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Due to the pandemic, the call center industry has been a pioneer when it comes to the remote work field.
In fact, according to industry estimates, more than 50% of call centers have more than half of employees who work from their homes. But most of the companies get a second thought whether hiring staff who work from their home is the right choice or not.
While you decide about remote call centers and in-office call centers, there are many questions that arise in the mind of a business owner.
What is the role of a call center in future operations? With 2022 approaching, a business might want to be ahead of its competition.
Benefits and challenges of at-home vs in-office call center office
Even before the covid pandemic, the US and many other countries have started hiring staff for remote call centers. India might be a little late in the race, but it’s catching up fast. Although, there are many challenges, like lack of teamwork, lack of support staff, and isolation from co-workers.
In fact, as per studies, long-lasting at-home call center operations have seen great success in the field. Most companies have driven great policies, technologies, and staffing models that have given great outcomes. Such success rate has developed over time and even pre covid at home operations are reaping great advantages.
There are great variations in terms of the call center office, some may come up with benefits whereas some may have seen great benefits. Let us learn some of its benefits and challenges in the below article:
Benefits of remote call center
- When a person is working at home, it naturally increases the engagement level and results in high retention also.
- A business gets access to highly qualified and skilled staff.
- Work at home offers flexibility for telecallers and that further results in a great work-life balance.
- Also gets a great ability for extended operating hours.
- A business continues even during a crisis or disaster.
- Decreases management and operating costs.
Read – Why call center is required?
Challenges faced by a remote call center
- There is a huge challenge of feeling isolated and disconnected from a team.
- Sometimes, there is a lack of internet speed at home so which results in fewer operations time.
- Agents are usually distracted at home which could lead to a less dedicated workplace.
- Lack of team monitoring can result in decreased productivity.
- Due to less secure network connections, there are high chances of data security risk.
- Agents may face technical issues.
- Misunderstanding of text-based communications with supervisors.
- Agents may face difficulty in managing personal and work life at home.
- Managers need extra skills to manage virtual teams.
Also read: Complete guide on call center
Benefits of In-Office Call Center
- The major benefit of having an on-site call center is secured data due to secured networks.
- Easy accessibility of supervisors.
- Better opportunities for learning and development through great networking with peers and managers.
- Managers can see or hear immediately when an agent is in trouble or have some doubts or needs assistance in between calls.
- Better opportunities for telecallers to get involved in cross-functional projects
- Agents are well immersed in the company’s culture.
- It is a great appealing factor for younger agents for increased career growth.
Challenges of a call center office
- Higher chances of absenteeism and scheduled adherence.
- Recruitment in a limited area.
- Higher operational and overhead costs.
- Due to covid, more health and safety concerns are mandated to be taken care of on an in-office call center and that could raise business expenses.
- Usually, traditional operational timings are longer that could lead to higher costs and less efficiency of agents.
Adapt on-Site office practices for work from home agents
The new and hastily deployed work from home practices has been evolving for a long time. Lower virtual training skills and agent engagement processes are the main challenges that are expected when there is a remote work module.
In fact, all organizations expect their agents to work effectively even when they are working from home, but in reality, this is not the case.
Here are few major challenges that most at virtual call center operations have to deal with effectively in today’s scenario:
Recruiting and retaining work from home call center agents
The greatest benefit of recruiting work from home agents is, a company has the ability to hire agents without any geographical limitations. This is a great strategy to attract and retain skilled and talented labour.
Engaging remote working agents
Although, work at home call center operations may attract and appeal to agents over time the productivity and long-term interest in at-home operations lower down naturally. This is majorly due to feelings of isolation and not appropriate connectivity with the team.
So it is important to have constant communication with in-house agents for better engagement. A company can always incorporate events or innovative social events like birthday celebrations, festivals, and more.
Incorporate video into virtual training
The training level for agents depends on the type of industry and business. Some companies only require a virtual call center floor with a few days of online training whereas many other companies need hand-in-classroom training with an on-premise nesting period before they start with work-at-home operations. So it is important to incorporate video into virtual training to ensure effective operations.
Also, read – How to manage remote business communication
Which operation do you think is best for your business?
You need to access both benefits and challenges before you choose one. Both remote and in-office call centers have the ability to help your business achieve great sales and manage customer support.
A specific telecalling CRM designed for call center operations like NeoDove can help your business to achieve your short and long-term sales goals. Apart from that, it can help you manage customer interactions seamlessly and provide exceptional customer support.
Book a demo today!