BPA Featured Article

How to Ensure Acceptable Call Quality for Remote Agent Interactions

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC
April 04, 2018

I am a full-time telecommuter. I work from home, using my own laptop and monitor, and high-speed internet connectivity from Cox (News - Alert) Communications.

My employer provided me with an IP phone. So I have the same features as my colleagues at headquarters, and I can reach them with via three-digit dialing.

This setup usually works great. But, every once in awhile the call quality is less than crystal clear; probably because I’m on a best-effort internet connection. So when it happens, I just use my cell phone instead.

Call center agents who work from home probably run into similar challenges from time to time. And these individuals have enough problems to contend with – like frequently crabby callers – without having to deal with wonky connections.

But, their remote setup may require them to use their desktop phone so their employer can track key performance metrics and control compliance. Plus, using cellular phones for work calls can expose their personal phone numbers, which would also be a major problem for both agent and employer.

However, there are a few ways that call centers using remote workers can address poor call quality so it doesn’t become a major barrier.

Call centers can assess the post-call call quality metrics delivered by some unified communications solutions. And when calls from select remote agents show that connections and call quality is below a certain threshold, they can take those agents out of the loop until conditions improve.

Another option is to assess call quality using a VoIP system that does real-time monitoring and when quality is too low, to reroute calls to the PSTN. But that can become pricey.

A third choice is to employ voice testing to continuously monitor call paths and illuminate trends as to when call quality falls off. That way call centers can ensure quality is where it needs to be. And it can enable call centers to schedule remote agents in the future so they work only when call quality is acceptable.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz