If an organization implements a remote contact center with home operators, then this is reasonable. Especially in light of the virus threat. But there are risks and subtleties in this business. It is important to think about how to maintain the discipline of remote operators in order to avoid absenteeism-lateness. And take measures to reduce staff turnover, which is traditionally 20-30% higher in remote call centers than in in-house ones. A lot has been written about managing remote workers, but here we will look at three practical issues that are overlooked:
- Low level of discipline of remote workers;
- It is difficult to control a remote employee;
- High staff turnover.
Low supervisor authority = lack of discipline among operators
The level of discipline is directly related to the authority of the head of operators – the supervisor. If there is no close working and emotional contact between him and his subordinates, the risk increases that people sabotage his orders or take them insufficiently responsibly. It is fraught with loss of control and losses. An illustrative example. Given: online store. The probability of buying goods, taking into account the ransom, is 60%. Average check – 2.000 rubles. The average processing time for a client request is 5 minutes. The cost of attracting a lead – 500 rubles. The difference between income and expenses for marketing: 2.000×0.60-500 = 700 rubles. Since there are other costs, let's say they are 80%. Then the expected profit is 700x (1-0.80) = 140 rubles. The operator is 5 minutes late from the break. The company is losing lead. The probability of a client not returning if the application was not processed on time is 30%. Risk assessment in money: 140×0.30=42 rubles. There are 20 people in the CC, everyone is late 1 time a day every other day (10 times a month), profit losses per year 20x10x42x12 = 108.000 rubles. Comparable to the cost of paying a supervisor for 2 months. And that's only if peopleslightly disobey him anddo not violate much work schedule. Those who are respected will be obeyed. And they respect strong professionals. Therefore, make sure of two things: firstly, the supervisor himself must be able to fulfill production plans and do it much better than his subordinates. For example, if the conversion goal is 60%, and the manager fails to make 70%, then this is not cool. Second, give agents access to audio recordings or chat logs of the supervisor's conversations with clients, so that they can use these recordings as role models. Planning meetings and coaching will not be enough: they will not be respected as a professional – they will not observe discipline and fulfill the plan. And it will turn out like this:
Turn on video recording of operator screens
Another problem lies on the surface: an employee can be seen in the office, but not remotely. And therefore it is not clear what he is doing at a particular moment. The situation is exacerbated if the degree of automation of the contact center is low and the agents have to perform a significant number of operations manually. Typical questions from the management of the contact center and the company to the supervisor in this case sound like this:
- Where is the time spent?
- Why didn't you warn me?
- Why not according to the instructions?
- Why didn't you report?
- Who made this decision?
- Why again?
When working with homeworkers, objectively, more control is required compared to in-house CC. Light recommendation: record agent screens and view at least one recording of one contact of each agent at least once a week. This helps a lot to deal with the waste of working time, but in itself is not a panacea.
Automate the control of agents with a bot that will help the head of the contact center
There is a tricky life hack that is used not only to control operators, but also to influence both discipline and work efficiency. The bottom line is to give a bot to help the supervisor. It works like this: in real time, the system looks into the CC and / or CRM databases and tracks the events that need to be responded to. Examples:
- The operator talks to the client for too long;
- The agent after the conversation is in the post-call processing of the contact for too long (Wrap-Up time);
- The daily sales figures of specific employees are below the allowable limit;
- A remote call center manager is losing too many leads;
- There has been a negative trend in the number of applications suspected of fraud (…), etc.
The average online store has 70-80 rules. Naturally, the supervisor cannot physically control their simultaneous execution. Therefore, if an event that requires a reaction occurs, the bot from under the supervisor's account (this is important), writes to the operator in human language. Simply put, it imitateskick on behalf of a living leader, for example: Alina, you are talking with the client for too long, speed up. The operator thinks that the boss paid attention to his work and changes his behavior. If after 3 comments the employee does not respond, the bot notifies the supervisor and the violation is logged and affects the total performance indicator = wages. It turns out real-time control of parameters, but the supervisors are unloaded. By the way, praising people with this bot, if they perform and overfulfill, no one bothers either – this is a great practice. By the way, staff turnover is highly correlated with the amount of time that the supervisor devotes to subordinates:
The specifics of home work: relatives of the operator learn about all the shortcomings of the work and advise him to quit
When setting up a remote contact center, it is important to pay attention to factors that distract the home-based agent. The problem is not even in meowing cats, barking dogs and neighbors with perforators who start repairs and interfere with work. The problem is third parties. Husbands, mothers, brothers and sisters very quickly receive feedback from the employee about the negative aspects of the work and issue a logical recommendation: quit this business, why do you need it?. For clarity, an example: A company uses a remote call center to make outbound calls to potential customers. The product she promotes is quite worthy. But the quality of the preparation of the database is low, it often contains duplicate contacts that are distributed to different operators. Naturally, subscribers report that they have already been made an offer, some are indignant and rude. If the operators worked in an office, they might have discussed it at home with loved ones, or they might not. Or would have done it once or twice. But when there is a person nearby who can complain, they do itwithout leaving the machine and get a comment in the spirit:Again, your stupid bosses can not get the job done. Another example: A small home contact center handles incoming customer requests. The process is poorly automated, operators have to perform operations for processing applications for a long time and control how they are executed by related departments. Due to poorly planned schedules, CC employees accept each other's applications. Among them there is an inattentive one who violates the rules for processing and tracking applications. At the same time, proper management of the quality of work of the CC is not ensured. Conscientious and accurate operators have to constantly correct the work of a colleague and, of course, they share their dissatisfaction with their families. And, of course, they hear in responseWhy do you need it? This demotivates and provokes staff turnover. As a general rule, make sure there are no such out-of-syncs in home agent management.
How problem logging can improve the quality of remote operators
Practice shows that the ideal approach is not only to speak with operators at least once every 2 days, but also to create an electronic journal where they can fix problems. At the same time, it’s a good idea to pay extra for each confirmed ticket from the log and make call center managers responsible for fixing problems. The author recommends paying 200-500 rubles per unit. As soon as the payroll starts to grow, supervisors receive legitimate questions from senior management and take action. Such is the compulsion to quality and process optimization.
1. Ensure the authority of the supervisor. He must be able to exceed production targets, and samples of his work (sound recordings, chat logs, sound recordings, emails) must be shown to operators daily. If the supervisor himself cannot show high results, then he will not be obeyed. 2. Automate routine operations to control the work of operators using a bot. The bot should monitor employees' KPIs in real time and tell them what to improve in their work: reduce after-call processing time, try to increase the average check or the number of positions in the check, etc. This will offload the supervisor to work with people. 3. Make sure that your processes do not create difficulties for the operator, which he will tell his relatives about, and they, in turn, will advise you to quit. Regular study of screen recording will help this. From them, problematic operations and sources of unproductive time consumption are visible.
Dmitry Galkin, independent contact center management consultant