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10 Reasons Your Contact Center Should Use Home Agents

1) Better employee retention. Most agents who plan on quitting to take a better-paying job – such as janitor or migrant farm worker – will reconsider if given the freedom to handle calls naked.

2) Expanded recruiting reach.
When seeking candidates for agent positions, you will no longer be limited to dropouts from just local high schools/colleges.

3) More flexible staffing/scheduling.
Such immediate access to their workstation makes it easy for off-duty home agents to work odd shifts and to save managers’ butts after inaccurate forecasts.

4) Higher productivity and quality.
The extra sleep and not having to suffer through rush-hour traffic enables home agents to stay focused and energized throughout the entire first half-hour of their shift.   

5) Decreased facility expenses.
You can grow the contact center without expanding walls, the parking lot, or the toilet paper budget.

6) Improved attendance.
Absenteeism and tardiness will drop, assuming you select reliable agents who don’t suffer from long-distance sleepwalking.

7) Enhanced disaster recovery.
No longer will road closures brought on by blizzards or Justin Bieber concerts bring employees and the contact center to a standstill.

8) Increased ability to tap “alternative” labor pools.
Going virtual provides job opportunities to qualified candidates who might otherwise be unable to consider contact center work – e.g., individuals with physical disabilities, older workers, or people deathly afraid of cubicles and industrial carpet.

9) More environmentally responsible.
Using home agents reduces vehicle pollution and gasoline/oil consumption; also conserves water since agents will no longer need to bathe, brush their teeth, wash their clothes or clean their wrist brace.

10) Improved call center aesthetics.
You can rid the center of the least-attractive and worst-dressed agents without losing their valuable skills and experience.


4/14/2011 11:59:24 pm

Greg,

Greg,
Another fine examination of what progressive management could be profiting from.

However one obvious benefit that seems to have escaped your scrutiny is the opportunity home working offers the entrepreneurial agent to delegate their shift to siblings or aging grandparents so they can go walk outside.

This could have tremendous benefits in reducing attrition levels I feel.

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4/15/2011 12:25:02 am

An excellent point, Martin.

I, myself, work from home and often take the approach you've suggested. In fact, this isn't even me responding to your comment -- it's my cousin Rupert. I'm currently out at the mall shopping for new pajamas.

Thanks for your input!

Best,

Greg

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Lisa
4/25/2011 02:43:31 am

There are many ways to monitor quality that physical call centers do not employ. If a virtual call center put forth the slightest investment in a quality program, I could see them out performing most traditional outfits. If Grandma's got good quality there won't be any problems.

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4/25/2011 02:59:05 am

Yes, Lisa -- a comprehensive quality monitoring program (and system) is critical in virtual environments. It's not a question of trust; it's simply a matter of ensuring that remote staff get the attention they need to ensure continuous improvement -- and lasing customer loyalty.

Thanks for your comment!

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xanne
4/26/2011 10:28:50 am

i've been working in call centers/ bpos here in the philippines for several years now. and i must say, the idea of working from home can bring a lot of benefits.. i can save money on many things - no need to shop much on nice clothes (bags, accessories and shoes), as well as no need to worry about expensive cab fares (plus the dangers of travelling alone). my stress outlet would be going to the salon and the spa. since i won't be stressed that much should i work from home, then stuff like those won't be [too often] necessary. hahaha!

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4/26/2011 11:53:10 am

True, true, Xanne - but don't emphasize such points when trying to convince management to embrace the home agent model. Tell them about all the benefits to THEM! (As highlighted in my blog post.)

Best of luck getting sent home!

-G

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8/24/2011 10:02:53 pm

11. It would allow you to hire people with disabilities who have trouble with mobility but would love to work...

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8/24/2011 11:03:21 pm

You got that right, Guy -- see #8 above.

(You can also check out one of my recent "Contact Centerfolds of the Month"-- VForce: http://www.greglevin.com/2/post/2011/07/contact-centerfold-of-the-month-july-2011-vforce.html

The majority (roughly 75%) of VForce’s agents have some type of physical disability that limits their ability to work outside of their home – but certainly not their ability to provide excellent customer care.

Best,

Greg

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