Keep front office and back office teams separate?

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Unsure whether to keep front office and back office teams separate or combine to make self-contained squads?
I have a front office team who need some back office help daily for technical queries. Contact centre staff do not directly make sales. All in one office at the moment but growth means this is not practical. Back office have specialisms internally also so do not all do the same areas.

Some new office space for expansion gives the option to put all of back office on its own in new space (makes them productive, has space to grow, harder for front office as can no longer walk over to ask an escalation Q) or to combine some front office with 1 or 2 staff from back office (agile team, self contained unit, less overall cohesion for back office as now split up).

I wondered if anyone has any data regarding team laydowns and what can work best? I'm guessing it has been the study of some operations analysis before but cannot find specifics and don't want to look at general info about agile working for software dev or similar which is not relevant. Any help much appreciated.

Helper

Call Centre Helper

Work closely together
The closer you can physically get the teams the better and the better the teams get on the better it is.

There is no one answer for this. A lot of back office teams do not see themselves as call handlers (or working in a call centre). But they have the best skills for escalations.

I have seen in a number of instances there is a sub team of the back office called the escalations team. These can be the ones who take the escalated calls. Works well if you ask for volunteers. Some like the variety of talking on the phone as well as doing other back office work. Others will prefer to work in the back office and not talk to customers.

Job swaps can also be effective.

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