When I’m out in the marketplace, I hear companies either applauding the virtual/work from home contact center concept or shying away from it – some even tripping over themselves as they run backwards. Here are some common responses:
- “Our culture just won’t work in a virtual / work from home environment. Our culture is special.”
- “Productivity will spiral down – If we can’t see them, we can’t manage them.”
- “It’s hard to recruit, train and nest new advisors in a virtual environment and achieve speed to competency.”
These can all be true IF you don’t have the right strategic plan and the right leadership to execute that plan. But what about the benefits?
Lower real estate costs. Unless you have an extra floor in your building or some extra space on another floor, you can save money on real estate.
Lower labor costs. You can recruit anywhere and still be U.S. based. Think about it. If you have 250 FTEs in your contact center and you can even save $2 an hour in the hourly rate. You could save over $1M in just gross payroll costs!
Micro Shifts – Because employees don’t have to travel to work, they can be more flexible and work in 2 or 3 hour shift increments. Customer facing time is better utilized meaning better ASA, CSATs and increased sales revenue – because you won’t be losing the opportunity to serve your customers. You’re there when customers need you.
Drive down recruiting and training costs – Virtual employees can achieve a better work life balance – no commute time, chores at home can be done during lunch and break time and flexible micro shifts for part time employees. All of this leads to lower attrition, which substantially drives down recruiting and training costs.
Virtual Teams respond quicker to a change – Scripting/talk tracks changes, any customer price changes or an emergency situation. War rooms are centralized – easy to access and can process information quicker to the virtual contact center floor. This can mitigate risk and loss of customer service and sales revenue.
There are so many benefits to having a component of your customer service, technical support or sales team contact center model in a virtual/work from home environment. What about culture? What about coaching? What about productivity? All doable! Isn’t it worth it to investigate?