Remote and home based contact centre agents will more than double in the next two years according to a Contact Centre Optimisation Survey conducted by Integ Communications at the recent G-Force conference.
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And nearly half of the respondents surveyed indicated that they plan to extend their workforce to remote and home based agents to assist in addressing recruiting challenges.
While 18 per cent of contact centres surveyed currently employ home based agents, the results of the survey indicate that this figure will grow to 37 per cent by 2010, with 45 per cent of companies surveyed indicating that they would have call centre agents in remote offices within the same time period.
According to the survey, this trend is being driven by challenges in recruiting quality staff with over 70 per cent responding that they believe that the availability of technology to enable remote and home-based agents would help to attract suitable candidates such as parents seeking home based part-time employment.
Respondents also cited workplace flexibility, reduced employee travel and benefits to agent scheduling during peak call times or ‘avalanche calling’ as important factors behind their plans.
The top five technologies or related services nominated by respondents using or planning to use remote workers were;
* Call screen pops to agent PCs
* Intelligent routing to the most suitable agent
* Virtual Private Network and secure access
* Call recording for training and assessment
* Coaching and mentoring of agents
Ian Poole CEO of Integ, says the results of this survey largely reinforce the feedback Integ receives from its customers.
The survey also indicated that tools such as software for real-time collaboration and instant messaging capabilities are not a high priority for contact centres at this time, but this is an emerging trend.