In a recent article in 1to1 Magazine, “Setting the At-Home Service Standard,” author Mila D’Antonio cites the higher overall quality of home agents as the critical reason why companies today are delivering better customer experiences as they transition customer service to a home-based workforce. But the real question is: Will better talent alone (aka better skilled agents)lead to the best results?
Let’s face it, talent is just the beginning. It’s having fuel without an engine. Sure, it’s why many companies are discovering the advantages of an at-home workforce. In reality the engine behind at-home success is the combination of cloud-based technology with cloud-based talent that is producing even better performance—the cloud is the difference to achieving better results faster and more consistently.
Moving to cloud-based technology means rethinking how you’re working with talent, in addition to identifying and sourcing talent. (I’ll save identifying, sourcing, and profiling for another blog.) Simply implementing the same traditional, on-premise approaches and tools doesn’t work when you’re striving to get the best out of a cloud workforce. Cloud-based talent requires new tools and new ways of managingremote workers to inspire performancethat is superior to an on-premise environment.
Take collaboration, for example. Home agents are already adept with online chat and forums to stay connected and access information. But there are times when real-time voice and face-to-face interactions can have a huge impact on the ability to more effectively communicate complex issues or deliver critical feedback. Just look at the recent launch of group video chat via Skype on Facebook or the new Google+ “Hangouts” feature, and you can see how similar technology could be implemented to take collaboration to a whole new level in the cloud-based work environment. We are at the forefront of a consumer-inspired, collaboration technologies boom that will change how we work. Smart cloud application developers are positioning themselves now to take full advantage of this opportunity to enable the workforce to perform better, faster, and more consistently.
And let’s not forget how cloud-based applications can transform how agents assess and improve their own individual performance. At-home workers require greater connectedness and more visibility into how they are performing against their peers, and this concept of “reputation” can lead to new and powerful motivation tools and techniques. The use of gamification feeds into human nature to compete on the basis of performance and then be rewarded for doing well and
reaching new heights. Those agents who compete well in the “games” that defines their work also provide a higher standard of service. Trust me, I’ve seen the proof.
The shift to higher quality home agents is well under way. With this shift is a new standard of excellence for customer service. If you haven’t moved to the cloud yet, what’s going to help you keep up with the new standard of customer service excellence?
Flowers and Mother’s Day go hand-in-hand. But celebrating so many moms on a single day can create an overwhelming spike in demand for a flower company. So when one of the largest online flower retailers came to LiveOps again this year to handle calls for the flower-heavy holiday, we understood the challenge.
In addition to the huge call volume that comes in every year, the other thing we can count on is that our community of independent agents loves this opportunity and can’t wait to start taking calls for the occasion. As we have done previously, we created a special community of agents focused on this specific retailer. (more…)
“Truly tested” is a phrase I don’t throw around lightly. But LiveOps’ decade of experience in managing a cloud-based workforce amounts to a virtual lifetime in our increasingly digital world, making LiveOps’ platform one of the only “truly tested” cloud-based contact centers in the industry.
Sifting through the moving parts of a contact center can be daunting but we’ve weathered enough storms at LiveOps to know what to look for. In an industry where needs change quickly, experience matters.
Here are five key questions to ask when deciding to migrate to a cloud contact center provider. (more…)
Recently I was invited to the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program Roundtable on Talent Development, where the theme was Solving the Dilbert Paradox. The paradox, in a nutshell, is that while managers claim that their highest priority is the selection, retention and satisfaction of high-quality employees, many of the most talented contributors feel under-appreciated and under-utilized. And those who are the most passionate about what they do often end up being the most frustrated and dissatisfied with their jobs.
I just returned from Aspen where I participated in Fortune Brainstorm: Tech, an annual gathering of tech leaders, media visionaries, entrepreneurs, and a variety of other big brained folks to talk about trends and changes in technology, culture and society as a whole.
The event, and particularly the public discussion I participated in about how technology can supercharge a new generation of nonprofits, left me newly inspired. It also further convinced me of the role giving back has in empowering businesses. (more…)
Miracles don’t only happen on the ice—they happen every day in the workplace.
I’ve been lucky enough to experience several in my career. When I went to eBay in 1999 the company was battling some significant technology issues. Many people said I was crazy to join in the midst of such turmoil. Certainly during those dark days at eBay, no one believed it would evolve into the world’s largest online marketplace and transform the world of e-commerce. But the real miracle I witnessed was not eBay’s rise to greatness, but rather the many moments when I saw teams unleash their potential and brilliantly solve what was previously deemed impossible. (more…)