Cloud contact centers may operate in buildings filled with agents that learn and work together, but today’s reality is that most call centers are now distributed, with agents working from home or another safe location rather than in a call center alongside other agents and contact center supervisors. .
A distributed workforce brings new challenges to supervising cloud contact center agents and encouraging them to stay engaged and productive during their working hours. Let’s face it: conditions are not likely to change any time soon, if they ever do. Many businesses are expected to opt to continue remote working indefinitely because of the benefits it brings to the bottom line, like fewer sick days and reduced building costs.
Where does that leave cloud contact center supervisors who still need to make sure their companies are getting the most out of their teams? Here are some of the best ways to improve agent productivity in cloud contact centers whether they are in person or remote.
1. Break down tasks that can be done during idle time.
Agents should be encouraged to use the average 49 minutes of idle time during a typical contact center shift in productive ways rather than just sit and wait for calls to come in. While 49 minutes sounds like a lot, the actual time between calls is only about three minutes. But in that three minutes agents can make call backs, respond to emails or social interactions or prepare for their next call.
Breaking down tasks to fit into shorter timeframes can help fight the usual procrastination or even anxiety that can come from trying to accomplish something and being constantly interrupted. The bottom line is, your agents get more done each day when tasks are appropriately broken into doable chunks of time.
2. Empower agents to make wise decisions when serving customers.
Employee engagement and productivity rise when agents feel empowered to make decisions that help them become more efficient and effective at their job. Providing agents with the right tools and information to make informed decisions to resolve customer issues quickly enhances engagement. Empowering agents, in turn, leads to better customer experiences and better overall results for the contact center as a whole.
3. Make sure KPIs are understood.
It may seem time-consuming to train and test agents’ understanding of the essential contact center KPIs like idle time, wait time, and adherence rate, but it can mean the difference between agents who monitor themselves and use those parameters to track their own performance and those that need constant hand-holding. The more you train and the more agents understand, the more autonomous your contact center agents will be.
4. Train agents to be multi-channel.
Multi-channel agents have the advantage of varied job responsibilities throughout the day. Rather than enduring periods of downtime waiting for their next call, multi-channel agents can spend that time responding to customers via social interactions or chats, making every moment count and keeping the agent engaged and customer service moving forward.
For more information on getting the most productive and engaged cloud contact center possible, no matter where it is located or how widely distributed your team may be, view a demo or contact RingCentral for information about our world-class customer engagement solutions.
Originally published Sep 28, 2020, updated Jan 30, 2023