As you search for a customer support solution, it is important that you have all the information needed to make the right decision for your customers. This week’s #ICMIchat focused on remote agents in the contact center. Although Callzilla does not have any remote agents in our nearshore contact center, we hear our client’s headaches and have come to know there are a variety of challenges and benefits associated with outsourcing agents in a call center.
Perceived Cost Savings
Having remote agents supporting your customers is a perceived way to drop costs. Notice how we said “perceived”? This is because many companies think remote agents will save them money due to the lack of physical workspace needed. However, these agents still need the equipment necessary for getting the job done, and since these resources cannot be shared among employees within a larger nearshore contact center, it can create higher costs in the long-run.
To see if this would help save your company money, itemize everything the employee will need and see if this offsets the money that would go into having the employee in-house.
Another challenge of having remote agents is the process of training and supervision. When you have your agents working remotely, it can make identifying problems more difficult and create challenges in streamlining the training process.
Home visits are one way that to ensure performance, but after adding in the price of these visits, it can end up inflating your tab. An additional and cost-effective way to overcome this hurdle is by recording and monitoring all calls for quality assurance. In the case of a customer service related issue, this can help your in-house team troubleshoot the problem.
Customer Service & Satisfaction
Some studies have found that outsourcing customer support to remote agents can lead to a decrease in customer satisfaction. This is because supervisors have a harder time keeping track of their employee’s interactions when they are not physically in the office. As well, it is harder for remote employees to grasp company ideals, which can make it harder for them to effectively answer customer questions.
Imagine if one of your remote agents upset a customer, if they are working remotely do you think this would make it harder for you to troubleshoot? Utilizing a nearshore contact center gives you the on-site leadership necessary to help oversee and manage the interactions between your agent support team and your customer.
Having agents who work from home has an influence on company culture. Without a sense of belonging, it can be hard to retain employees. As was mentioned above, employees may not be as savvy on core beliefs in your company, which could be reflected in their customer conversations.
There are ways to help your employees feel included, and educate them on your company’s culture. Sending company newsletters, arranging dates for employees to travel to the office to meet the rest of the team face-to-face, and utilizing good training resources can help offset this.
If your company is considering outsourcing your customer support to a remote agent, it is important to have someone who is managing, coaching and checking in with these agents. Having a team dedicated to supervising and implementing the remote program is key to the success of this model. With the right resources and oversight from a nearshore contact center leadership team, it is possible to make the outsourcing model successful for your company.
Watch this week's video recap for more on going remote.
Contact the team at Callzilla today to see how our team of agents can help support your customers!