Remote Call Center Technology Spotlight: Schedule Flexibility & Adherence

by | Jul 27, 2020 | Cloud Software, Technology Spotlight

Necessity is the mother of invention.

And over the past few months, across the single biggest work-from-home experiment in human history, organizations have had to reinvent their service approach, with many potential benefits quietly emerging.

For instance, call centers now have a saturated market of qualified and skilled agents, with hiring no longer confined by regional boundaries. With remote agents connecting to opportunities best aligned to their skills around the globe, call centers now have a seemingly unlimited and accessible pool of great candidates to choose from.

The best agents are still the ones that can deliver exceptional customer experiences and high process efficiency — but with the at-home model potentially becoming a long-term staple rather than a short-term workaround, does the call center industry need to reload their tooling to support these new models?

The answer is very likely yes.

To support agents across distributed teams, call center leaders may need better solutions for scheduling and adherence to optimize the output of their remote agents.

Here are some important questions to consider:

Is it time for a “work when you want” agent model?

With more remote agents available, many call centers are leaning into the growing desire to let agents control their personal scheduling and tailor productivity outside the traditional shift model (think Uber). This has increased the need for shift bidding and scheduling tools (which we cover below). The benefits of “work when you want” is that call centers can control for the qualifications necessary for their organization while letting the marketplace of agents vie for the remote opportunities. By tapping into agent competition, call centers spend less time and money focused on administering and adapting schedules or hiring new talent.

What might I be missing in implementing a “work from anywhere” approach?

There are lots of considerations that might not be obvious right away. The work model may increase your W9s or W2 — it may even require shifting an existing employee from one tax form to another. Also, onboarding and ongoing learning will still be a necessity to maintain a skillful agent pool and grow your call center capacity, so you may consider how self cross-training and self-certification processes become the norm for your contact center.

Luckily, Cloud Call Center Search knows exactly the questions you need answered. If you’re considering a work-from-home agent model, contact us.

Shift Bidding & Schedule Flexibility for Remote Call Centers

Flexible scheduling allows employers to generate agent-friendly, administratively lightweight schedules at scale. And this approach has become even more popular across a hybrid economy of remote, flexible call center agents competing for work. 

Through shift bidding software, call centers can optimize the speed and success of their scheduling. Call centers can set up shift bidding to allow high-performing agents the first pick at desirable shifts. This preference will encourage agents to increase their own performance to get first choice (and it very likely will create high retention among your best agents, as they enjoy the flexibility of their schedule).

Schedule Adherence Becomes Priority for Remote Call Centers

The more remote your workforce, the seemingly less control your leaders have to guide their teams. At least that is the perception.

Leading workforce management (WFM) solutions have made it easier to monitor schedule adherence and the performance of your remote teams.

In fact, with remote teams, it’s actually less intrusive, as technology works in the background to share employee insights (call volume/call precision, etc.) instead of on-premise call center workers feeling like there’s always someone looking over their shoulder.

With new forecasting algorithms changing due to COVID-19, it’s important that call centers are monitoring activities (like time on a call vs. ready for a call) against the inactive time of their agents. Further, these new scheduling models will become far more important to manage adherence and attrition across remote teams.

Even the smaller contact centers are having to consider WFM solutions which normally have not been necessary for the brick and mortar environments.  

Don’t Wait to Implement Schedule Flexibility and Call Adherence 

Whether you’re interested in schedule flexibility for your agents or schedule adherence for your call center, Cloud Call Center Search is the expert you should contact. By working with a team of call center leaders with more than 30 years of experience, we’ll help you select the right vendor and best support your remote agents.

If you’re looking for cloud-based call center solutions to help elevate and empower your agents during COVID-19, contact us today for a risk-free, no-cost consultation to get all your initial questions answered fast.