The Top 5 Reasons CRM Still Fails 

Agent workflow around the needs of the customer is limited in CRM platforms. In fact, most CRM systems attempt to enforce a process, but contact center interactions are not so predictable or linear.

Download the Paper 


42% Increase in Up-Sell Conversion Rate

Alsco achieved a 42% improvement in up-sell Conversion Rate and improved First Call Resolution with the RiverStar solution.

Read the Case Study 


Increased Agent Efficiency

"Since the deployment of RiverStar Studio, the call center has experienced a significant increase in efficiency .The efficiency was expected but not at this much of a gain."

Read the Case Study 


Reduced Agent Training by 50%

Read the story about unifying a fragmented agent desktop that doubled sales conversion rates and improved agent training by more than 50%

Read the Case Study 


Better Customer Support 

 Learn more about the Web Self Service solution RiverStar delivered to support Activision's customers around the troubleshooting process.

Read the Case Study


The RiverStar Blog


Overcoming Agent Availability in the Work-at-Home Call Center

Share |

Maximizing agent productivity and managing agent availability can be a challenge with Work-At-Home Agents (WAHA).  Is the work-at-home agent dispostioning the call correctly? How do they absorb best practices from top-tier agents when they are isolated in their home?

 The economics around the work-at-home model are extremely compelling. Web-based technologies have lowered the cost of managing customer interactions and opened the door to new possibilities for how (and where) agents interact with customers. However persuasive the economics are, a real challenge exists to overcoming agent availability in the work-at-home call center.

Addressing the Uncontrolled Workplace
In an uncontrolled workplace (i.e. a home office), agents can knowingly or unknowingly muddle the system. In a hypothetical scenario, agents are working the call, navigating a CRM, and ultimately land on a “wrap up” screen to enter in call notes and info. During this process, the workforce management system (WFM) indicates that the agent is unavailable, but the call has ended. The CRM system indicates the case is closed.  But where’s the agent? This is one of many scenarios indicating that if you want to control your costs and your call center operation, you must make sure that what you’re inspecting is in fact reality.

Telephony, CTI, and CRM apps do little to capture the customer dialog and provide reporting on the entire transaction. Call center managers are left with an opaque view of who is really productive and who’s really available.   WFM is dependent on the agent to accurately set their status.  In addition to creating a disjointed process for the agent to navigate open windows and applications on the desktop, these tools are data centric and don’t address the problem of availability in an uncontrolled home environment.

Leveraging a Unified Agent Desktop for WAHA
A unified agent desktop however, has the ability to build upon best practices. An isolated, remote agent is costing you money; best practices must be instilled regardless of where they sit. Within a unified agent desktop, companies can create business rules that deliver timed alerts to managers. For example, when the agent is sitting out on the ‘wrap up’ screen for over 5 minutes, the manager would receive an alert and contact that agent to see what the issue is. 

The presence of a unified, integrated agent desktop is crucial to the agent-customer dialogue and even more crucial in the work-at-home agent call center. As most operations executives can attest, agents are empowered, but only in a highly-controlled contact center environment where every step of the dialogue is timed and every call is recorded. 

A Stepping Stone for WAHA Best Practices
Insights on data derived from the agent desktop will lead to best practices. In the Work-at-Home Call Center, it’s extremely difficult for agents to learn by “osmosis.” At home agents don’t benefit from seeing or hearing other agents’ best practices. To counter this, companies can look to data that supports WAHA best practices.

How long does it take the top performers to get through each step in the dialogue? Where in the process are there are a longer than expected call times? Are agents effectively transitioning to new calls? How long do they need before the manager is alerted? Don’t just find best practice by looking at Average Handle Time, but compare call times, results (close ratios, FCR, upsell rates), and actual work steps and timing.

Find out more about how RiverStar enables you to minimize dead time and reinforce best practice call transition approaches.

Average Rating: Article Rating


Thursday, December 13, 2012 4:39 AM
I think that the shift to remote working is on the rise and there's no stopping it.. so, how can we make sure that data shared remotely are safe? I guess, there will be a total revamp on how call metrics will work and this time, instead of calculating average handle time and the likes, they might as well take into consideration results from each customer service/sales interaction. Work tracking apps will only show you the tip of the iceberg - do you really trust people to work effectively for you even if you're not looking? That's the real question, I think.
Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:54 AM

I agree with your issue in that a full view of results is the clearest way, regardless of work effort, of the quality and value each agent is adding. Imagine tracking bottom line returns per agent, team, market, campaign. These are numbers that matter to our venture's CEOs.

Now, if you can see exactly the steps all agents are following, regardless of location, you've got better insight than "visual observation" on who is really adding value AND how...

That would be compelling, wouldn't you agree?

Post Comment

Name (required)

Email (required)