The work-from-home option has been gaining momentum for a number of years now for contact center staff. With the right tools and agents, there's no question that it can yield significant business benefits. In fact, it's been a key driver in cloud contact center adoption as it makes for a safe, simple and very cost effective solution.
Could home working be right for your contact center? We’ve compiled the top benefits leading to the continued growth of at-home working in contact center environments.
1. Higher Agent Productivity
Many businesses don’t have the space to create separate areas for inbound customer support and outbound sales. At-home working completely eradicates problematic noise level issues and allows agents to work uninterrupted.
2. Improved Customer Service
Most people would agree that they can perform better in a more focused environment where concentrating on the task at hand is easier. Without interruptions from other staff members, your agent’s only priority becomes the customer.
Customers appreciate this as well as they have the full attention of the agent and are not asked to constantly repeat themselves.
3. Wider Talent Pool
A busy contact or call center environment is not to everyone's cup of tea. In fact it could be a major deterrent for agent recruitment. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, a cloud contact center provides a flexible option for mixing onsite and remote workers seamlessly. And at-home working is an attractive choice for skilled contact center staff who don't enjoy the busy contact center environment.
Remote work is also a great fit for people who have the perfect skills for the role but have family or other commitments. Home workers have the flexibility to do the school run or go to their appointments but can still log in and commit to their agreed hours. This creates a win/win situation by adding certain agents at certain times of day where you know you're likely to have peaks.
4. Increased Flexibility
Using home workers can help you to scale up and down in line with the needs of the business. Depending on the type of call center you operate, you may have seasonal fluctuations and changing call patterns. With remote working, you have the flexibility to schedule your staff as needed making it far easier to manage seasonal peaks.
Cloud hosted contact center software lets you simply add additional agents on the fly so that they’re up and running in an instant.
5. Cost Savings
Equipment and office space isn’t cheap. Huge cost savings can be made by employing home workers. With a physical office, you need to be ready for the maximum number of agents that you'll ever need -- even if it's only a few days a year that you actually need that many. By utilizing some additional home workers you can help keep expenses related to space and infrastructure to a minimum.
And for a growing business, employing at-home workers allows you to expand without physically relocating.
6. Skill Retention, Staff Loyalty and Reduced Agent Turnover
Sometimes employees have an off-day where the last thing they want to do is face 50+ of their colleagues. We’ve all been there. And what about the occasional snow day? With remote work, employees can still be productive without requiring time off for unexpected issues.
Have you ever heard someone talk about how much they enjoy the drive to and from the office? At-home work alleviates the burden of commuting to the office, making for a happier employee. And happier staff leads to greater commitment and more motivation.
With the average age of a contact center employee being in the mid 20's, some of your more mature employees may have the best skills but don’t necessarily want to spend their day alongside staff members the same age as their children. Rather than leaving the business they may want to opt for home working.
Bottom line: Increased Employee Engagement = Increased Employee Retention AND Increased Customer Satisfaction ratings.
7. Visibility of Activity and Ownership
Home working, and the lack of insight into the employee’s activities, used to make managers nervous. But today’s cloud contact center system provides just as much insight and visibility into agent activity as if they were in the office. Any abnormal activity will be automatically detected and flagged and you can see at a glance what all of your agents are doing, wherever they are.
You'll also often find that agents working from home have an increased sense of ownership.
8. Improved Business Perception
With the cost savings of at-home work, you could increase the budget for employee benefits such as child care vouchers and gym memberships. This satisfies the work/life balance needs of your teams and employee engagement ratings will increase. Some Intrado customers have been able to increase the base salary of their workforce thanks to their cost savings, thereby increasing retention and attracting a wider and better pool of potential recruits.
There are significant gains to be made by introducing home working for contact centers. With a cloud contact center you can very quickly start to tap into these benefits. Forward thinking companies have been doing this for years and it's a trend that continues to grow. Reach out to one of our experts to talk about how we can help your business achieve its goals through cloud contact center adoption.