Recruiting Managing and Training Remote Customer Service Agents 060209
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Recruiting Managing and Training Remote Customer Service Agents 060209

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Recruiting, Managing and Training Remote Customer Service Agents
Sally Hurley, President VIPdesk

The essentials of training and managing home-based team members including
Recruiting of home-based agents and employees
How to build a curriculum for remote learning
The tools and technology necessary to deliver virtual learning
Keys to managing a virtual team The tools, team structure, and culture to support a home-based team
VIPdesk’s lessons learned

More in: Business , Education
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  • 1. Cover Slide Recruiting, Managing and Training Remote Customer Service Agents Sally Hurley President, VIPdesk Thank you for joining us today, the Webinar presentation will start shortly. To access the audio portion of the presentation, turn on your computer speakers, or call (605) 475-4875 (passcode : 406291#) VIPdesk June 2, 2009 324 N. Fairfax Street Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 299.4422 www.vipdesk.com Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information sales@vipdesk.com 1
  • 2. About Today’s Session The essentials of training and managing home- based team members including: • Recruiting of home-based agents and employees • How to build a curriculum for remote learning • The tools and technology necessary to deliver virtual learning • Keys to managing a virtual team • The tools, team structure, and culture to support a home-based team • VIPdesk’s lessons learned Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 2
  • 3. About Today’s Presenter Sally Hurley President, VIPdesk • 20+ years experience delivering premium customer service; 10 years home-based model • Has a passion for the customer experience • Committed to building a culture that supports work-life balance • Proud to be a green company- supporting thousands of individuals that work from home across North America • Current President of EO (The Entrepreneurs Organization) - DC • Contact info: shurley@vipdesk.com or 703-837-3518 Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 3
  • 4. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 4
  • 5. VIPdesk is the leading provider of virtual contact center solutions for national brand leaders, providing premium customer experiences through our home-based Brand Ambassadors ™ and Concierges. Changing Business. Changing Lives. Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 5
  • 6. About VIPdesk • Pioneer of home-based model – founded in 1997 • Remote infrastructure supports over 40 clients • Team members located across North America • 21 years of experience providing high-quality customer care; 8 years providing virtual services • Proprietary technology, organization, processes, and culture • Recognized expertise for servicing complex, intuitive customer contacts Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 6
  • 7. Home-based Services Inbound and Customer loyalty & outbound customer personalized service Concierge Services • Premium customer care • Dining reservations, • Sales: cross-sell/up-sell entertainment tickets, trip planning, etc. • Order processing • Event management • Surveys • Travel and tourism – • Peak volume complete travel agency management capabilities • Customer profile • Experiential packages enrollment • Special offers and • Email/chat services discounts Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 7
  • 8. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 8
  • 9. Growth in Home-Based Call Centers Off-shoring/centralized produced U.S. Home-Based Agents (000s) mixed results due to: Unrealized cost savings 400,000 CAGR – 21% High turnover and training costs 305,026 333,100 Lower productivity, lower skilled 300,000 U.S. Home Based Agents 266,130 workers 200,000 151,200 198,240 Cultural/language barriers 130,125 100,000 Limited local recruiting pools 0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Virtual contact centers remedy all shortfalls – with very U.S. Home-Based Revenue ($B) compelling economics! Additional benefits $10 CAGR – 21% Higher skilled workforce U.S. Home Based Revenue $8 $7.6 $8.3 “On-demand” capability $6.7 $6 $5.0 Eco-friendly – “Going green” $4 $3.3 $3.8 Access to unlimited global labor pool $2 $0 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 9
  • 10. Brands with Home-based Team Members Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 10
  • 11. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 11
  • 12. Compelling Advantages for Team Members Advantages of Work-at-Home Positions Work/Life Balance Incentives/Benefits • Flexible scheduling • Increased job satisfaction • Ability to work off-hours, • Supplement household split-shifts income • Part-time work - maintain • Pay for performance - professional experience rewarded for results • Comfort of working from • Elimination of commute home • Reduced expenditures - • Ability to live where desired wardrobe, meals, etc. vs. location of job • Get paid for doing work on • Maintain lifestyle beyond behalf of favorite brands profession Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 12
  • 13. Unlimited Recruiting Ability to be Selective Pass Basic Qualifications: 24% Pass Client Specific Qualifications: 59% Pass Hardware/Software Requirements: 73% Pass Resume and Phone Screen: 83% Pass Credit/Criminal Check: 79% Complete Agreement and Tech Setup: 85% Complete/Pass Certification: 63% Go Live: 95% Currently 1 out of 30 Candidates are selected Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 13
