Jim Foster of Poly discusses how you can enable success within a virtual contact centre.
Homeworking has always been a great option for flexible working, so contact centre advisors can focus on delivering smarter customer interactions wherever they happen to be.
But it is fair to say that many didn’t predict quite how valuable the remote-working model would be.
A lot can change in a short time, as is evident with the impact of COVID-19 on the global contact centre industry. All of a sudden the true value of the virtual contact centre has revealed itself.
Similar to many customers, in the last few weeks Poly had to quickly move to a fully remote model for our contact centres to provide a safe environment for our employees and maintain our customer support promise.
Fortunately, their previously tried and tested flexible policy put them in a strong position to swiftly change to a full working-at-home policy for all employees, knowing that they all have the skills and tools to work efficiently and effectively from their home offices.
Poly were able to do this with the full confidence and peace of mind that they had everything in place to make this transition smoothly, all the while ensuring a positive experience and maintaining business continuity and the levels of service that they aim to provide partners and customers.
The methodology Poly used for their global virtual contact centre follows the principle of “People, Spaces and Technology”.
Remote management begins with mutual trust being at the core for every successful remote-working strategy.
Creating a best practices video for how to work remotely can also be a great idea, particularly for virtual team building and motivational skills.
Ensuring that homeworking locations are set up to enable staff to work remotely is key.
Replicating a work environment at home – with a dedicated workspace – is a good idea that should be encouraged when checking in with your teams.
Having video and voice-enabled, global cloud CRM systems in place to drive metrics to manage performance is a great advantage.
Ensuring that unified collaboration and communications (UC&C) tools are in place to enable easy collaboration amongst the team can also make all the difference.
The transition to permanently working from home for a contact centre – and for any department – is a challenge that you can’t do alone.
Buy-in and support from key business partners such as IT to provide expert guidance around the right equipment and software to ensure productivity, as well as security protocols, is crucial.
HR policies may need to be adapted to support everyone – taking the lead on training staff on how to work from home.
Additionally, management training to support team leads will ensure that newly remote teams will be managed effectively.