can provide you pay-as-you-go options so that you can scale up/down quickly.

Cloud can simplify the process of adding new agents and monitoring their service levels. It can offer you easy access to call details including date and time, caller ID, IVR responses, call transfer information and talk time. It can also provide you historical reporting to see how your call metrics change over time. Based on this information, you can improve customer experience and quality of service.

Ultimately, your technical solution partner is your trusted advisor, who can provide you thought leadership. A reliable partner can give an edge to your business by helping you offer an exhilarating customer experience.

DoubleHorn, along with its strategic partner inContact, provides cloud-based contact center solutions that can reduce cost and improve employee satisfaction and customer experience. Our solutions can also yield high ROI and eliminate the need to maintain complex physical infrastructure. Contact us at (or) 855-61-VOICE (86423) for more information.