Six Ways to Empower At Home Call Center Teams – Covid-19


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working from home best practices

Best Practices for contact centers to stay connected and engaged with their teams and customers in the time of physical distancing.

Here at BPA Quality, we have had remote teams for more than 10 years, and here are six best practices for those just getting started. Since COVID-19 pushed our entire workforce to a WFH scenario, we have uncovered several recommendations for working remotely throughout the journey.

#1 Scheduling

Flexibility is key when looking at scheduling. Since team members are sharing their home with others, such as children, pets, and other working adults, we have relaxed scheduling guidelines to include earlier or later times, while keeping in mind when technical assistance is available, should they need it. Our job requires scenarios that facilitate being able to focus appropriately. Keeping communication with leads and teams about conflicts creates more efficient and productive outcomes.

#2 Meetings

There are plenty of apps teams can use to keep team members connected no matter where they are. Daily or weekly meeting frequencies enhance communication and collaboration among members. Meeting etiquette hasn’t changed as far as being on time, participating, contributing; however, now participants are more patient when handling background noise. Being more forgiving with kids playing, dogs barking, phones ringing, etc. is important during this time. Reminding each other about using the mute button cuts down on noise and distractions … just
remember to unmute yourself when you have a great point to add to the discussion.

#3 Coaching

Increase the number of coaching sessions, as these have become a safe space for team members to raise issues, collaborate on solutions, share ideas, and connect with their team leads. It is important that the agent doe more of the talking, not the supervisor. Don’t stress over the settling in period, there will be time to adjust ebbs and flows of volumes.

#4 Leading

Provide Regular feedback
It is essential remote members receive the assurance that their work is important and appreciated. Feedback Sessions allow team leads to gauge the level of engagement of their members. How do they feel about their work? Are they happy? Do they feel supported?

Supervisors now have to be good meeting facilitators and have a firm grasp on the console tools. Before any meeting begins, the host (supervisor) needs to have the meeting console open and ready to allow the meeting to begin on-time. A lot of time can be wasted on just starting the meeting and doing a role call. This is the time to make meetings engaging and efficient.

#5 IT Assistance

IT Support is needed in different ways now and making this support accessible is key to keeping agents engaged. Employees working from home can encounter connectivity and weather issues, etc., and they need to have support readily available. Uncover other options, such as supervisor help or troubleshooting guides. Keeping them productive is crucial.

#6 Include Everyone

It’s vital members feel they are a part of the team. Seemingly small things like making sure no one gets left behind in email lists and group chats significantly affects morale and belongingness.

Go on Fun Breaks
Have the entire team check-in on an informal 15- or 30- minute meeting where everyone can chill and virtually hang out with one another. The agenda is simply to establish team rapport and camaraderie. We are in this together, just from a distance.

Celebrate as a Team
Nothing beats celebrating as a team when goals are achieved, birthdays or milestones occur. Team celebrations boost morales. Happy members are the secret ingredients of a well-connected team.

Bonus: Staying Connected Virtually

    *Send virtual activities that agents can do on their breaks
    *Encourage the team to share pictures of themselves working, their families and/or pet coworkers
    *Send an IM of “Good Morning,” or “Have a good evening.” to simulate the same greetings that were done in the office
    *Share pictures of what motivates you during this time.
    *Meeting Consoles are ideal for sharing news and pictures … Do it!
    *Virtual pot-lucks via recipe sharing

    You can find more insight and helpful links here.

Karyn Dupree
Senior, New Business Development / Quality Consultant, Brand Strategy & Marketing Director with 20+ years of experience in delivering excellence in customer experience, sales, and marketing. While managing a call center team of inside sales executives, I implemented sales plans and sales programs that were recognized in driving new sales and business, which was turned into a successful new account executive training program.


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