Motivating remote call center agents can pose unique challenges. While some adapt seamlessly to remote work, others may struggle with feelings of isolation, distractions, and adapting to change. Effectively addressing these challenges is key to maintaining your agents’ engagement and productivity. Below we’ll be outlining 6 tips to help you manage your remote agents, read on!
- Provide the Right Tools
- Connect Over Video Meetings
- Turn Sales into a Game
- Make Time for Virtual Team Building
- Prioritize Professional Development
- Ask for Feedback
Challenges Outbound Sales Managers Face with Remote Teams
It’s obvious that remote work and other work-from-home (WFH) arrangements are here to stay, but they’re not without their challenges– especially for call center agents. Leading a remote-first call center team comes with its set of unique challenges.
As managers take care of operations in a remote setting, they grapple with ensuring team productivity, fostering open communication, nurturing team spirit, and combating feelings of isolation among team members. These challenges highlight the importance for managers to employ strategies that boost motivation, encourage support between employees, and encourage high performance.
Building call center motivation for remote employees takes a lot of creativity. Try these call center engagement ideas to ensure your team has the support they need to stay productive at home, and to enhance their at-home agent experience.
1. Provide the right tools
Ensuring remote agents have an ideal work environment is essential for their productivity. Understanding their home office setup needs can help you provide the necessary tools for your reps to perform as well as (or even better!) than they would in a call center. Here’s a few things to consider:
- Do your agents have a desk, a comfortable chair, and enough light?
- Do they have a high-speed internet connection?
- Do they have access to a powerful predictive dialer and other technology — including internal communication tools — that they need to do their jobs well?
- Do your reps need supplies beyond phones, laptops, notebooks, and pens?
- Do your employees know who to contact if they’re facing IT problems?
2. Connect over video meetings
Working from home can feel lonely, so it’s important to help your reps connect with their coworkers and supervisors. Video meetings are great for two reasons:
- They give team members the chance to collaborate on work and resolve problems.
- They allow colleagues to engage on a personal level, like they would on the call center floor.
One of the most important things you can do for your remote teams is ensure that they have a quick, easy way to get in touch with each other. Utilizing platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams for efficient communication can help!
3. Turn sales into a game
Gamify the sales process to encourage your agents to motivate each other. Adding some excitement and friendly competition among agents can go a long way. Plus, the competitive possibilities are endless, from battling it out for the highest customer satisfaction metrics to keeping score on connection rates, call lengths, wrap time, lead conversion rates, and other call center KPIs.
But don’t forget to reward your reps’ hard work too. Recognizing their outstanding achievements with incentives like bonuses and extra time off, or even little things like online gift cards or a lunch on you, can boost morale and encourage consistent effort.
4. Make time for virtual team building
When working from home, it’s easy for meetings to be “all business”, and for agents to miss out on connecting with each other more casually.
While planning remote team activities requires some extra effort, taking the time to foster friendships allows reps to unwind and may ultimately help them feel more involved. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Try hosting virtual game nights and happy hours.
- Schedule team lunches, and encourage reps to take breaks.
- Create opportunities for knowledge sharing; agents can schedule a video meeting to walk the team through a challenge they solved or a lesson they learned on the job.
- Organize a virtual exercise class, like yoga or meditation.
- Book check-ins that allow reps to share their wins and ask team members for help.
If some of your team members are co-located, consider hosting occasional meetups to squeeze in a little in-person team building time.
5. Prioritize professional development
Especially in a remote environment, coaching is an essential source of motivation for call center agents. And one of the best ways to provide mentorship is by finding out what their individual goals are. Do they want to become a team lead or supervisor? Are they interested in transitioning to a different department? Do they want to take on more responsibility?
Understanding your reps’ objectives can help you create a professional development roadmap that’s specific to them. It can also help you pinpoint what training material they need and identify opportunities for them to learn new skills. It’s also a good idea to regularly check in with team members on the progress of these goals, whether you send a quick email or set a monthly meeting. With the right cloud-based call center solutions, you can even monitor agent performance and generate helpful reports that can keep these conversations with team members focused and productive.
6. Ask for feedback
The best way to find out what your call center reps need is to ask them. Many call center agents are motivated by feedback — whether they hear it from prospects, colleagues, or supervisors — and they’re likely to have ideas to share in return.
Surveys let call center reps know that their opinions matter, so don’t hesitate to question them about processes, policies, quotas, scripts, and the technology they use. Just remember to share the results with both team leads and agents, so everyone knows they’re being taken seriously — and follow up with how you’re planning to act on the feedback.
Inviting your reps to input on everyday processes and showing that you care about their workloads, challenges, and goals might be all it takes to motivate them; in fact, it’s a part of call center best practices. You should also make sure it’s clear that team leads are available to field questions and troubleshoot problems
, since agents can’t casually drop by their desks.
Lively conversation, a bustling office, and maybe even the clanging of a bell to mark a sale — that’s the classic picture of a motivated sales team. It’s hard to see and feel the momentum when you’re working at home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it. Remote teams have unique, specific challenges, but they all share a theme: the need for support. If you want to boost morale, start there.
When remote call center employees are engaged and motivated, it’s easier to turn dials into dollars — and with these tips for managing remote call center agents, you can make sure they’re set up to do just that.
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