Customer service is a challenging job. Customer service agents are usually found to be overburdened with multiple challenges, with high dissatisfaction rates which can be owed to low pay scale, overload of work, lack of motivation and not so congenial workplaces. Burnouts are inevitable and many statistics show that call center attrition rates are high and the average turnover rates very low. Work hygiene factors and poor management practices are also deterrents for agents to provide productive outputs and hence a lot of them fall prey to burnout.
Call centers are well aware that technology has become more mainstream than ever. Customer expectation is constantly fuelled by connectivity, smartphones and on-demand services that are shaping the landscape of customer experience. With an increase in on-demand economy, call center workforce is recognizing growing options at any time, anywhere services they can offer companies. Cloud-based solutions and automated management processes are supporting seamless customer service management. Digital transformation is also empowering remote working possibilities for agents.
In fact, businesses have begun outsourcing services from call centers working on a CSaaS model, which is nothing but Customer Service as a Service, based on the evolution of on-demand customer service. Customer service professionals can now work on scalable pricing modules that can be integrated into the larger structure of support solutions. According to a Global Analytics report, in 2017 approximately 3.7 million employees chose to work from home half the time, making that 2.8% of global workforce.
How can remote working contribute to call center productivity?
Work flexibility fosters productivity and efficiency
Even as we progress into a world where women are emerging as great leaders and bosses, there is a chunk of talent that comes under the pressure of raising children and home management. This is a stark reality where remote working capabilities become a warranted solution to avoid depletion of a skilled workforce. The flexibility that comes with work from home allows agents to work at higher productivity levels. Managing individual schedules and working in a controllable and comfortable environment creates opportunities for more than one jobs and that makes people feel more secure. Moreover, it relieves them of commute time and hassles and leads to a fresh start of the day. Besides productivity, logging in from home can ease up some avoidable expenses.
Availability of the best talent pool for great customer experience
When distance and commuting is no constraint, call centers can hire the cream of the crop and afford a higher price if necessary as it will cost less than hiring, onboarding, training and retaining an employee. Remote agents can also work at later hours where normal employees cannot contribute, which makes it advantageous for the call center to offer 24/7 services. Virtual agents experience a higher level of satisfaction, gain more independence in their working style, stay well engaged and offer better bandwidth towards dealing with customer queries and issues. As a result, happy agents provide greater customer experience benefits for their respective call center business.
Drives greater economic benefits for both agent and call center
Companies that need to scale up or down have a great business model in CSaaS as on-demand services reduce infrastructure costs and the churn of managing multiple employees face-to-face every day. With the rise in co-working spaces, many CEOs have adopted the opportunity to run their businesses with few or no employees. Outsourcing services and employing software for management and delegation is contributing hugely to cost saving. American Express reported an annual savings of $10 to $15 million by opting for remote working employees. After reviewing data of five years from multiple companies across various industries, FlexJobs, a premier job service for telecommuting and flexible job listings found that remote working is very much a reality and transforming into a mainstream model. In fact, now is an ideal phase for remote job seekers as hundreds of companies are valuing the remote working arrangement.
While remote agents seem to be an attractive option, call centers may face issues like security breaches, performance analysis, one-on-one with managers and attendance for training. With video conference calling, cloud technology, messaging, collaborative management tools and data security practices in place, remote working can be a viable arrangement for both businesses and call center agents. Saving the cost of real estate and overheads can impact the bottom line positively.
TeleApps supports businesses and contact centers by providing flexible integration solutions and services. TeleApps also offers new generation services to transform customer experience management and is on board with the latest trends of call center and contact center solutions. To connect with TeleApps, click here.