Are Remote Agents Receiving Enough Coaching to Be Successful?

June 20, 2022

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With a remote contact center, your agents might need more coaching and training to be successful. The reality is that remote agents do face challenges that aren’t found in a traditional center. Whether it’s a distracting home office environment or a lack of connection, they might not have everything they need to thrive – and, even more problematic, they might not realize what skill or knowledge gaps are holding them back.

That’s where high-level remote agent coaching comes in. With the right amount of support, they’ll be able to deliver exceptional customer support and feel comfortable in their role. Let’s look at why adequate remote agent coaching is so vital and what you can do to ensure your agents have the help they need to excel at their job.

Why Effective Coaching for Remote Agents Is Critical

When it comes to the contact center experience, the disparity between customer expectations and reality is often larger than most businesses want to admit. One study found that 93 percent of customers who call into an organization’s contact center expect a resolution on that first call. But for the average call center, first call resolution only happens 58 percent of the time.

While there are different ways to address this shortfall – better analytics, technology, and processes – none of these things can be effective if your contact center agents don’t have the training and coaching they need.

But here’s the thing – if you have a newly remote team, your contact center manager might be working with an untested remote agent training process. Or, they might be coaching remote agents without the analytical insights required to truly understand what type of support each agent actually needs.

To make sure your remote agents are receiving the support they need to be successful, it’s important to understand the challenges remote teams face and implement ways to overcome them.

3 Challenges that Remote Agents Face and How Better Training Can Overcome Them

Remote and hybrid contact centers are part of the new normal in business. During the height of the pandemic, about 90 percent of global contact center agents were working from home.

While those high numbers don’t persist today, there are still a lot of businesses using remote contact centers, many of which are using a work-from-home or hybrid model for the first time.

Unless your agents have been working from home for years, your company might not have had the chance to overcome some of the common challenges remote agents face. But with the right training and support, you can ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to overcome these issues.

1. Keeping Home Devices Secure

Because your remote agents aren’t working through your on-premises systems, they have to take extra steps to keep their home devices secure. In the office, they can simply log into your systems and get to work. But, with a work-from-wherever model, they need to have more cybersecurity training.

As part of your remote agent training, your contact center managers should cover the following during onboarding:

  • How to keep personal devices safe with two-factor authentication
  • Ensuring they’re accessing your database only when on a secure network, such as a company-provided VPN
  • Password best practices, including generating strong passwords, changing passwords often, and not using the same password across different platforms

2. Staying Productive

Another issue is motivation – without the in-office environment, it can be hard for remote agents to stay focused. They might become distracted if they don’t have a quiet home office space. Additionally, without a manager and co-workers on-site to set a standard for productivity, some agents might start falling behind their typical performance metrics.

A lack of motivation can lead to a range of problems, such as fewer calls answered per day, customer complaints, and a lack of satisfaction at work.

To overcome this issue, managers can provide guidance on how to set up a productive work-from-home environment. Remote agent training should also include tips for how to establish boundaries when working from home and how to avoid issues such as burnout or feelings of isolation.

As part of your contact center coaching processes, managers should set clear goals so remote agents know what the expectations are for call volume, call resolution, and call duration. This clarity will help your remote agents maintain productivity. It will also prevent them from burning out because they’re unsure of expectations and putting in more work than they should.

3. Lack of Feedback

When everyone is in the office, agents are able to interact with one another and managers all the time. So, they’re more likely to receive feedback on a daily basis. Whether it’s a manager listening in on a call and providing immediate insights on how the call went, or co-workers discussing their workday experiences, this constant flow of communication that happens in the office lets an agent know how they are doing.

In a remote contact center situation, managers have to work harder to provide this ongoing feedback loop. That’s why more regular coaching is so important with remote agents. Ideally, a manager is coaching agents to help them learn specific skills, but they are also regularly checking in with agents to see if they have questions and shadowing calls to uncover which agents need extra coaching.

Better Remote Agent Coaching Starts with Having the Right Technology

With a remote contact center, managers need to provide remote-specific training when onboarding. But they also need more insights into agent performance and more tools to keep agents motivated and engaged.

With the right insights, it’s possible to create a high-quality onboarding process that sets up remote agents for success and ensures that coaching is helping agents thrive and feel good about their work.

With Intermedia Contact Center, your remote managers will have everything they need to support their contact center agents. The platform comes with call recording, live monitor and whisper features, agent chat logs, and more. You can also send evaluation notifications for coaching to agents through the platform, making it easy to hone in on what skills an individual agent needs help with.

And with advanced performance analysis features, including real-time queue and agent statistics, tracking improvements is seamless.

Learn more about how Intermedia Contact Center can help you set up your remote agents for success.

Rob Oscanyan

Rob is Director for Product Marketing for Contact Center as a Service here at Intermedia.

June 20, 2022

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