  • 14. Screening Process Overview 1. Portal Registration Applicant registration and validation Review and confirmation of requirements 2. Online Screening Background information Online assessments & technology audit 3. VIPdesk Screening Resume & phone screening 4. Security/Background Checks SSN verification, criminal background & credit check 5. Additional Testing & Program Matching Personality and aptitude Typing, writing, voice 6. System Setup & Access Agreements, notarized affidavit, paperwork Required systems setup, software assessment Brand Ambassador University registration 7. Certification Level One: Basic customer service Level Two: Tools & application Level Three: Client program Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 14
  • 15. Home Office Requirements Noise-free home-office – Separate room in home with functional locking doors/windows – No background noise – Locking desk/file cabinet – Cross-cut shredder Dedicated phone line – Analog or FiOS land line Analog phone with corded headset – Wired Internet connection – VOIP & digital phone services currently not allowed Computer – Processor Speed - Single Processor: 2 GHz+; Dual Core Processor: 1 GHz+ – MS Office or comparable suite – Memory - 1 GB RAM+ – Web Browser - Minimum: IE 6 – High Speed Internet Access - 1.5 Mbps+ DSL or Cable Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 15
  • 16. Successful Candidate Profile • Superb customer service skills – Excellent tone of service – Customer focused – Resourceful/able to troubleshoot challenges • Appropriate experience to match program needs • Sales orientation (depending on need) – Potential cross-sell/up-sell opportunities • Quick learners; intuitive to customer needs • Upbeat - “smile in their voice” ☺ • Strong computer skills • Ability to multi-task • Effective writing skills • Ability to meet performance requirements Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 16
  • 17. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 17
  • 18. Remote Learning Platform Learning Management System (LMS) • Class schedules and ability to register • Learning Paths • Curriculum Library/Searchable database of training modules • Assessments/tests • Self-paced modules • Videos • Web Conferencing • Conference calling Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 18
  • 19. Training Components 1. Company/Brand Training – In-depth overview of the company history, culture, products and services. 2. Application Training – Individuals complete online, self-paced modules, which educates them on the fundamentals of the application. 3. Instructor Led Learning – Individuals learn curriculum and soft skills through instructor led role play and practice. 4. Assessments – Evaluate knowledge retention. 5. Simulated Calls/Emails/Chat – Agents handle test calls that are monitored. 6. Soft-Launch – Agents take real calls and go back to the classroom to discuss experiences. Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 19
  • 20. Remote Training Best Practices • Dedicated teams • Smaller classes - 1:15 Instructor to Brand Ambassador ratio • State of the art LMS (Learning Management Tool) • Tiered education strategy to allow for learning "checkpoints“ • Instructor-led sessions • Self-paced modules/simulators • Soft-skill calibration • Software education and practice • Incorporate video • Extensive role-play • Assessments and benchmarks required for passing Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 20
  • 21. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 21
  • 22. 5 Keys to Successful Remote Management • Organization-wide buy-in to model • Communication mechanisms • Clear key performance objectives • Tools to support virtual operation • Recognition and rewards Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 22
  • 23. Corporate Culture Considerations • Leadership Team can also be home-based • Home-based team requires culture of open communication • Performance-based management approach is key • Supply team with support – program experts • Leadership structure must be conducive to home- based structure • Managers must be “coaches” – providing resources, support and best practices • Virtual recognition/awards Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 23
  • 24. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 24
  • 25. Communication Tools Instant Communication • Secure IM • Switch capabilities - transfer/conference Resources • Resource portal • LMS • Weekly updates • Monthly Newsletter Methods • Weekly team web conference meetings • Weekly team calibration sessions Results and Reports • Performance Dashboard Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 25
  • 26. VIPdesk Integrated Technology Platform Communications Switch–CIC (Interactive Intelligence) • Integrated phone, email and chat Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 26
  • 27. VIPdesk Integrated Technology Platform Workforce Management- eWorkforce (Aspect) • Performance & multi-skill, multi-channel scheduling • Demand forecasting Business Intelligence (Cognos) • Agent Scorecards and Operations Dashboards • KPI reporting and forecasting Learning Management System (Learn.com) • Online training and certification courses through self- paced modules and instructor-led seminars Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 27
