Remote agents, also known as virtual agents or telecommuting agents, are individuals who work for a contact center or customer service organization remotely, outside of a traditional office setting. Instead of working in a centralized physical location, remote agents perform their duties from their own homes or other remote locations using technology and communication tools.
Here are some key aspects of remote agents:
Location Independence: Remote agents have the flexibility to work from anywhere with an internet connection. They are not bound by geographical limitations and can be located in different cities, states, or even countries. This allows contact centers to tap into a larger pool of talent and potentially hire agents with specific language skills or expertise.
Virtual Communication: Remote agents rely on various communication tools to connect with customers and their team members. These tools may include voice over IP (VoIP) systems, chat platforms, video conferencing software, and email. Virtual communication enables remote agents to interact with customers and collaborate with colleagues without being physically present in the same location.
Technology and Infrastructure: Contact centers provide remote agents with the necessary technology and infrastructure to perform their tasks effectively. This typically includes access to a computer/laptop, high-speed internet, headsets, and other specialized hardware or software required for their specific roles.
Training and Support: Remote agents receive training and ongoing support from their contact center employers, just like their on-site counterparts. Training programs may be conducted virtually, utilizing e-learning platforms, webinars, or video tutorials. Support is usually provided through virtual channels such as instant messaging, phone, or ticketing systems.
Performance Monitoring: Contact centers employ various methods to monitor the performance of remote agents. This may include tracking metrics such as call handling time, customer satisfaction ratings, and adherence to schedules. Remote monitoring tools and software can help supervisors assess agent performance and provide feedback for improvement.
Work-Life Balance: Remote agents often enjoy increased flexibility in their work schedules, allowing for a better work-life balance. They have the opportunity to create their own workspace, avoid commuting, and have more control over their daily routines. This flexibility can contribute to higher job satisfaction and productivity.
Security and Compliance: Contact centers implement security measures to ensure that remote agents handle sensitive customer data securely. This may involve using virtual private networks (VPNs) for secure data transmission, implementing multi-factor authentication, and adhering to data privacy regulations.
Remote agents have become increasingly popular in contact center operations due to the advancements in technology, changing work preferences, and the need for flexible staffing options. By leveraging remote agents, contact centers can access a wider talent pool, provide efficient customer service, and offer enhanced work opportunities for individuals seeking flexible employment arrangements.
More Remote Agents Resources for Call & Contact Centers
Digital messages are reshaping the very fabric of interaction between businesses and their clientele. Acting as a seamless conduit, they help you transcend temporal and spatial constraints, providing fertile ground for real-time or near-real-time exchanges between customers and contact center agents.
At its core, the responsiveness inherent in digital messages becomes a cornerstone of customer satisfaction. The immediacy they afford stands in stark contrast to the traditional phone call, eradicating the exasperating experience of languishing on hold. Instead, customers find themselves engaged in fluid dialogues that align seamlessly with their modern, fast-paced lives. This newfound convenience not only elevates customer contentment but also bolsters the brand’s reputation for attentive and empathetic service.
Delving deeper into the orchestration of digital messages, the impact reverberates across both sides of the conversation. Remote agents, armed with the ability to adroitly manage multiple conversations concurrently, become paragons of efficiency and productivity.
Ensuring that remote agents have controlled access to relevant customer data & proper controls for sensitive information & data is hurdle number one.
1. Enable controls to ensure sensitive information is hidden, masked & only utilized if & when it’s needed.
With field-level encryption, you & your customers can rest assured that sensitive information is masked at the most granular levels. You need permission management in place so you can decide which levers to pull & for who.
2. Utilize Secure Payment Capture to take payments without your agents handling credit card information.
Secure Payment Capture lets agents securely capture PCI compliant credit card & eCheck payment information. These payment methods should be stored in your CRM system in order to process payments from your Agent’s dashboard at any time, without the need to display or request sensitive customer data.
3. Give your management team the tools to monitor & measure hand-offs & resolutions.
Field-level encryption, secure payment capture, & permission management are just a few of the mechanisms you should have in place to set your team up for success. Pre-configured agent experiences & an agent desktop editor would let you craft the view you want to give your staff. Task management & personal queue access help you effectively allocate resources. Integration to ticketing & WFO tools would let you maximize agent potential & adherence to established messaging.
LiveVox Holdings, Inc. (“LiveVox” or the “Company”), a leading cloud-based provider of customer service and digital engagement tools, has released the second edition of its LiveVox Work from Home Report, entitled “The Remote Tipping Point.” Overall, this year’s report found that there is a push by management to return to contact centers, but capabilities now found in the cloud and advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence (“AI”), have shown that a hybrid model can accommodate remote agents and improve contact center productivity. For this report, LiveVox interviewed over 300 contact center executives across North America, in more than five industries, to understand the challenges and successes they experienced while working from home. All participants in the survey directly oversaw customer service and contact center operations for their organizations.