Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  07 May 2012

WORK FROM HOME: Work from Home Solution Boosts Call Centre Productivity


Recent Gauteng Business News

In an industry where staff turnover is high, as it typically is for call centres, holding on to your best performers is important. For Lew Stainbank of Durban-based call centre company Lionbee, a system that made it easy for his star agents to work from home made all the difference.

“When we get people who are good, we do whatever we can to hold onto them,” says Stainbank. “We had a situation where many of our call centre agents were getting older, getting married and having children, and it was getting harder for them to work full-time at the office. Some of them were spending up to two hours a day just travelling. We decided to develop a system that would allow people to work from home if necessary.”

Stainbank approached several communications service providers for call centres in search of a solution, finally settling on Vox Datapro. “A lot of the purely technical people couldn't understand the language I was speaking,” he says. “At Vox Datapro they were able to understand my needs and give me what I wanted, even though it took 18 months of hard work. It’s not as easy to deliver in practice as it sounds – Vox was able to see it through to the end, and we’re very happy with the results.”

Call Centre Agents Have ADSL Lines Directly Connected to Office Systems

Several Lionbee employees now have home ADSL lines and direct connections into the office systems – and there is a waiting list. “It saves our call centre agents hours of travel time and hundreds of rands in transport costs every month, and they can work from the comfort of home,” says Stainbank.

Productivity hasn’t suffered – in fact, in some cases it’s increased because of the reduced stress and travel time. “Our clients have no idea which call centre agents are working from home,” says Stainbank. “We are getting great call quality – during our test run we sent call recordings to clients and they couldn’t tell the difference between calls made from home versus the office. The home-working agents are also getting fast access into our systems, so there are no extra delays.”

Location also makes no difference to monitoring and quality assurance: “All our processes still work exactly as if people were physically in the office,” says Stainbank. “We can monitor their calls and activity in real time – there’s no need to wait for daily or weekly reports.”

“Losing good staff was our biggest challenge at our call centre,” concludes Stainbank. “With Vox Datapro’s solution, we’ve turned that whole situation around. In the next few months we expect to have a lot more call centre agents working from home.”

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