In my last article, I covered some of the reasons why WFH will indeed be the “new normal” for contact centers post-pandemic. However, this process is not without challenges. Here are my suggestions for dodging what I’ve seen to be the top three:
Many companies find the quality of their customer support initially declines when they launch permanent WFH policies. That’s because the technology often used by agents isn’t designed or optimized for a WFH scenario. As a result, it can take longer for the even the most-seasoned agent to resolve a customer’s inquiry when they WFH.
So put some real thought into your permanent WFH policy. Consider things like:
Many have tried, but it’s really difficult to properly and adequately train new contact center agents while they work from home. That’s because most of the technology used by contact centers today doesn’t enable or support any sort of virtual training of new agents: the mechanisms for replicating in a virtual manner key parts of the agent training process—such as new agents shadowing experienced agents while they handle calls—simply don’t exist right now.
So, regardless of your permanent WFH/in-office headcount mix, preserve office space for the live training of new agents. Bring new hires into the office for their first 6-8 weeks of employment—allowing them to train side-by-side with experienced agents, reach very seasoned states and become self-sustaining—before sending them home to assume their regular WFH status.
Simply put—contact centers with strong WFM functions succeed more easily with WFH. That’s because the same proactive, plan-oriented skillsets that fuel top-notch WFM—building accurate assumptions, predictions and forecasts, for example—are needed to successfully deploy, manage and scale WFH.
For more information on managing a remote workforce, visit our Managing a Remote Workforce Definitive Guide.