Support agents who are used to working remotely face their share of challenges as do support reps who have just started in their career remotely. Remote work is the need of the hour but providing positive experiences for every customer can be onerous.
On an average day, your dog is barking in the corner, your little one attending online classes in the next room, a delivery boy is ringing the doorbell; while you have four customer chats alive and flickering on your screen in addition to having to deal with the mundanities of regular life. So how does all this fit into your professional life? These are a few of the realities customer support agents face while working from home.
We spoke to various customer support representatives who spoke of their challenges while working as support agents for other companies and how working with VOIZ has helped them overcome these difficulties. Listed below are some of the most recurring issues customer agents faced and tips on how to deal with them.
Challenge #1 Absence or lack of Internal Communication
“Before joining VOIZ, I was working from home for a company as their customer support rep and the biggest difficulty for me was not having someone to discuss calls or customer scenarios with. It reduced the quality of my performance and I noticed that I began losing interest in the job. But after joining VOIZ, that has completely changed.”
Many agents mentioned that lack of team communication can lead to uncertainty surrounding the job role and hesitancy while performing job tasks. This also contributes towards high agent turnover, reduced morale and poor agent productivity.
Source: Axero Solutions
At VOIZ we believe that communication is the cornerstone of a successful working environment, especially where remote work is concerned. For a business to truly flourish and thrive, it is crucial for communication systems and professional relationships to be in place. This is why here, we make sure that your day as a support agent begins with a stand up managed by your supervisor where successes are celebrated, in addition to trivial ones. We realize that good communication can positively affect morale, health, stress levels, job performance, etc. As an agent at VOIZ, you will always have mentors or supervisors you can turn to for direction or advice and even be able to fraternize with other agents by participating in courses at VOIZ’s workshop.
Challenge #2 Round-the-clock or indistinctive working hours
“I worked with a company as their outbound telesales agent for eight months after which I quit due to reaching a stage of burn-out. I was expected to work every day including Sunday and had to deal with working extra to make up for breaks or productivity losses. Ultimately it took a toll on my colleagues and me. Four months ago, I quit and joined VOIZ and experienced freedom in work culture. Now I work 5 days a week for four hours per day while being able to pursue other interests.”
Support and telesales agents are often subjected to long hours and overtime. If not for those then strict and long working hours. This can occur in certain companies and call centres. Working round the clock or working without set timings can lead to reduced productivity and an even faster burnout. Due to this, call centre jobs have gained a bad reputation over the years. While candidates might be interested in the job profile; they may back out due to the misconception that all companies and call centres function the same way. But that is not the case.
At VOIZ, we prioritise having a healthy work-life balance that can not only keeps our agents happy but will also help them continue doing what they are doing in the long run. We offer agents the opportunity to work as per their choice of timing. Agents have the power to choose their preferred days of work and their preferred choice of working hours as well. This will help agents to prioritise their day and schedule accordingly; further allowing them to work during their most productive hours. At VOIZ we believe that working in bursts to keep engaged and interested in the long run. We stick to timings that is convenient for you and work around that by suggesting and recommending jobs and gigs that require services during those hours. Instead of sitting at your desk wondering how to make it through 8 or 12 whole hours; at VOIZ you can opt for 4-hour slots. That there is an end to your sprint, navigate better at work while looking forward to the rest of the day you have left!
Challenge #3 Requirement of hi-tech gadgets or advanced technological knowledge
“The company that hired me previously required us to download a particular application to do the job. The nature of work was remote and the nature of my phone was incompatible with that particular application which required me to purchase a new phone or a laptop. At the time I did not have the money to do that and had to quit. Joined VOIZ because of its easy to use software that I can easily access through my phone. The very same phone that I was asked to replace by my previous supervisor.”
– Ratna, 53
Various companies require their agents to work on complicated software that requires advanced systems and hardware to support it, customer-obsessed in addition to having to be technologically literate. But this can be a challenge for certain individuals looking to find work especially when it is remote. It can be hard for elderly people or people who have not had exposure to technology and infrastructure to suddenly start working with one.
At VOIZ we understand that not everyone can be tech-savvy and not everyone can have the latest equipment and hardware. And what’s best? We don’t even require those things when it comes to our processes. All we require our agents to have is either a smartphone or a laptop or a desktop with which work can be done smoothly. Today we have agents who are above 60 and working the same processes as their younger counterparts due to our minimal hardware requirements and easy to use interface.
Challenge #4 Working in unfamiliar projects and processes
“I have had experience only with customer support and when I was thrust into telesales by my prior workplace; I was lost, scared and eventually began hating my job. I didn’t have a say in the matter and with three kids at home and time to learn a new process, all I could do was quit. I joined VOIZ and thankfully I had the option of adding my past work experience and also the good fortune of adding the kind of projects and processes I would be interested to work in. I have been working here for the past 5 months and will be for the next 5 years.”
– Menaka, 37
While in some cases experiencing a fear of the unknown can be taken as a fun challenge; when it comes to working these things can be subjective. In some companies or call centres; candidates may have applied for one role only to have been recruited for another. While that happens often, candidates must be given the chance to accept or choose another option. But in most cases, candidates are expected to take up the role regardless of whether they want it or not. And if they don’t, they are shown the door. Some employees work for the sake of the job only to find themselves depressed and professionally detached. This can be a major challenge as employees in this line of work may not be encouraged to voice out their preferred process or project type.
At VOIZ we have developed our marketplace in a way that it can handle all and any sort of talent. A candidate with no experience in customer service is just as welcome as a candidate with five years of experience in customer support. We believe that although it is important to experiment with various project types; agent inclination is key in making that happen the most out of their preferred processes. At VOIZ we are particularly interested in understanding the kind of processes you are familiar with and fascinated with. Following that, we help with generating project recommendations and suggestions you can start working with.
For agents with experience, we offer the opportunity for them to choose their preferred process.
And for candidates with no experience, we recommend jobs and gig work based on their past experiences.
At VOIZ we have created a culture of celebrating learning, accomplishment and progress. We aim to keep our agents motivated by enabling them to do what they want to; however in which way they want to. While training our agents to develop a ‘customer-obsessed’ mindset; we fundamentally operate by keeping our ‘agents’ happy first! Sign up to be a part of our work culture and get started with VOIZ today!