Few felt more of a strain in the shift to remote work in 2020 than contact center managers. Traditionally in the contact center, supervisors worked shoulder-to-shoulder with their agents in a centralized environment — which meant they had to readjust their entire approach when their teams moved to remote work. Thankfully, workforce management solutions, particularly those bundled with contact center technology, can help managers supervise their remote teams as effectively from home as they could in the office.
In an on-premise world, supervisors were easily privy to agent performance, adherence to work policies and procedures, and most importantly customer outcomes. The training and support that supervisors provided was mostly delivered in person. And supplemental motivational strategies like performance boards were in plain sight for agents to compare each other’s performances with their own.
But in the world we live in now, employees aren’t always in their traditional office space. They are dispersed among various remote workstations — most often at home — with a greatly reduced percentage of workers in brick-and-mortar facilities. The virtual contact center has become a functional reality.
Cloud communications solutions have done a great job allowing employees to work seamlessly from anywhere. However, contact center managers have been left more in a lurch when it comes to benefitting from the new de-centralized model. Even as agents handle interactions from their homes, supervisors don’t have the ability to look over the shoulder of their staff to determine how well contacts are being handled, who is performing to their ability, and which agents need intervention.
Or can they? For managers who are used to directing their agents in-person, innovations like monitoring systems, contact analytics, and workforce management tools are ideal for allowing these supervisors to manage performance and compliance needs. Sophisticated, cloud-based contact center solutions—including those with advanced workforce management tools—can deliver capabilities that allow supervisors to manage agents in real time, across both remote and on-site locations.
One of the major assets of a premises-based contact center solution was that it allowed managers to benefit from call analytics and reporting capabilities that provided insights into agent performance. Cloud-based solutions now offer even more features than on-premises systems, and can provide supervisors with the insights they need to better manage their operations. For example, contact reporting and analytics functionalities deliver real-time metrics that can aggregate the performance of the entire team, agent by agent or department by department, no matter where each is located.
Contact center technology puts data on dropped contacts, hold times, and volume surges right at a manager’s fingertips. Armed with this data on a continuous basis, contact center managers can deliver purpose-driven coaching and support to their teams, almost as if they were all located in the same room.
Quality workforce management tools go even further. These features allow supervisors to ascertain the compliance of agents down to the shift, hour, and minute. Real-time adherence capabilities track activity, monitor adherence to company policies, and measure outcomes for all team members, whether on-site or at remote locations. Effective WFM solutions ensure more consistent adherence and performance across-the-board, maximizing productivity.
Cloud-based workforce management tools also enable supervisors to easily adjust and arrange agents’ schedules, regardless of location. Managers can organize and change agent schedules through simple drag-and-drop features to create and adjust team schedules across the entire organization in real time.
These are some of the features that can make a huge difference for contact center managers adjusting to working with their teams remotely. With the right solutions, supervisors can encourage and guide their agents to deliver superior customer experiences, by leveraging the “Manage From Home” strategy.