As with any business dealing with remote workers, the success of a remote support center team is built on technology for communication, tracking and employee training/engagement. Thirty-six percent of remote workers and decision makers say they use some type of cloud-based management tool for performing their job remotely according to a Staples workplace survey. But these and other statistics cannot account for the fact that technology can only facilitate communication as opposed to the equal need of creating communication clarity.
There are many technologies required for remote support centers to enable optimum work from employees in varied locations. This blog looks at those vital technologies, the role they play in the success of a remote workforce, and the changes/responsibilities that come with deploying them.
Hardware, Broadband, and Bandwidth Needs
High speed internet is mandatory along with enough bandwidth for everyone, which requires a minimum of 16Mbps. Everyone will need to have full access to resources whether they are cloud-based or on-premise. While some managers can work with internal IT to make all the needed arrangements, it’s likely that IT will have its hands full with plenty of other projects focused on the company’s entire workforce.
That and other challenges point to a need for some outside support and expertise to make permanent remote support centers work for all employees. For example, you will need to perform a detailed needs assessment to develop technical communication, collaboration training and support needs. This begins with the home office technology needs and who will be responsible for their choice, setup and payment as well as the business’ network and platform responsibilities.
While remote employees can supply their own equipment, it makes for an uneven experience that could create challenges. The ideal scenario is to provide computers, cloud-based software, and other needed technology tools and broadband recommendations. When you pair these tools with decision and help desk implementation setup support, you ensure:
- Data is kept secure
- Communication and access channels are controlled, integrated, and uniform across all disparate agents
- Devices meet regulatory compliance standard (PCI, SOX, HIPAA compliance among others)
- Bandwidth needs are sufficient for any needed collaboration or video conferencing functionality
This will form the basis of your communication, collaboration, and employee engagement that enables building a winning customer service team.
While remote workers can choose broadband plans/providers, headsets, and computers, the company must provide strict guidelines for minimum compatibility standards. By developing a list of preferred vendors and models, you can integrate service desk planning so IT can get them up and running and resolve any issues. This will be even more crucial for support centers that provide technical support to end users/customers.
To enable seamless and transparent remote work from employees, support center software will need to be cloud-based and offer all the diverse functionality that agents and management need for internal and external operations. This includes functions like IVR, call routing, call monitoring, and other core call center functionality. There are also potential support center software integration needs with CRM, CSM, and help desk software among others.
Whatever type of center you’re starting, you need an internal communication tool like Microsoft Teams or Slack. Some call center software, CRM, CSM and help desk software tools have this capability built in. The right remote call center support partner can provide integrated approaches to:
- Support center software
- Analytics and BI
These and a wealth of other tools can provide a streamlined back end and front end for the business, the remote support center, and its agents.
Today’s leading support partners are experts in working with solution platforms like ServiceNow to deliver integrated call center technology solutions and skilled remote agents. This enables them to leverage innovative ServiceNow partnerships with major cloud providers. A recent ZDNet article focused on the ServiceNow partnership with AWS using Amazon Connect to deliver an integrated cloud call center platform with AI, conversational bot development, and speech recognition with ServiceNow’s digital workflows.
Skilled Remote Agent Support
Successful remote support workforce management has a lot of moving parts. This is why it’s important to understand technology and tools are just the glue holding a remote call center team and management together. These things enable them to communicate, collaborate, and be productive. But the key will always be having the right people as remote agents, which can be a challenge.
While agents hold the keys to success in a support center, they are also the most expensive resource accounting for 60% to 70% of expenses. Some support providers can also deliver skilled agents to help round out existing teams or build entire teams for a business or company.
The combination of tools, technologies, and policies all work together to provide managers and remote support center agents with everything they need to:
- Maximize productivity
- Stay engaged
- Remain connected
- Ensure a positive and engaged attitude
Remote agents are a great addition to any support center arsenal by delivering a top quality of service that makes 24/7 customer service a reality while keeping costs low. By working with a support center development consulting partner like Solugenix, you can ensure that planning, implementation, and outcomes deliver optimum team productivity, collaboration and customer service.