We’re hiring! Visit our careers site to view our openings.
by Sylvia Mattl | April 29, 2020
A few days ago, I participated in a webinar titled ‘Pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Chief Customer Officer Rob van Herpen, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
In the webinar, I explored some of the strategies you can deploy to ensure high-quality service with a team that works from home. 5CA has been managing work from home customer service for over 15 years – you could say we were the original pioneer of work-from-home agents (WFH).
It’s common to watch the quality of customer interactions plummet if you are rushing to build a work from home strategy because of a crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic. We have the experience and several different approaches to Quality Assurance (QA).
We create a loop between training and QA and the motivation of the agents. We really like identifying the talents of our agents and we focus on this. It is important to connect the various aspects of the agent experience, such as their training and motivation, because if you reduce focus on any one of these areas then you are likely to see quality suffer.
Trust is one of the most important aspects for our team. We trust the agents and they also need to be able to trust us – even when they have never met us. We make all management processes transparent and that improves trust – no office politics means you can build a much better remote relationship.
We have compared the quality of in-office agents and remote agents and we have proven that remote agents work better. Of course, when you hire remotely you can fish in a bigger pool and find exactly the talent you are looking for. Passion is important and if you can hire people from anywhere then you can tap into that passion for a particular domain expertise.
We have great talent and we want to motivate those people. We have a system called ‘kudos’ that means people can earn a kudos point every time they do a great job with a customer or come up with a real out of the box solution. The kudos points are always visible to everyone on the team, so it’s clear who is earning kudos. They also get a $20 bonus for every point as well so it pays to deliver great service.
Each month we host online events and share the kudos scores on Yammer. We have discussions about the kudos events, so agents can teach each other. This is at the heart of how the team improves, learning that they are trusted and learning from each other. A good example is when a client in the gaming industry sent us a description of a problem in the form of a comic strip. One of our agents took the comic and then drew a continuation of the story, with the required answer in the comic. The client was over the moon – they could not believe the way our team responded.
It’s worth remembering that nobody told the agent to do this. It’s just our culture and the way that everyone on the team knows that they just need to do whatever is required to help the customer.
These notes are just a short summary of everything we discussed, but it was recorded so follow the link below and you can hear the entire webinar and all the comments that Rob and Derek also contributed.
Pioneering Contact Center Quality Working Remotely
Click here for the replay: https://bit.ly/3btCxkw
Photo by Clement 127 licensed under Creative Commons.
The white paint lines on the road crept passed ever so slowly, like my life tricking away.
I tapped the steering wheel with my nails, trying to release the pent up stress and irritation while the radio mindlessly droned on. Then the tears came, right on time, same as usual.
When you look at how many people searched for ‘work from home’ in the past year, you see the chart soars in March 2020 just as many national governments were applying stay-at-home orders and quarantines to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. This is no surprise. Every company that could possibly keep functioning with remote workers asked their people to go home.
It’s often said, ‘people are the weakest link in cybersecurity’. I get that and I agree that we must seek to minimize human-related threat vectors. But I believe that if we view our people, our teammates, as our greatest security asset, then we start from a position of strength.
Have you noticed how many companies and senior executives are now experts in building a work from home strategy? According to Malcolm Gladwell it takes 10.000 hours of individual practice to become an expert at anything. Have those 320 business hours since the 1st of March really made everybody an expert?
Across the world, business journals have been endlessly reporting of the heroic efforts of companies with large numbers of office-based employees managing to switch to a work-from-home strategy. This has particularly impacted the contact centers because they have a large number of people in a small area and this is no longer acceptable because of the social distancing required to keep us all safe.
For almost two decades, 5CA has been perfecting our work from home customer service model. The latest version, where we only ever hire agents to work from home, has been around since 2015, so it is clear that for us this is very much business as usual.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Lead QA Analyst, Sylvia Mattl, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Chief Customer Officer Rob van Herpen, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
My experience with starting to work remotely has certainly been one of the very best opportunities I’ve had so far. It changed my life, for the better. I’ll gladly tell you the short story of how I went from an in-office agent biking to the station every day, to exchanging my bike for snow boots when I reached my new home.
Companies across the world are racing to get their team all working from home to protect them. During multiple global lockdowns citizens are expected to practice social distancing, therefore it is essential for companies to operate with as many people as possible working from home.
95% of our team works from home and we have been working this way for over 15 years, where we truly understand what it is really like to build a work from home strategy with a huge focus on quality.
I've been working from home for a full year now, and no working experience can compare...
At 5CA working from home is just business as usual. 95% of our team is based at home so we have been watching the sudden focus on work from home business models, especially for customer service, with some interest.
It sounds kind of obvious, but training and developing your remote workforce is essential to improving their skills and performance. It encourages them to be more engaging within the workforce of your company while working from their home office, which leads to happy, effective and great employees that are here to stay...
I saw the situation, and I went for it. 2014 was going to be a decisive year. It was to be the year I got laid off from my well paid corporate job and the year I decided to study Permaculture and reunite with nature again!
Because 95% of our team works from home and we have been working this way for over 15 years I feel confident that I can help people to understand what it is really like to build a work from home strategy.
A lot of people are currently being thrust into the murky waters of communicating purely via different apps. It’s dangerous. I’m Australian, and to me the perfect analogy would be diving head-first into a muddy river on a scorcher of a day.
Many management consultants and business experts are advising executives to move their workforce home with laptops until the crisis is over. What they are not saying is that this is now business as usual - the new normal.
Companies across the world are finding their business extremely disrupted at present and it looks like things may get worse before they get better. During this time there has been a strong focus on the need for people to work from home...
“I’m on break, it’s my turn to hold him!” This is just one statement many fathers don’t get to say to their significant other as they usually do not have home based job...
I have to say, the first time leading a team without ever being in the same room is quite a unique and unsettling experience in the first few weeks...
I have to say, the first time leading a team without ever being in the same room is quite a unique and unsettling experience in the first few weeks, but I have found that it makes you work a lot on your communication skills...
Workforce engagement is a buzzword. And like all good buzzwords, there’s a lot of hype around it, but something really valuable at the heart of it too.
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool...
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool. It also presents an intriguing challenge: How do we balance flexibility, productivity, and security?
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool.