At-Home Momentum With regards to at-home agents, are you: 6% Not using orconsidering at- 11% home agents 7% 25% Nov-09Considering at- home agents 41% Sep-09 48% Apr-09 69%Using at-home 48% agents 45%All of these survey respondents were registered to attend an at-home webinar, but even so, the growth of those employing this model is substantial between April and November.
Engagement LevelDespite other survey results that show a large amount of daily communication with at-home agents, 46% still said they are less engaged than in-center agents. This might suggest more tactics than strategy being employed in this arena.
Difficulty Keeping ConnectedWhile most share that they have “average” difficulty connecting agents to various entities, there seems to be the least difficulty in the Supervisor category. 12% rank it difficult or extremely difficult, as compared to 30% and 27% ranking Company and Team as difficult or extremely difficult.
Keeping Agents ConnectedAt-home agents have the most contact with their supervisors, with 65% communicating at least daily. Team contact is less frequent, with 50% communicating daily or more.
At-Home Tools The prevalence of email raises some concerns about the accessibility of information that agents may need to reference later. Chat and web meetings were frequently noted as tools for all sorts of communication. E-learning and social networking show lots of room to grow, especially as the costs come down with these methods that have shown to be effective.
Processes Adapted for At-Home – Ad-Hoc Meetings Ad-Hoc Huddles/Team Meetings Group IM/Chat Room 5 Email 7 IM/Chat 8 In Office 10 Web Meeting 22 Conf Call 37 The next few charts show how respondents are adapting in-center processes with tools available to at- home agents. Team calls and web meetings are prevalent in ad-hoc and team meetings as two- way communications. It is interesting that 11% require at-home agents to attend meetings in the office.
Processes Adapted for At-Home – Raising Hand Raising Hand for Help Not Done 1 Group IM/Chat Room 2 Web Meeting 3 Dedicated 16 Number/Queue Email 16 1to1 Phone 24 IM/Chat 49 When it comes to getting help immediately, the majority of respondents use chat/instant message. While many use phone, a significant number use a dedicated help line for at-home agents.
Processes Adapted for At-Home – Teammates Help Asking Teammates for Help Intranet 2 Group IM/Chat Room 5 Not Done 7 Dedicated 7 Number/Queue 1to1 Phone 16 Email 22 IM/Chat 46 Again, chat and instant message seem to be the most popular way at-home agents get assistance. The use of email suggests the types of questions asked of teammates are not immediate.
Processes Adapted for At-Home – Supervisor’s Walk Supervisors Walking Around to Help Web Meeting 2 Group IM/Chat Room 3 Monitoring 6 Dedicated 7 Number/Queue Not Done 12 Email 16 1to1 Phone 19 IM/Chat 39 Chat and instant message use are most prevalent in this category, but the use of monitoring comes in for some supervisors looking to assist. Also, a number of respondents do not have a mechanism for at-home agents that mirrors the “walk-around” process that many in-center supervisors use.
Processes Adapted for At-Home – Training Classroom Training Not Done 1 Email 1 IM/Chat 4 Conf Call 12 Self-Paced eLearning 16 Web Meeting 31 In Office 34 The most interesting thing about this in-center process adapted for at-home is that so many have not adapted it at all. They still require at-home agents to come into the office for training. Of those who have, web meetings and self-paced e-learning are the most popular.
Frequency of Connections How often do home agents participate in the following once they are initially trained?70%60%50%40%30%20%10% 0% Training Scheduled team Ad-hoc huddles/team Communication updates Coaching sessions meetings meetings Daily 2-4 times/week Weekly 2-3 times/month Monthly Less than monthly Training and ad-hoc meetings happen with the least frequency, with around 40% occurring less than monthly. The highest frequency events are communication updates, by far, with more than 60% occurring daily.
Supervisor View With many of these answers hovering around half of responses, it’s clear methods vary when it comes to managing at-home agents. While 56% receive additional tools, 44% receive additional training on how to manage them.
Supervisor Qualities What makes a good supervisor of at-home agents? Knowledgeable Detail-Oriented Multi-Tasking Flexibility Tech-Savvy Organized Team-Building Skills Communications 0 10 20 30 40 50 This question invited respondents to write-in the qualities they thought made good supervisors of at- home agents. These answers were categorized into the above answers. Communication skills was most frequently given and often was described as written and oral communications. Given the nature of how teams must be managed in this environment, team building and organization were also highly ranked.
More Resources on At-Home Agents Request free white paper: More benchmark data: http://www.knowlagent.com/Resource-Center/Call- Center-Statistics-Pardot.aspx Webinar related to these results: Long Time, No See: How to Keep At-Home Agents Connected Contact Debbie Dockery for more info: email@example.com
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About the Survey At-Home Webinar registrants asked to participate Online survey Results originally shared during webinar 11/10/09 253 participants across industries