Telecommuting Technology and Remote Agents
With technology from Database Systems Corp., the concept of a virtual call center is now a practical reality. Consider having your call center workforce accepting and making calls from remote offices or even from home. Also consider having monitoring and control technology in place to make this scenario possible. Perhaps even your supervisors are working from home as well. Also consider having a phone system that answers your customer inquiries on its own, but with agents available if ever needed. This phone system can even contact your customers or prospects with announcements and alerts.
Allowing your employees to work from home gives you a competitive edge over traditional call centers. Now you can hire highly qualified individuals who could not otherwise commute to your center. Handicapped individuals, single parents and the elderly can now become an integral part of your remote workforce.
The following is an article relating to telecommuting technology products and services.
Technology Can Help Cut Call Agent Churn
The following is an extract from the article "Technology Can Help Cut Call Agent Churn" by Bruce McCracken from CRM Buyer:
"American businesses are struggling with retaining experienced customer service agents as demands and contacts increase along with higher expectations in the customer-driven economy. At the same time, the marching orders to the contact centers are to keep costs down, reduce call time, increase satisfaction rates and up-sell, that is, get customers to buy more profitable products and services.
The offshore solution to customer service does not always work, especially for high-priority, high-touch customers. Among other problems, cultural differences, dissimilar lifestyle and language nuances can irritate the customer and threaten branding.
Another solution -- telecommuting customer service agents -- is being increasingly adopted, and technological advances through Web services architecture, telephony, multimedia, high-speed connectivity and myriad of other capabilities have literally brought the concept up to speed.
High Churn Rate
Companies spend up to $15,000 to add a new call center agent to their staff, with an average retention of six months and a 40 percent annual churn. In comparison, a virtual-contact center using telecommuting customer service agents can provide high quality personnel with an annual turnover rate at or below 10 percent, Elio Evangelista, senior analyst for research and consulting firm Cutting Edge Information, told CRM Buyer.
"Three percent of the U.S. population works in call centers," Evangelista notes. As a result, competition for the best and seasoned customer service representatives (CSR) is fierce. "Telecommuting is becoming more of an option as technology is improved. You can create a virtual call center. With telecommute you can recruit at the national level," Evangelista pointed out.
For the new CSR, the pressure is constant and the burnout frequent they succumb to the nonstop deluge of dissatisfied, occasionally angry callers. For many, it is not a career but, rather, a temporary "McJob."
But technological offerings are now at a level that makes telecommuting -- with its cost-savings for the company and benefits for the worker -- a real alternative.
Linked Through Technology
"Basically, all the tools that are available in a facility are also available in a remote environment." Tim Houlne, CEO for remote agent call center service provider Working Solution, told CRM Buyer. "The information available to the remote CSR has no limitations," he added.
Linkage to and from all segments, from the data centers to the CSR, is accomplished through virtual private networks (VPNs), intranets, and/or the Internet.
Training is done online remotely and/or on site, usually using the same methods and modules used in a brick and mortar call center......"
To view the entire article, please visit www.crmbuyer.com.