A decade ago, it was just a dream that people would be working virtually and the cloud would enable you to be anywhere, anytime on a mobile device, with access to gigabytes of information.
These dreams are now a reality, as contact center home agents work with clients and take calls from queues. These agents possess the skills and requirements, that make virtual agents (or home-based agents) unique.
Virtual agents can handle inbound and/or outbound calls and other types of interactions from a variety of customer touchpoints, including chat, e-mail and social media communications. The list of companies that have virtual contact center agents continues to grow, as well as BPO’s that have expanded home agent capabilities.
Reasons Why You Should Incorporate Home Agents
#1. Reduced Operating Costs
Reduction in turnover, retaining of top talent, shortening of employee leave time, availability of part-time workers are all significant operating costs that stand to be improved upon through the use of home-agent work arrangements.
According to productivity studies, contact centers that implement home agent based systems tends to lower their overall operating costs by double digits. This is a combination of reducing facility needs which includes less need for facility expansion, lower utility bills, reductions in common areas (break areas, etc.,). Costs are also recovered in the the areas involved in hiring, training, learning curve reduction due to the fact that the workforce has become more stable.
#2. Improved Customer Experience & Agent Productivity
The proper use of new cloud-based monitoring tools directly impacts home agent productivity. Cloud solutions offer analytical tools for insights into operational transaction data. The major concerns of remotely managing workers and their environments is rapidly diminishing.
These cloud based tools make it easy to compile and present in understandable and actionable dashboards how home agents are performing. Their work is being monitored the same way that it would be within a traditional contact center environment.
By improving home agent performance and the overall customer experience, the lifetime value of the customer has the opportunity to grow.
#3. Improved Disaster Recovery
By virtualizing your contact center, research shows that you are more likely to perform regular back-up and synchronization of data. In the event that systems need to be recovered, virtualized locations come back up 35% quicker than traditional on premise contact centers.
There are plenty of reasons to move forward with home agent models, given the ability to reduce costs and improve the customer experience. What’s important to realize is that you can’t just “flip a switch” to virtualize your contact center.