Home-Based Agent Deployment


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An analyst briefing presentation delivered by Frost & Sullivan contact centers principal analyst Michael DeSalles.

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Home-Based Agent Deployment

  1. 1. Home-Based Agent Deployment Best Practices for Contact Center Organizations Michael DeSalles, Principal Analyst Contact Centers March 16, 2011 1
  2. 2. Today’s PresentersMichael DeSallesPrincipal Analyst , Contact CentersFrost & Sullivan
  3. 3. Best Practices Agenda• Market Drivers• Recruitment and Hiring18%• Training20%• Workforce Management• Contact Center Operations• Security
  4. 4. Research DemographicsResearch Methodology: Web-based survey conducted in 2010Sample Size: 311Respondents: Contact Center decision makersRegion: North America Primary Industries Size of Contact Center Organization by Number of Seats Globally 10Note: Percentages in charts may not equal 100% due to rounding. Results based on sample sizes less than 50 should beconsidered directional, not actionable.
  5. 5. Expected Change in Outsourced Agent Location – % Respondents that said IncreaseQ: Do you expect that in the next two years your proportion of outsourced agents will increase, stay the same, or decrease in thefollowing countries/regions – % of Respondents that said Increase Total Financial Communications Retail and Healthcare Others Sample Services Consumer USA - Home based agents 37% 24% 41% 25% 52% 54%USA - Traditional call centers 30% 26% 42% 25% 31% 31% India 27% 34% 31% 18% 21% 25% Philippines 26% 17% 36% 16% 20% 32% CALA 22% 17% 23% 24% 25% 22% Other 20% 14% 36% 16% 23% 18% Source: Frost & Sullivan
  6. 6. Market Drivers – Why WAHA Now?• Recovering Economy• Quest for Quality 18%• Paradigm Shift 20%• Technology• Do-it-Yourself Trend• Business Contingency Planning
  7. 7. Recruiting and Hiring Home-based Agents• “Hub and Spoke” vs. Virtual Model Best Practice: Virtual Model No geographical limitations gives companies a broader pool of applicants to choose only the top agents.• Diversified Recruitment Plan Best Practice: 100% virtual recruiting and hiring systems Traditional media (newspaper/magazine/trade journals) Radio advertising Television interviews with company executives Online/web recruiting (ratracerebellion.com) Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc..) Employee referral programs
  8. 8. Recruiting and Hiring Home-based Agents• Skills Assessment Testing Best Practice: Virtual Model Customer service skills Sales skills and technical aptitude Simulations Problem solving assessments and personality inventories• Background Checks Best Practice: Check 100% of candidates Employment history Criminal and background check Some companies overlay this with a credit check and drug testing
  9. 9. Training Home-based Agents• Think outside of the call center box Best Practice: 100% virtual computer-based training Deliver a combination of: Live instructor-led modules Online self-paced training Multi-media formats Limited reading material Online assessments and scoring Make chat available to ‘raise a hand’ Test home equipment and network connections• Document, Document, Document Best Practice: Put policies in writing and get sign off Job responsibilities Technical requirements Company policies and procedures
  10. 10. Training Home-based Agents (cont.)• Corporate identity, branding and culture can be communicated through virtual training. Best Practice: Corporate identity can be incorporated into all facets of a program, including; video messages from the CEO, customized agent desktops, weekly news updates etc…
  11. 11. Workforce Management• Empower your agents Best Practice: Give agents the ability to choose and build their own schedule. This leads to a more satisfied agent and helps create the work/life balance that draws top talent to your program.• Short shifts are at the heart of staffing flexibility Best Practice: Schedule in short shifts since it is critical to efficiently handle the common Monday morning rush, seasonal needs or business continuity issues.• Get the best agents in the game Best Practice : Route calls based on agent performance by call type and incent them to perform. Offer schedules to your best performing agents
  12. 12. Home-based Agent Operations• Make it a Pilot Best Practice: Establish a three-month trial/probationary period• Provide 24x7 Technical Support Best Practice: Have a separate group that can support the technical side of a virtual solution• Connected and Engaged Best Practice: Creating a sense of community, keeping lines of communication open• The “Three M’s” of home agents are critical to success Best Practice: Monitor, Measure and Manage
  13. 13. Home-based Agent Operations (cont.)• Go on the record Best Practice: Record 100% of calls• Practice makes perfect Best Practice: Provide real –time and historical dashboards for coaching and reviews• Listen to your agents out on the frontline Best Practice: Ask home agents to provide end-of-shift feedback• Get the customer’s side of the story too Best Practice: Voice of customer surveys
  14. 14. Home Agent Security• Security starts with your agents. Best Practice: 100% background checks• Authenticate and Verify Best Practice: Have an authentication process consisting of multiple factors when an agent logs on and accesses the environment. Provide access only to those applications required to service customers• Lock it down! Best Practice: Ensure control of the agent’s desktop. To do this companies have two choices, shipping a computer to an agent or virtually locking down an agent’s existing computer.
  15. 15. Home Agent Security (cont.)• Utilize remote administration, monitoring and other security measures Best Practice: Protect all your valuable data and applications behind firewalls and within a secured data center. Ensure the desktop solution remains uncompromised and free of any malicious software, spyware, viruses etc…• Customer confidence is critical. Make sure you are compliant Best Practice: Make sure that all certifications and compliances are met: ISO PCI DSS HIPPA Sarbanes-Oxley
  16. 16. Concluding Remarks Q&A Michael DeSalles Principal Analyst , Contact Centers Frost & Sullivan
  17. 17. Next StepsRequest a proposal for or Growth Partnership Services or Growth ConsultingServices to support you and your team to accelerate the growth of your company.(myfrost@frost.com) 1-877-GoFrost (1-877-463-7678)Join us at our annual Growth, Innovation, and Leadership 2011: A Frost & SullivanGlobal Congress on Corporate Growth (www.gil-global.com)Register for Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Opportunity Newsletter and keep abreast ofinnovative growth opportunities(www.frost.com/news)
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  20. 20. For Additional InformationMichael DeSalles Ashwin IyerPrincipal Analyst – Contact Centers Global Program Director(210) 348-1000 (210) 348-1000Michael.DeSalles@frost.com Ashwin.Iyer@frost.com Mireya Espinoza Global Director Corporate Communications (210) 348-1000 Mireya.Espinoza@frost.com