QATC Survey Results

This article details the results of the most recent QATC quarterly survey on critical quality assurance and training topics. Almost 50 contact center professionals representing a wide variety of operations provided insight regarding hiring and training agents in a work-from-home environment.

Number of Agents

The largest number of participants is from call center operations with more than 500 agents.  However, the next largest number have come from the smaller centers.  Utility, insurance, healthcare and “other” have the largest representation but there are participants from a wide variety of industries.

Percentage of Staff Working from Home

Respondents were asked what percentage of their staff is now working from home.  Over three-quarters (77%) report that more than 75% of their staff are at home.

Hiring and Onboarding

When asked what percentage of hiring and onboarding is now done remotely, more than half (61%) report that they are doing it all remotely while another third (34%) are doing some remotely and some in-person.  Only 5% indicated that they are doing all in person.  Given the restrictions of the COVID environment, the need for remote processes will likely continue for some time to come.

New Hire Training

Respondents were asked what percentage of new hire training is being done remotely.  Two-thirds (67%) reported that all training for new hires is done remotely while another 22% report that more than half is done remotely.  Only 7% report that it is all done in-person.

Location of Trainers

Survey participants were asked where the trainers are when delivering the training.  Over 60% indicate that they are teaching entirely from their homes while only 12% indicate it is all done from a classroom or the office.

Size of Remote Class

Respondents were asked how many students are in their typical remote training classes.  The answers are widely dispersed from 0-5 students to more than 20 with 22% indicating that it varies according to the need.  Utilization of trainer resources can be stretched thin with small classes but the need to bring new agents on-board can drive smaller classes as well.

Training Breaks

The respondents were asked how long their on-line training session deliveries go before a break is scheduled.  Once again, the responses are widely dispersed from as little as 30 minutes to more than 90 minutes.  To some extent, the time can be driven by the intensity of the content, the level of interactions, and the opportunity to be somewhat active during the session.  It is important for the trainer to include interactions such as surveys, quizzes, questions to be answered, etc.  This helps to keep the students engaged.

Mix of Training Types

Respondents were asked about the mix of synchronous (live) training with asynchronous (self-paced elearning) content. One-quarter reported all training is live instructor-led and no one reported it is all asynchronous. Most report using a mix of the two types of training. This is probably not a lot different from the pre-COVID environment where both types were used effectively.

Training Content Modification

Respondents were asked if they have modified their training content for remote learning. Almost two-thirds (63%) responded that they have changed some content, with another 17% modifying most of the content. Only 20% reported that they have not done any modifications.

Impact on Testing

The survey respondents were asked what impact the work-at-home environment has had on their testing for skills and knowledge. None reported less testing and 25% report more testing. The majority (75%) report there has been no change in their testing.

Success Rate Comparison

This survey asked the respondents to compare the success rate for distance learning versus the traditional classroom approach. Almost three-quarters (72%) indicated that the two methods have similar rates of success, but 25% reported the distance learning to be less successful. Only 3% reported it to be more successful.

Biggest Challenges

Respondents were asked to name their biggest challenges in the remote training environment. The following were the most often named:

  • Inability to keep the students engaged
  • Inability to read body language
  • Inability to have students observe and work with one another or a mentor
  • Technology challenges
  • Engaging students in the company culture

Best Tips

Respondents were asked for their best tip for successful remote learning. The following were the most often named:

  • More interactive segments
  • Enough bandwidth for video support
  • Build in time for technical issues
  • Shorter sessions or more breaks
  • Utilize two trainers so one can monitor questions and issues
  • Have fun
  • Have patience


This survey provides insight into the hiring and training processes for agents in the work-at-home environment. As the COVID demands have forced more remote interactions, centers are adapting to achieve success in bringing on staff and ensuring they are trained and ready for customer interactions. For some, remote staff will be a long-term situation and ensuring training success is critical. Others may return to an office environment eventually, but it appears that working from home will be more prevalent in contact centers for the foreseeable future.

We hope you will complete the next survey, which will be available online soon.