How to Manage Your Remote Call Center Team

By Angus McDonald - 29/11/2020 7:38:00 AM

These days, people are working from home more than ever. This is the result of many things - increased access to advanced technology and a general call for a better work-life balance are good examples. Today, 56% of global companies allow for remote work, and 52% of employees report working from home at least once a week.

This disruption in the workforce has everyone adapting and evolving, with management being no exception. How, then, does one successfully manage an entirely remote team of people?

Use Tools

First of all, take advantage of the many tools at your disposal. There’s an app, program, or software for just about everything. For an all-remote call center, stick to cloud-based tools to ensure easy use and access for everyone.

Finding the right combination for your team may require some trial and error, but start with a few basics:

  • Internet-based phone system. Also known as a voip phone, not only does this save money but it allows for faster response times and easier call recording, playback, organization, and monitoring.
  • CRM software. Cataloging all pertinent customer information and allowing employees secure access is crucial. This will expedite calls and ensure they have the most up-to-date information.
  • Project management. Keep track of assignments, due dates, tasks, expectations, and more in one central place for all to see.
  • Scheduling system. Create schedules ahead of time and document start and end times, vacations, etc.
  • Communication. Don’t make the mistake of relying on email. This is slow and it’s easy to get lost. Invest in a proper communication system that allows for instant messages, group calls, and conversations that are easy to track.

Trust Them

One of the biggest concerns among business owners and managers is the lack of control they have over the employees. In an office, you can walk around and ensure everyone is on-task. With a remote team, not so much.

As a manager, you must let this go a little. To start, put a thorough vetting system in place. This should help you trust you’ve chosen the right people. Then, provide employees with clear expectations, boundaries, and due dates.

The rest is up to them. Give them the space and autonomy they need to do their jobs. Intense micromanagement will only turn your good people away.

call centre

Keep Morale Up

Morale and engagement are important no matter your context, but perhaps more so in a remote environment. Implement a few things to create culture, encourage socialization, and empower your employees. Even small, simple measures go a long way in keeping everyone happy, motivated, and in good spirits.

Some ideas include:

  • Weekly company-wide video calls. This lets everyone be face-to-face for a while and allows for some socialization and communication that isn’t just about work. It also allows peers to get to know one another and form real bonds and friendships.
  • Incentives. Let everyone have a little fun by creating a scoring system and/or offering prizes for top-performers. As long as you keep it friendly, a little competition keeps everyone sharp.
  • Mail them things. This can be healthy snacks, company swag, or just a little appreciation gift. Especially if you do have a physical office where other departments work out of, it’s paramount to make remote employees feel just as involved as everyone else.

Monitor Performance

Just because you’re not breathing down everyone’s neck doesn’t mean you can’t track and monitor performance. This doesn’t have to be much different from performance monitoring in an office setting.

Schedule regular meetings, both individually and as a group, to go over issues, pain points, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Use the features on your voip phone to easily access and listen to calls and call logs. Use these to identify potential weak areas and training priorities, as well as ensure everyone is staying busy and on the same page.

Embrace Your Remote Team

There’s no going back now - remote work is the future. Naturally, it comes with challenges but these are outweighed by so many benefits. Find good people, invest in the right tools, and you’ll have a top-notch call center going in no time.

Tags: Customer Service, Phone Systems, voip phone, call centre