Let’s face it, the workplace will forever look different.  Companies that would have never allowed employees to work from home – have now uncovered a well of productivity they didn’t know they had.  This is the new frontier of the workplace and with it, new challenges. When all your employees go virtual overnight, how do you keep your finger on the pulse of productivity?

It can be difficult to know if and when your team is working. Are they personally doing okay?  Are they adhering to the schedule, logging in on time or working overtime when it’s not necessary?  Are customers inquiries being addressed satisfactorily across channels?

The reality of this new virtual workplace offers many benefits to both the business and employees. However, there are challenges that, if not addressed, can actually impact productivity, and ultimately, customer satisfaction.  We have talked about the technology side of working from home – a million webinars on how to migrate to the cloud or how adding new technology can reduce the load of inbound customer interactions.

 

The overnight virtual workplace had CEO’s working at their kitchen tables, VP’s with kids busting into their offices in the middle of a video call – everyone was experiencing the work from home life all at once.

 

There’s also the human side of things that necessitates a productive and cohesive work environment.   The overnight virtual workplace had CEO’s working at their kitchen tables, VP’s with kids busting into their offices in the middle of a video call – everyone was experiencing the work from home life all at once.  We went from being annoyed at the dogs barking in the background or the co-worker that had to put you on mute to go answer the door to compassionate, understanding people.  It has humanized us all – giving us things to laugh about and experiences to share that have brought virtual teams together in a way not seen before.

As we are settling into the new normal – contact center managers are challenged with managing the balance of productivity, virtual fatigue and the ability to maintain a cohesive ‘team’ that can meet customer demands with quality service.  This presents new hurdles on both the people and technology fronts and why Workforce Optimization is more important now than ever.

So, what does it take to balance customer satisfaction with agent performance?

  • Engage, recognize and motivate teams through performance management and self-service options for scheduling. Many companies are hesitant to journey down the road of workforce optimization– yet this may be the one area employers can influence that not only empowers work from home agents, but ensures top, uninterrupted service for customers.
  • Infuse self-service tools with AI for real-time decision making. Support agents with smart prompts that provide contextual and contact specific next best actions, increasing their ability to successfully resolve customer requests quickly creating lasting loyalty.
  • Enhance visibility of team performance with real time analytics and gamification. Provide access to team dashboards so agents can see the performance of the entire contact center and their own performance against their peers creates a level of connectedness that is critical to keeping teams motivated.

The human side of this virtual environment is more important than ever – staying connected, motivated, empowered and trusted are key to agent performance, overall job satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Let’s not forget, we are all in this together.

 

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Deploying WFM is no easy undertaking and requires strategic design, planning and roadmap that ensures connectivity across channels, agents and managers to drive the best possible experience.  Waterfield Technologies has been implementing contact center solutions for over 30 years and is keenly aware of requirements for creating an optimized WFH solution – whether physically in the contact center or remotely.