Over the past few weeks, many businesses have found themselves in a position they had never imagined, and not prepared for.

They’ve adapted quickly to an unprecedented scenario, finding ways to get their people working safely from home so that their company continues to support customers during the present pandemic.

Many organisations have achieved this, but found that there’s a difference between sending agents to work from home, and successfully deploying a work-at-home team.

And now that the team’s home safely, it’s time to pay attention to creating an at-home environment where they can work productively, securely, and happily for the foreseeable future.

As many companies are now learning, successfully deploying a home-based customer service team isn’t just a case of moving teams from the centre and then using the same in-centre processes. Simply picking those processes up and dropping them into a home environment just doesn’t work.

The first challenge is management. When looking after in-centre teams, team leaders can see and engage with their people. They can instantly provide advice and support and can literally see what they are doing by looking over their shoulder. In a work-at-home environment, a different style of management must be applied.

Greater creativity is needed to engage, support, and communicate with agents.

And regular communication is key to ensure agents feel supported and morale remains high in what, for many, will be difficult and alien circumstances.

Close monitoring requires the right technology. A platform, such as SYKES’ OneTEAM, gives team leaders the ability to observe what an agent is doing, even down to seeing what they’re typing. In this way, you can recreate the in-centre ability to look over a shoulder.

This platform also aids communication, allowing agents to chat amongst themselves, ask questions, and even put their hand up for help. It’s about making communication and collaboration as easy as possible, but in a way suited to a work-at-home environment.

Another area where success is key is security. With OneTEAM, the multiple layers of security make access anomalies instantly visible, even identifying if an agent enters their password using a different hand to usual.

Home-based customer service differs from in-centre working in virtually every respect. So, for success when deploying a home-based team, it’s not just a case of sending people home from the call centre. It’s a much more complex process of choosing the right people, skilling and equipping them well, and then supporting and guiding them for success.

To find out more about the successful deployment and management of a home-based customer service team, get in touch.

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