Transitioning Back to the Center from Work from Home

By Craig Montgomery, Answeron

There will be many adjustments for agents as they transition back to working on the floor after remote work. Commuting, working with coworkers directly again, following professional dress requirements, adjusting back to the old routine – just to name a few. For some, this transition will be overwhelming and lead them to consider leaving their current role. 

Outside of the general safety and cleaning protocols of recalling your agents to the call center, here are some considerations to make so your agents feel successful during this next transition.

Team-Building Event

Within appropriate safety and health constraints, host a team event to boost morale! If constraints keep you from having the event in person, host a virtual game hour on Fridays via video call and screen sharing. A budget for a delivered meal before or after the event could be a great touch!

Regular Check-ins

Remind agents they can come to you with issues and maintain regular check-ins with agents.  Key questions to ask: How is the transition back to the floor going—highs and lows? What organizational gains and struggles are you facing? Are you experiencing any home/work friction within the new transition?

Flexible Schedule?

If your call center has gone to a more flexible schedule system during the remote time period, plan for how the transition back to a stricter schedule and loss of autonomy will be difficult for agents.

Consolidate Digital

As agents return to your brick and mortar call center, consolidate digital channels and outline which communication methods will be the preferred method going forward. Restate to all agents how information will be delivered and how team meetings will take place.

Daily Victories!

Focus on achievements and daily victories! Highlight successes on a team and individual level.

Address the Anxiety

Returning to shared spaces will cause anxiety for many people. Help address this anxiety by having resources ready for those agents needing mental health support. Also, be transparent with policies and safety precautions being taken at the call center BEFORE agents return to the space. n

Craig Montgomery may be reached at craig.montgomery@answeron.com.  For more information about AnswerOn, go to www.answeron.com.

Ask the Expert

QUESTION:

We’re implementing analytics-enabled quality management to perform automated evaluation of customer interactions. Do we still need to do calibration sessions?

ANSWER:

Analytics-enabled quality management (AQM), which leverages capabilities that include speech, text, and desktop analytics to automatically evaluate up to 100% of customer interactions, enhances, but does not completely eliminate, traditional quality management (QM) processes, including calibration. Although AQM handles the “heavy lifting” in a QM program, human involvement is still part of the process. For instance, interactions that are flagged for review by AQM, per user-defined parameters, are still sent to a QM analyst or supervisor for further evaluation. In addition to AQM evaluations, it is a best practice for supervisors to conduct some live monitoring of interactions to facilitate in-the-moment agent coaching and/or recognition.

Calibration is a critical component of a successful AQM program, as it is in a traditional QM process. In an AQM environment, a set of interactions (voice- and/or text-based) are tagged for calibration and sent to all reviewers (QM analysts and supervisors). Each reviewer manually evaluates and scores the transactions. The QM manager generates a report that reflects scoring variances between the reviewers for each transaction at the question level. The scoring variances are also calculated against the automated AQM evaluation. A calibration meeting is held to review scoring results and to discuss any inconsistencies. DMG recommends that agents be invited to participate in calibration sessions so they can gain an appreciation of the effort and rigor applied to the QM process, better understand the evaluation criteria, as well as to provide valuable insight from the front line. Once all opinions are presented, the group must reach a consensus on the best way to score each question. The QM criteria guidelines, automated AQM evaluation forms, procedures and training materials should be modified or updated based on the consensus outcome.

When conducted properly, calibration sessions help agents provide a consistently outstanding customer experience, foster collaboration, and establish agreement on how quality monitoring criteria should be applied to each question on an evaluation form, whether scored via AQM or manually. These sessions are also a great way to uncover opportunities for additional training and best practices for handling interactions.

This information originally appeared in The Real-Time Contact Center Newsletter, January 2019 issue.  This newsletter is provided by DMG Consulting. Learn more at www.dmgconsult.com.