The Business Software Advisor
You ask the questions, and our resident software guru shares her wisdom.
This week’s question: I’m thinking of transitioning my customer service into a virtual call center. If I go virtual, how can I best manage the performance of my remote agents?
A: Agent management is a challenging function, especially within virtual contact center environments. Supervisors often find it difficult to evaluate the performance of customer service representatives who don’t reside in the same physical location, or to provide them with the kind of constructive feedback they need to do their jobs effectively. In some cases, remote agents may also lack access to the information they require to properly answer questions and address issues.
Today’s call center software solutions are designed to address these issues. The features of these software packages enable managers to accomplish better agent management in virtual contact centers. These features include:
Call Recording and Monitoring
With call recording and monitoring capabilities, supervisors can hear for themselves how remote agents handle customer problems. Both inbound and outbound interactions can be recorded, for review at a later date. Team leaders can listen in “live”, hearing agent interactions as they happen. This, in turn, facilitates more accurate performance evaluations, and gives managers the ability to more rapidly identify skill gaps and training needs that may require immediate attention.
Controlling how agents handle certain types of conversations can be a big challenge in a virtual contact center environment. Call center software with scripting functionality helps to guide off-site agents through a call, so they know exactly what key points need to be made, and how to accurately and concisely convey the value of the offer.
Ongoing training is crucial to the success of every call center agent; but, gathering all agents together at a single facility can be costly and can result in significant downtime that can hinder service quality. For this reason, most call center software packages feature online training capabilities, so that remote agents can expand their skills and gain new knowledge conveniently from their branch or home offices. This enables managers to keep their entire network of agents current on all new promotions, products, and frequently asked questions, and to help them “refresh” their communication and problem-solving skills without incurring high expenses or negatively impacting productivity.
There are many significant benefits associated with virtual contact centers. For example, having agents spread across multiple geographic regions and time zones can allow for broader availability and greater continuity of service at all hours of the day and night. A virtual call center also minimizes real estate costs, and frees up valuable office space for other, more important corporate uses. And with the advanced features of today’s powerful call center software solutions, assuring the quality performance of your remote agents has never been easier.
Ready to start your search for a top virtual call center software solution? Check out our free Top 10 Virtual Call Center Software report to compare leading call center solutions and discover the software that meets your company’s unique needs.