During the COVID-19 outbreak, stay-at-home orders altered how people could move around in their local areas. Plus, companies had a new safety concern that had to be managed, leading to fundamental changes in the workplace paradigm. Often, this meant turning in-house staff members into remote contact center employees.
While some companies had already embraced the telecommuting approach, hiring remote teams to handle a range of contact center operations, others are new to the game. Figuring out how to get started and ensure your teams remain productive isn’t always easy, particularly if you had to make the transition quickly.
Luckily, in either scenario, there are things you can do to bolster productivity, morale, and the quality of outputs. If you want to make sure you are setting your remote contact center employees up for success, here are some tips.
Invest in High-Quality Solutions
First and foremost, your remote contact center employees need access to robust and reliable solutions. Often, you’ll need to invest in collaboration software and cloud services, ensuring your teams can connect to resources and each other with ease. That way, systems like existing customer management software (CRM) and customer communication platforms are reachable regardless of an employee’s location.
Additionally, you may require a variety of security mechanisms and a bandwidth increase. For example, VPN, identity authenticators, and similar solutions could be critical for protecting assets while supporting connectivity. If you are worried that the number of workers remoting in could overburden your system, then you might need to reach out to your provider and up your service level.
Have Clear Remote Work Policies
Since remote contact center employees aren’t directly overseen, it’s crucial to have clear policies to outline your expectations. You need to define standards for the new norm, eliminating ambiguity for policies that don’t directly translate and providing critical guidance.
Precisely what that entails will vary depending on your organization’s needs. Envision how you expect your team to function under the telecommuting paradigm and then define the dos and don’ts of operating in that manner.
Make Support Highly Accessible
You need to ensure that your remote contact center employees can easily reach out for assistance when the need arises. They can’t simply lean over to the person next to them or head to your office for help, and that could hinder productivity.
If you are managing a remote team, you need to make sure you are highly accessible. Embrace a range of communication options and ensure that your staff which ones to use when. For example, you might tell them to call a specific phone number for emergencies but to use a messenger for less-dire situations.
Additionally, make availability a priority. When a team member reaches out, try to respond as quickly as possible. You may also want to designate several contacts for certain kinds of situations. That way, if you won’t be able to respond immediately, your remote contact center employees know who to turn to when they need a question answered right away.
Ultimately, with the right tools, systems, and approach, you increase the odds that your team will thrive. As a result, excellence will come with greater ease, allowing your remote contact center employees and the company as a whole to move forward toward success during these strange times.