How to Build and Maintain an Effective Virtual Contact Center
More and more companies are making the transition to virtual contact center operations. Yet, there are still a large number of organizations that are hesitant to do so, for fear it will have a negative impact on service quality. However, there are a variety of best practices – as well as supporting call center software solutions – that can help companies ensure superior service delivery across their entire virtual contact center network.
How can you ensure the highest quality in your virtual contact center?
Watch Your Agents – Closely
One of the primary challenges of the virtual contact center model is difficulty monitoring and evaluating agent performance. In traditional call centers, supervisors and team leaders simply travel from station to station, and listened in on calls in progress at random. This, of course, is impossible to do with a remote agent.
There are a variety of call recording and monitoring software packages that bridge the gap between off-site agent and on-site supervisor. With these applications, supervisors can record calls, then review and score them at a later date. Or, some of the more advanced monitoring solutions allow managers to listen in as interactions are happening, and provide real-time feedback.
Maintain Control over Conversations
When agents are off-site, it becomes harder to ensure consistency among interactions. This becomes particularly important as agents are expected to participate more and more in up-sell and cross-sell type initiatives and other marketing promotions.
Scripting technologies can provide representatives with a comprehensive call guide that includes tips, phrases, question sequences, and more. So, they understand exactly how to handle specific types of conversations. Additionally, many call monitoring tools enable bi-directional communication between agent and supervisor through IM-type capabilities. This allows representatives to ask for help when they are having trouble handling a call in progress, and allows the manager to guide them through to a successful conclusion.
Make Training a Continuous Process
Off-site agents are not always tuned in to company news – new products and services, the latest promotions, pricing changes. There are a variety of remote training software packages that eliminate the need for agents to travel to headquarters for training purposes, allowing them to stay on top of the latest information from the comfort and convenience of their remote offices.
Give Agents Instant Access to Information
In order to properly service callers, contact center representatives need access to a broad array of business applications and data. But unlike traditional call centers, where agents have a variety of on-site resources to turn to when they need assistance, those in virtual contact center environments must rely on only the systems they can access through their desktops.
Many successful virtual contact centers have created centralized knowledge bases for remote agents that include everything from product, pricing, and inventory data, to accounting and billing information. This provides representatives with all the information they need to answer questions and solve problems right at their fingertips