Remote Call Center Technology Spotlight: Agent Engagement

by | Jun 29, 2020 | Cloud Software, Technology Spotlight

You and your at-home agents may be reaping the benefits of a remote model, like better productivity, the elimination of a stressful commute, and the ability to work in a pair of comfy sweatpants. But the flip side of the remote model is an inevitable reduction in connection to your coworkers and your company.

Employee engagement in an at-home call center is not a given; it’s something you need to actively strive for.

Here are some ways to help your agents feel motivated and connected even when they are physically isolated.

How Gamification Makes Remote Work More Engaging 

It might be called “competition” or “winning” by your favorite in-house sales leader, but gamification has always been a powerful business concept in one respect or another.

Whatever the term, the psychologically potent instinct underlying gamification can now be leveraged in training.

Gamification has been shown to greatly improve agent performance by focusing effort around essential learning KPIs that are achieved through game-based processes. 

For instance, a call center could highlight high-performers for ongoing progress and skill development with badges or medals. They could also create reward structures for top performers across training assessments, giving agents perks or incentives based on their individual success.

This gamification focus often has positive ancillary benefits, too, such as improved agent retention and reduced overall costs. 

By attributing goals, metrics, points, and leaderboards to daily actions, you’re really just giving your agents an excuse to play at work.

After all, does Tetris take over the world if it doesn’t lean into those two powerful words: “high score”? 

With gamification, you can leverage a training model that is statistically proven to work with agents:

  • 95% of employees enjoy gamification elements mixed into their work
  • Gamification has been shown to improve performance by 14% on skill-based assessments.
  • 72% of employees say gamification inspires them to work harder.

Gamification lets organizations quickly ramp up their remote agents’ skills within a game-based structure that is enjoyable and easily administered across distributed teams.  

Leverage the training models already used by Salesforce, Siemens, SAP, and Microsoft, with a gamification model tailored to your organization. 

Help Remote Workers Connect with Collaboration Tools 

It’s generally more fun to work as a team — luckily, it’s actually more productive too.

73 percent of workers say they’re more productive with collaboration tools available to them.

Even before the rapid shift to remote teams due to COVID-19, BPO organizations have always sought to seamlessly connect agent teams while driving higher productivity.

Time will tell the true impact of the remote-work model across call centers, but the organizations that embrace agent collaboration tools today are going to be significantly ahead of the competitors that don’t. 

In one case, according to a study from the Institute of Corporate Productivity, an organization found 49% reduction in email volumes, a 25% drop in meetings, and a 32% increase in productivity. What did they do? They added an instant messaging tool.

That’s just one of many collaboration solutions BPO leaders can leverage for a cohesive and engaging remote environment. The biggest collaboration opportunities for BPOs exist across emerging tools for video, chat, and task management.  

Only your team will know the exact deliverables a collaboration tool must offer to truly engage your agent pool — but expert advisors can help you quickly identify the right tools (that work well together) to break down silos, reduce friction, and create real-time collaboration. 

Don’t let your remote gents waste valuable time sending emails when engagement across voice, chat, and task management has never been easier. 

How Leaderboards Help Agents Engage and Thrive

It’s hard for agents to stay on task — especially if they only have their willpower to help them.

In fact, experts at the American Psychological Association say willpower is quite similar to exercising. Just like physical exertion, willpower is a limited resource that dwindles as you “fatigue.” 

So, unless your agents are all mental marathoners, there’s only so much willpower to go around. 

To keep call center agents engaged, more and more BPO organizations are leveraging dashboards to mimic the leaderboards of our brick and mortar operations, which combine elements of gamification and collaboration together, to drive better agent ROI. Here’s how they work:

Your agents can collaborate and connect across a digital dashboard that monitors team and individual success simultaneously. Individual agents are given personal targets to aim for (which can be personalized to the agent), while the team works together on overall goals.

As your agents perform, the dashboard will be updated with real-time scores and rankings, creating a culture of engagement and accountability for every agent’s activities. 

Leaderboards can even be customized to create KPIs that are level-set among your entire team. This lets new agents compete with top performers. It also encourages struggling agents to do more than just “find the middle.” 

With 87% of workers saying they lack motivation, leaderboards are a creative and simple way to fun and healthy competition while elevating the overall productivity of your agents.

What Can I Do Today to Improve Remote Engagement?

Hard truth: It’s really hard to keep workers engaged.

Many contributors can exacerbate this challenge, such as:

  • Lack of peer connections
  • Outside pressures hurting morale
  • Higher consumer demands
  • Unstable work conditions

COVID-19 has certainly added to these frustrations and made it harder to give call center leaders an optimized approach to managing their newly remote workforces.

But luckily, many call center innovations can help improve engagement among your call center agents, creating better performance and a happier agent pool.

Whether you’re interested in gamification, collaboration tools, team leaderboards (or all three), businesses need to start the conversation with experts, not vendors, to determine how to best support their remote agents across an at-home model

If you’re looking for cloud-based call center solutions to help elevate and empower your agents during COVID-19, Cloud Call Center Search is here to help.

Contact us today for a risk-free, no-cost consultation to get all your initial questions answered fast.