With more of the workforce transitioning to remote positions, employers and their training departments are facing new challenges. Management teams are having to change the way they lead and rethink team structure in order to engage with their remote agents. Looking at the corporate examples that have successfully moved to a completely virtual or hybrid environment, there are three factors which they all focus on.
Although you may feel that you are an open person, you may not be as transparent as you think in your professional role. And in truth, it doesn’t matter how you view yourself. All that truly matters is how your front line agents perceive you and your management style. Being open and upfront about concerns and challenges is one way to authentically engage your remote agents.
Establishing transparency is even more difficult in a remote environment. Many remote agents may not even recognize your management team or the people you work with if you were to meet in person. Therefore, it is vital that you create new ways to interact in a virtual workplace. You can create a forum, newsletter, or videos that you send out on a regular basis, discussing company news and employee concerns.
Communication and Active Engagement
Along the same line of thought, transitioning to a virtual or hybrid workplace means that you have to find new methods to communicate. In a remote environment, you lose those face-to-face interactions. You don’t run into each other in the break room, pass your supervisor’s desk, or see them in the hallways.
Humans have an inherent need for acceptance and want to feel part of something. So you must find other ways to personalize interactions to actively engage people. Using webcams is an easy way to mimic in-person interactions. And, it helps you put faces to all your coworkers names.
You should also look for new types of communication feedback loops to replace the lost social interactions. There are tons of digital tools you can utilize to gather information and stay tuned in to your employees’ concerns. Try using digital surveys, suggestion boxes, and discussion forums to get feedback. Once you establish a way for them to share their feedback, it is equally important to ensure management responds in a timely manner. Otherwise, you could alienate remote workers even further by ignoring their feedback.
Building an Atmosphere of Trust
The key to retaining your employees and lowering attrition rates is by building an atmosphere of trust. It cannot be demanded; trust must be earned.
If your remote agents believe you are being open with them and feel they are being heard, it lays the foundation you can build on. From there, you can begin by creating ways for employees to share their comments and concerns. In addition to the tools already mentioned you can also use individual chats, open Team offices, and town hall meetings to stay connected.
However, these ideas only work when the communication feedback loops are complete. To authentically engage with your remote agents, you must respond with action. Not only must you listen to your employees, but your management team must follow up and find solutions.
These increased costs have the potential to deeply impact brand profitability. Choosing the wrong partner could make or break your bottom line. Not only does P3 address your financial concerns, but it also has the expertise to rework contact center processes well above that of most BPO consultants.
What Are the Best Practices for Selecting a Contact Center Partner?
As with all major important business decisions, selecting a contact center partner should not be taken lightly. According to industry experts, here are some of the best practices when choosing the right partner to fit your needs.
- You must understand their access and availability to a sound technology infrastructure.
Before you jump into anything, you want to make sure that your contact center partner
has the best platform and digital tools to support your needs. The last thing you want are
frequent technological issues disrupting business. Instead, you want a partner that can
provide quick solutions when problems arise.
- Recognize their ability to grow, scale, and flex with the needs of the business.
Secondly, You want a contact center partner that will help you grow and adapt to your business’ and customers’ changing needs. You need support you can rely on at any stage of your company’s sales or service needs.
- Familiarize yourself with new geographies, or geographies that are re-emerging.
Finally, don’t limit your potential by only looking for partners from the usual or most
common locations. New geographies are constantly emerging, and re-emerging as well. So, look beyond what everyone else is doing and find new opportunities.
What Other Factors Should You Consider?
In addition to the best practices, there are also outside factors you should consider when choosing who to go into business with. For example, is it economically feasible? Can you balance the economic impact of top-tier CX with the cost of delivery? Or, do the financial pros outweigh the cons of self service versus human interactions?
These economic concerns have become even more apparent with the arrival of Covid-19. As we navigate the unknown, you want a partner that has the infrastructure to support remote agents. A tell-tale sign of a strong partner is looking at their metrics and seeing how they performed when COVID-19 first emerged.
While the pandemic created many challenges, it also created new opportunities for emerging geographies. With traditional locations becoming oversaturated and rising costs, new locations are popping up to meet market demands. A greater variety of contact center services creates more options.
However, the most crucial factor is your partner’s efficiency in using the digital tools at their disposal. If they have a well-trained staff who understands how to maximize your system’s performance, you will operate more effectively without utilizing additional resources. So, you will need to determine if you will gain efficiency by partnering with this outside firm.
With our years of experience and expertise behind us, P3 can help you find the solutions to meet your contact center needs.