In this series of four blog posts about Virtual Customer Service, each time I will reveal a use cases for considering Virtual Customer Service. In the introduction you can read about the rationale behind Virtual Customer Service.

Today we’ll talk about implementing a ‘home agent’ strategy

Another flavor of virtualization is the ability for contact center agents to work from home. Home working has a number of advantages for both the employee and the employer. Even environmental considerations can be reasons to introduce the home working concept.

With the adoption of domestic broadband Internet connections it is very feasible to guarantee quality of service for the voice channel for your employees.  With quality management solutions being able to record conversations utilizing the IP protocol, ensuring and managing quality is no longer a concern.

For employees, the ability to work from home provides a level of freedom and independence and reduces the stress of day-to-day commuting. For the operation, it means that the risk of employees starting late due to weather issues or traffic jams is greatly reduced. ‘Shrinkage’ (starting the day with less capacity than you planned for) is a day-to-day issue for contact center managers and is something that is considered.

Sometimes home working is part of the employee satisfaction program or becomes an option when employees have proven to be responsible and mature enough to work from home for a day per week. When sudden peaks in traffic are experienced, mobilizing additional resources for just an hour or two to remedy the service levels that are under pressure is a valid reason for introducing the home working concept. The concept of employees working ‘split shifts’ is also easier to implement for home-based employees, especially for working mothers who work mornings when children are at school and later in the evenings for example.

Some organizations that have contact centers in densely populated areas are sensitive to reducing CO2 emissions and home workers have a zero-footprint CO2 footprint.

To read the full whitepaper on Virtual Customer Service please click here.