Being a manager of anything is hard work. You need to have a handle on everything and everyone you’re meant to be managing, balancing your own responsibilities with making sure the people on your team are excelling at their jobs, all while maintaining a positive attitude. Sound difficult? Now try managing a team of people who are all in different locations, dealing with different environments and distractions, all while speaking directly with customers who have the power to make or break your business.
Now are you stressed? That’s what it is like managing a remote call center—and if you don’t have the knowledge and the tools to do it well, it’s easy to falter and see your numbers drop as a result. Fortunately, we are here to help! Here are three tips that will help you successfully manage your remote call center.
- Train, Train, Train
If you run an effective call center, training has always been an integral part of your business. After all, it ensures that your agents are prepared for any inquiries and problems they might receive from customers, a sense of preparedness that not only increases the likelihood that customers will hang up happy but that also boosts agent confidence and improves agent retention. But if you are running a remote call center, there is no limit to the amount of training that will be beneficial to your team. With all your agents working remotely, it’s more difficult to set up a quick meeting with one or more agents to talk through a new issue. From the agent’s perspective, it may also be more difficult to get in touch with a supervisor during a call if they are faced with a problem they don’t know how to solve. Providing frequent training—whether through webinars, virtual classroom sessions or interactive training programs—will help you get ahead of all of these potential hiccups in your agents’ ability to provide effective customer service.
- Be Empathetic
When you’re working in an office alongside the members of your team, it’s easy to scan their faces on the way to your desk to ascertain how everyone is doing on a given day. Physical proximity makes it easy to be empathetic to your agents without actively thinking about doing it. But when you are not in the same place as them, when you can’t see the person behind the computer, it becomes much more important to prioritize empathy. Your agents are not robots or AI software spitting out answers to customer inquiries—they are real people dealing with real lives. While it is certainly reasonable to expect a certain degree of professionalism and of checking their personal lives at the metaphorical office door, as a good manager you also need to be understanding in the same way you want your agents to be empathetic to your customers. Making them feel comfortable and cared for on their worst days will help them provide flawless customer service on their best.
- Prioritize Easy-to-Use Tools
There are plenty of factors in the day of a call center agent that can’t be controlled, chief among them the callers. For this reason, controlling and streamlining the things you can control as a manager is one of the most powerful things you can do to help your agents do their jobs better. The first thing on this list should be the call center platform you are using. You don’t want agents to be struggling to change tabs, search for solutions or enter customer information while also trying to talk a disgruntled customer off the ledge. Your call center software must be intuitive, easy-to-use and tailored to the most common tasks your agents deal with on a daily basis. If you haven’t found this software yet, CallShaper might be the one. To find out, schedule a demo today.