Remote Call Centres: Best Practices for Managers and Agents


A picture of an agent working remotely

CallMiner share some top tips for remote working, for both contact centre managers and agents.

Managing a call center caught up in the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic is no small feat. However, there are a number of important guidelines and tips you can keep in mind to help ease your center’s workforce into remote working and mitigate contagion risks.

Remote contact center operations have been around for some time now, but the need for such operational approaches has been magnified by the growing threat of Covid-19 and the heightened importance of social distancing policies to curb the virus’s spread.

Here, we have compiled six useful best practices and tips for you to utilize as your contact center shifts towards remote work to maintain productivity during trying times.

1. Establish and Maintain Clear Communication Practices

Diversify communication channels as much as is appropriate. Too few options expose your organization to downtime risks and loss of revenue. On the other hand, opening too many channels for customers and personnel can invite unnecessary confusion into daily operations.

Internal chat systems for employees are a must, as are management monitoring tools to keep track of agent performance. Interaction analytics make it possible to highlight complications in both written and oral communication as they arise.

2. Make Lulls in Response Time Clear to Customers

Callers looking for assistance may not be aware of your organization’s current challenges and are likely to judge any perceived inconvenience harshly if they aren’t notified of necessary changes to your internal operations. To offset this risk, you should clarify what issues you may be having through whatever means are most effective.

This may mean making special use of your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system to notify callers the moment they open lines of communication with your company. Alerts and reminders can also be sent to customers via email or text as needed.

Letting customers know what is going on within your organization can create opportunities to direct them to self-service alternatives where possible. By directing callers to such services, you can make a positive impact on overall customer experience without further straining your existing infrastructure.

3. Automate Scheduling Processes

As your workforce acclimates to the changes remote working presents, schedules are bound to shift, and timing will need to be fine-tuned. This can be done manually, but the entire scheduling process can also be automated for greater efficiency through the use of Workforce Management solutions or scheduling software.

WFM suites offer mobility applications with the capacity to fully automate scheduling tasks, lightening the load for management teams.

4. Look for Sustainable Procedural Improvements

It is imperative that contact center leadership look beyond the immediate concerns driving this shift to remote labor and consider the potential for long-term improvement in overall operational efficiency.

Remote working poses several notable benefits for businesses when sustained in moderation, including sharp reductions in operating costs and significant reductions in turnover. Areas worth paying special attention to include location independent security processes and systems access. Affording your workforce such improvements allows for more adaptive labor and recruitment approaches to be implemented down the line.

5. Prioritize Flexibility Over Precision

Although scheduling policies are likely to be disrupted, an increase in flexibility can aid in maintaining a consistent customer experience. Relax all real-time adherence practices to make better use of the increased flexibility your agents can provide in terms of working hours and strategic overtime.

Flexibility in overall performance can be leveraged through an on-demand scheduling approach. Your organization’s agents can be scheduled over a far more diverse range of time slots, potentially allowing limited teams to achieve close to 24×7 uptime.

6. Keep Agents Active With or Without CRM Access

The need for agents to remain connected from afar should supersede the risk of them not having access to your company’s CRM system. Issues surrounding access to customer-specific information stored in such systems can be overcome through multi-channel communication with managers and supervisors who can securely use them.

The tips and guidelines covered above are not only useful in the wake of this global pandemic; you can improve remote performance and coordination in general by applying what you have read here, bolstering the long-term adaptability of your business in the process.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of CallMiner – View the original post

To find out more about CallMiner, visit their website.

About the author

CallMiner CallMiner is recognised as a leader in the speech analytics software industry, transforming your customer interactions with conversational insight to drive positive experiences and profound business change. Uniting with our customers and partners, our platform surfaces intelligence captured across your multiple communication channels and compels action that leads to improvement within and beyond the contact centre for customer experience, employee performance, compliance, security, fraud and interaction automation.

Read other posts by CallMiner

Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Published On: 31st Mar 2020
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