Bill Backus explains how to communicate effectively with your homeworking agents.
Open and immediate communication is the essence of a successful virtual model.
Mastering the art of sharing information in a timely and straightforward manner will assure a positive work atmosphere, resulting in much higher retention of both customers and agents.
Here are a few ideas to help you keep in touch with your homeworking agents:
1. Virtual meetings can help everyone to keep in touch – without leaving the house
Many managers use virtual conference rooms to hold live meetings. These discussions allow for the same interaction as you’d expect from being in the same building.
During a live virtual meeting, quick answers to questions are available for all the team and webcams can be used, as well as whiteboards and slide presentations. Meetings can also be recorded for future viewing.
2. Email newsletters and updates can be entertaining and informative
Using email opens up a number of ways to keep in touch with and inform agents.
Many managers send weekly newsletters filled with animations, recipes and human interest stories – of course interspersed with metric goals and successes.
3. Video updates can help you to maintain a stronger managerial presence
You could upgrade your newsletter content into video recordings, where agents receive a weekly link to a 5-minute video filled with fun.
It is a great way to keep the “human era touch” when going virtual. In fact, many agents will tell you they have more contact with their virtual managers then they ever did within the contact centre!
4. New agents can be placed in a virtual conference room filled with trainers
A further advantage of virtual meetings is that newly trained agents can be placed in a conference filled with knowledgeable trainers, managers and agents.
Questions and problems can be handled quickly, giving new agents the sense of security they need when first taking calls.
Training updates can also be very successful when posted within the virtual conference room, as agents are able to have synchronous or asynchronous training that can be quickly rolled out across the group.
In addition, recorded classes can be made readily available for future training.
With thanks to Bill Backus, Virtual Business Consultant at Backus and Associates LLC