  • 28. VIPdesk Proprietary Technology Applications Recruiting Portal • VIPdesk’s recruiting and screening portal • Automates recruiting process for home-based positions Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 28
  • 29. VIPdesk Proprietary Technology Applications Call Recording Retrieval/Listening Application • Proprietary solution to securely listen to and search for calls near- time Quality Grading Application • Integrated with call recording portal • Provides capability to grade and report scores for the remote agents Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 29
  • 30. VIPdesk Proprietary Technology Applications Reporting • VIPdesk’s custom reporting package allows the creation of reports on any aspect of call, email, or chat data Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 30
  • 31. VIPdesk Proprietary Technology Applications Remote Team Communications Platform • Internal chat application- V!M • Brand Ambassador Gateway • Data Dashboard • VIPdesk Intranet Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 31
  • 32. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 32
  • 33. Lessons Learned • The profile of the candidate - working from home is not for everyone • Home office and computer requirements • Smaller class size- Trainer to Student ratio • Interactive role - play and practice sessions • Web-based LMS - for remote training • Technology platform - to enable easy communication • Self-study courses - approach for some content • Policies and procedures - reflect the needs of a home-based audience • Communication tools Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 33
  • 34. Potential Annual Savings Real Estate – Real estate costs * number of agents=_____________ Increased Productivity – Fewer agent hours * hourly rate=_____________ Attrition Recruiting Replacement Cost – (Recruiting time * salary) + job posting costs=______ Attrition Training Costs – (Trainers’ time * salary) + materials + licenses=_____ Fewer Managers – Number of managers * salary=___________________ Lower Salary Agents (based on locations) – Number of agents * salary difference=_____________ Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 34
  • 35. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 35
  • 36. VIPdesk Client Bluefly Awarded 2008 International Service Excellence Award • In November 2008, Bluefly was awarded the International Service Excellence Award – Category of Business-to-Consumer Contact Center – Awards are given to organizations in all industries worldwide in recognition of their commitment to customer service excellence • VIPdesk has provided Bluefly’s e-mail, phone, and online chat customer support since July 2007. Results include: – Increased total service sales by 23% year-over-year – Increased sales conversion – Reduced cost per contact 18% year-over-year – Virtually no attrition – Within 3 months: • 87% customer satisfaction phone and e-mail • 94% customer satisfaction in chat Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 36
  • 37. Other Client Results Exceeded dollars/order goals through holiday season while ramping agents to double capacity Reduce AHT by 31% over the first year of operation Client 1 Reduced shrinkage by 14% over two months Handled 200%+ of forecasted volumes during season periods where weather impacted client’s internal center Enabled client to consolidate in-house call centers down to one during the first year, handling 67% of peak traffic in year two Improved email contact completion rate by 41% Client 2 Improved service levels by 60% Reduced AHT for the client by an average of 22 seconds Improved overall first-contact resolution Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 37
  • 38. VIPdesk Overview Virtual Contact Center Industry Overview Recruiting Remote Training Remote Team Leadership and Management Communication Tools Lessons Learned Case Studies More Information Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 38
  • 39. Other Resources • “Training and Managing Home-based Customer Care Agents: Five Steps to Success” in Interactive Intelligence “Book of Answers” • This article can be downloaded at www.vipdesk.com/info/pdf/Book_of_Answers_V IPdesk.pdf • “The Challenge of Remote Agent Training” in Connections Magazine • This article can be downloaded at www.connectionsmagazine.com/articles/8/025.h tml Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 39
  • 40. More Information on Virtual Customer Care • VIPdesk and IDC co-authored a whitepaper on the virtual customer care market • This whitepaper can be downloaded at www.vipdesk.com/whitepaper • Subscribe to Virtual Voice – a monthly newsletter clipping of relevant articles covering the virtual call center space • Industry-wide information, not just VIPdesk specific • Subscribe via email at: virtualvoice@vipdesk.com Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 40
  • 41. Questions Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 41
  • 42. Questions? Please submit your questions now • You can also email questions to: – press@vipdesk.com or call 703-837-3507 – shurley@vipdesk.com or call 703.837.3518 Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 42
  • 43. Website: http://www.vipdesk.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/vipdesk Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vipdesk LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/companies/vipdesk YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/vipdesk Via RSS: http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/23095083.rss Confidential- Proprietary VIPdesk Information 1