The Holy Trinity of Remote Call Center Performance Management

The year of COVID has passed, the dust has settled, and we find ourselves in the “new normal” where more workplaces have become either permanently remote or blended. Remote work has plenty of benefits, but given the physical distance, many new challenges have risen, making performance management more dynamic than ever before.

Some of these challenges include: managers having less visibility into the day-to-day activities of their employees, team leaders having fewer opportunities to offer in-person coaching or guidance, and employees who traditionally enjoyed a vibrant office atmosphere feel disconnected as they sit alone at home – lacking engagement, incentive, and brand awareness.

Naturally, organizations are revisiting what is needed in performance management across the board – particularly for contact centers. And it is our role, as service providers of performance management solutions to help face these new challenges.

I believe that the following are the three must-have strategies: Gain Visibility with Desktop Analytics and Workforce Management, personalize coaching, and gamify the pursuit of excellence. 

Gain Visibility with Desktop Analytics and Workforce Management

When it comes to managing performance, implementing Desktop Analytics and effective Workforce Management (WFM) can provide much-needed visibility.

Desktop Analytics can monitor the usage of different applications and browsing patterns during the workday, identifying if and when employees are spending time in productive and non-productive applications. The value of this information is increased when benchmarking it against data from the WFM solution, which provides visibility into employee activity during different hours of the day and enables managers to identify staff knowledge or focus gaps.

When used together, a manager can, for example, see that an employee is spending a lot of time in the knowledge base system while they are on a call. From this, they can conclude that the employee may need additional education in specific areas.

Desktop Analytics and WFM pinpoint opportunities for improving the service of individual employees, improving team performance, and helping to accomplishing business objectives. Ultimately, this will result in better performance of the entire contact center and will drive employee engagement. 

Personalized Coaching

In today’s call center where many of the agents work from home, organizations are more driven than ever to find relevant and effective ways to individually coach their employees.

The traditional classroom style training – that is, a large group over one or several full-day sessions – is expensive, demotivating, and has been found to be less effective in improving employee engagement and performance.

On the other hand, personalized and highly targeted coaching programmes, empower employees with a clear sense of direction, providing specific steps to progress. Such guidance develops the most engaged and successful employees and is even more essential for remote employees who work with increased self-sufficiency.

These tailored programmes are best crafted by leveraging information, such as data collected from tools that monitor agents' interactions with customers – which lets managers identify which employees require coaching and on what topic. Clearly, performance management is a critical ingredient in creating a framework of personalized coaching – and it has the power to transform an inefficient contact center into a motivated team. 

Gamifying the Pursuit of Excellence

Ultimately, no workforce is successful without the fuel of motivation. Especially when most employees work remotely, gamification can be a powerful tool for bringing new energy, or a hit of caffeine, into the disconnected atmosphere. Effective performance management tools and data enable, inform, and creatively expand the vast potential of gamifying.

What does it mean to gamify the pursuit of excellence?

Maybe it’s providing engaging activities that foster friendly competition, building team cohesion and motivating employees to meet goals. Or maybe it’s quizzes, trivia apps, or other customizable team activities delivered through different mediums that effectively impact learning and performance across different personality types. It could also mean that the success of different agents or teams in reaching sales targets, lowering AHT, or other KPIs, is rewarded with points and badges of distinction for exemplary efforts and accomplishments. Points might be redeemed for small gifts or non-monetary prizes, like additional time off and shift scheduling priority. All these go a long way to keeping employees motivated and engaged. Making the pursuit of excellent performance a fun, rewarding activity drives superior execution and engagement across the call center. 

Onward and Upward

Since the remote call center isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, we want to maximize its performance – and that means giving employees new structure, personalized guidance, and incentive. Done right, these can propel the force of remote employees through this new era… and maybe even redefine the future culture of this unique work environment.

Learn more about NICE Performance Management – an adaptive solution able to motivate contact center agents to constantly reach higher – and make it easier for them to excel.