From finding the perfect working area to maintaining a daily, healthy routine, many of us have adjusted to working from home. We went from buying furniture and extra monitors to making sure that our work at home remains as productive as possible.
Today, agents can no longer give a shout across the room to a subject matter expert (SME) and supervisors can’t just walk down the aisle to assist agents with the right knowledge while they’re on a call. Global contact centers and customer experience (CX) leaders are looking for solutions that act as a catalyst in the remote working environment, so their agents are more empowered to provide the services and support that customers need right now.
Let’s take a look at how you can empower remote support heroes.
1. Conduct effective training
While recruiting and onboarding remote agents, the journey starts once agents enter the training phase. Training typically lasts between four to eight weeks, depending on processes. An effective remote training mechanism with regular assessments and scoring helps to reduce the learning curve.
2. Provide access to knowledge
Agents need to have access to the right knowledge, not just for the top inquiries, but for any issue they might encounter. A well-organized knowledge base with easy findability and searchability helps agents access the right information at the right time for accurate and timely resolutions.
3. Leverage quality management
Quality audits and feedback management gets tricky while agents are working from home. A knowledge management platform helps Quality Assurance (QA) deliver relevant knowledge articles and guides to agents. The QA form should mention areas of improvement along with an assessment within the platform to ensure process health.
4. Promote better decision making
Contact center agents come across multiple customer interactions that involve complex decision making. To ensure proper decision making, enable agents with a scripting tool that helps them with relevant probing questions and suggests the next best action.
5. Enable co-browsing
Resolving technical calls related to installation or troubleshooting can be lengthy and irritating for customers and agents. Deploy a consent-based co-browsing mechanism so agents can co-browse with customers and suggest how to fix a tech issue, thus reducing field cost and enhancing CX.
6. Deliver better bot interactions
Be it promoting self-service for a better experience or for reducing costs, bots help with simpler queries so agents can focus on strengthening relationships and handling complex customer queries. When backed with a knowledge platform, a chatbot results in better interactions for customers and ticket deflection for agents.
7. Foster a great culture
This is the most important aspect in the success of managing remote support teams. Agents are easily stressed when interacting with hundreds of customers daily, often leading to a dip in performance. As a CX leader, you must foster a culture of sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices to keep agents motivated.
A common question that arises is, “How do I set up a knowledge management strategy when most of my team is remote, and measure its efficacy?” There are various ways of addressing this question and we will be discussing a few below; but in a nutshell, link everything with return on investment (ROI) — both qualitative and quantitative. Prepare a list of desired outcomes and work accordingly to achieve them.
Here are four tactics to develop a knowledge management strategy:
- Define KPIs: Make a list of the KPIs you intend to impact after implementing a knowledge strategy. This will help align the team towards common goals. Some of the most common KPIs include average handle time (AHT), first call resolution (FCR), customer satisfaction (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS) and ticket deflection ratio.
- Set up a team of knowledge experts: These can be SMEs or tenured agents who are familiar with the processes unique to your business. Their job includes writing and publishing new articles, creating guided workflows, updating articles on a timely basis, sharing updates related to process change and feedback management.
- Select the right partner: From product portfolio to implementation process and delivery, you need an exhaustive checklist detailing what to look for in a knowledge management platform.
- Reuse, reuse and reuse: It does not make sense to reinvent the wheel or create new content every time. Craft your knowledge so you can repurpose and reuse content across assisted and self-service channels instead of creating fresh content every time. This also helps in keeping an organized knowledge base as a single source of truth.
Better customer experience is a result of effective agent engagement. Support agents are the ones behind the curtain acting as customer heroes — let’s empower them to work happily and efficiently no matter where they are.