Home-Based Customer Care Agents
White Paper

Home-Based Customer Care Agents

SYKESHome is a home-based contact-center solution that delivers a comprehensive suite of distributed workforce solutions and outsource capabilities, including customer contact management, SaaS-based talent-management platforms, cloud-based security and consulting services.

Solution advantages

Customer service seasonality: Most businesses experience a degree of customer service seasonality once or twice each year. At its extreme, this necessitates scaling customer support operations by a factor of two or more — challenging your business to find more people, desks, facilities and equipment for a relatively short period of time. Designed to handle the regular and seasonal customer-support needs of large enterprises, SYKESHome gives us the ability to quickly find, recruit, train and manage highly qualified, remote customer-support agents to meet our clients’ needs in every season.

Specialized support programs: Meeting specialized support-program requirements can be a challenge, especially when they call for specifically combined technical or product knowledge, language skills, personal affinity and geographic location. With over 300,000 job applicants each year, SYKESHome has the latitude to select only the top employee candidates. By closely matching agent attributes with client program requirements, we can acquire any number of certified, bilingual technicians living in a specific North American city or state. Consider our home-based agents your best option for finding the right talent to meet your specialized needs.

Expecting the unexpected: Put simply — things happen. From intra-day peaks and weekly fluctuations to violent storms unleashing chaos along the East Coast — life is full of unforeseen challenges and disasters. It’s difficult enough to match in-center staffing to daily customer call patterns and even more so to handle unplanned or unexpected call volumes that come into a center affected by bad weather, power outage or illness. The beauty of SYKESHome is its agility in managing call volume peaks that occur during lunchtime and in the early evening when customers end the work day. When you have a flexible service team distributed across 40 states in 5,000 home-based locations, no storm, power outage or epidemic will disable or diminish your customer support operation.

Recruiting and training

To succeed, virtual contact centers must undertake specialized, proven recruitment and training methods.

  • Select: Through virtual, nationwide recruiting across 40+ U.S. states and eight Canadian provinces, we receive an average of 300,000 applications per year but select less than 2 percent of these applicants to become employees.
  • Hire: Our applicants are both profiled and tested as they submit their resumes, meaning that their suitability for every program is assessed to ensure proper fit.
  • Learn: Training logistics often present a barrier to getting new employees up and ready to fill program slots in short order. Our virtual learning platform removes this limitation and enables “lean-in” learning techniques that ensure employees acquire knowledge and proficiency quickly.

Remote management

Effective communication and ready access to information are key to successfully managing remote teams.

  • Knowledge: We simplify management processes by hiring only capable agents who possess specific characteristics proven to yield high performance and match client-defined criteria, e.g., video-gaming experience, financial certifications or healthcare experience.
  • Information: Inventive workforce management, scheduling and performance-reporting technologies simplify agent and supervisor activities by providing quick access to clear information.
  • Communication: Assistance is always available to new agents from peers and supervisors. Online chat, huddle, coaching and feedback sessions give employees a sense of connection with the program while reducing feelings of isolation.

Safety and security

Data protection is worry-free thanks to a variety of security measures and well-trained employees.

  • People: With an average age of 40 and 15 years of work experience, the typical virtual agent has made a lifestyle choice to work from home. Close work relationships and clear communication engender a sense of belonging, teamwork and respect.
  • Processes: Careful background checks, activity monitoring, team and one-to-one coaching ensures that any risks associated with remote employees are addressed and mitigated on par with in-center workers.
  • Technology: Providing custom hardware and software, integrating telephony, and securing transactions eliminates the more routine ways of committing data security fraud.

Learn more about our work-at-home solutions.

Further Reading

Article: SYKESHome Employs Veterans and Military Spouses
Article: How I Traded a Three Hour Commute for a Home Office
Article: Take This Job and Love It? It’s Easy with SYKESHome
Article: A Desk Job? This Active Vet Found One to Love at SYKESHome