Agent performance monitoring: Tools to use
Posted on: February 18, 2021
Monitor your WFH workforce with agent performance monitoring tools
In this age of ‘work from home’ culture, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to monitor the productivity of their employees. Agents working from home for prolonged periods are losing motivation and the quality of their work is deteriorating. Organizations are finding it hard to provide quality client support to their customers. By July 2020, productivity in the US among remote employees had dropped 14% (Aternity). Modern software offers a solution to these issues, using remote agent monitoring to regulate employee productivity while also maintaining enterprise data security. Software like this also ensures that organizations can provide their workforce with the best possible workflow setup through an in-depth analysis of employee behaviors.
How can monitoring help your organization?
Performance monitoring is an integral part of any organization’s regular functioning. It ensures that customers are receiving the best possible service from the organization’s agents. Performance monitoring is essential to maintain the quality of work output, retain transparency regarding organizational data and improve the work experience of employees. Remote working makes it difficult to perform these key functions. But certain companies now provide solutions for all agent monitoring needs of enterprises. Organizations hire these middlemen to maintain the quality of customer service while also ensuring the best working environment for their agents.
Monitor agent systems
Agent monitoring is not just for constant surveillance of employees, it is a tool that analyses employee behavior patterns. Gain insights into the kind of challenges employees face at work and help organizations to make the workflow smoother for their employees. Supervisors, higher management or human resource departments can proactively monitor their agents and see how much time they spend in productive or idle work hours. Daily time-sheets are produced for each agent system showing the time spent working on different activities. These tools also provide performance scores for agents regarding benchmarks like average time taken for each query, etc, while developing and sending regular graphical status updates for agent systems to assigned supervisors. Supervisors can even make note of each tab and activity an agent opens on their system to ensure that work hours are spent productively.
This software also has features for monitoring the system status of employees. A supervisor can easily mark the low battery status of an agent’s system and intimate that to the respective agent, thereby ensuring that there are no interruptions in the workflow. Further, it monitors network health and VPN status on user systems and informs of any network connectivity issues. Operational efficiency remains high when these minor system roadblocks are attended to preemptively. Communications with clients are never interrupted by system management tools.
Agent monitoring tools make it possible for management to study patterns of network traffic and analyze bandwidth utilization for their employees. Solutions like these also possess tools to study the load on and performance of an organization’s servers.
Eliminate potential security risks
Organizational security and transparency are increasingly becoming a concern for enterprises in remote working situations. Modern technology, however, can analyze mouse and keyboard strokes on agent systems to identify any potential security risks or manpower inefficiencies. If supervisors note any potential red flags in agent’s systems they can do a live barge-in on that agent’s system. System wipes on the agent’s system can also be initiated by supervisors to prevent any possible data leaks or malpractices. This ensures security for the client’s contact information as well as for confidential organizational data. Multiple checks are put in place to identify suspicious behavior in employees and protect sensitive organizational data.
Some programs use AI-based two-stage verification processes to ensure organizational security. There is also a system lockdown feature during work hours that makes sure that employees cannot load sensitive data onto USB sticks.
VDI Integration allows users to securely access the organization’s cloud-based storage. Supervisors can choose to white-list websites which they believe may cause possible security risks. They can block access to certain websites when agents are logged into the monitoring software. Supervisors can also put in certain access blocks within the organization’s data storage with the help of customized key combinations. Only agents with the knowledge of the specific key will be able to access certain information.
If an organization so wishes they can even use user image record features. When dealing with sensitive data supervisors can monitor system webcams to check for imposters. Monitoring software even provides live user monitoring on agent systems for handling very sensitive client data.
Improve team productivity
Performance monitoring software also has some very useful team productivity tools. One of the biggest problems of remote working is a reduction in the operational efficiency of organizational teams. Ohio University Assistant professor Glenn Dutcher in his research shows that when teams work from home their productivity decreases because no one wants to be the only person working harder than the rest of the group. The solution to this problem is through innovative software applications. Supervisors receive daily activity logs and timesheets for agents of each team. They can also see the agent system’s first and last task of the day. There are even features to take regular customized screenshots of the agent’s screen to understand their work patterns.
Team productivity tools analyze each employee’s work pattern and help identify and correct any weak links in the team. The contributions of each member of the team can also be studied. A system of monitoring keeps employees motivated to work efficiently
Collaborate more easily
Many important features make working in teams and collaborating within the organization very easy. Encrypted video conferencing, live chats, team channels, and team-wide broadcast systems are very useful team performance features. Supervisors and employees can connect through group chats or one on one messaging without any need for switching screens. Managers can broadcast important messages to relevant groups without having to send company-wide emails.
These tools take away the need for organizations to use any third-party messaging platforms for intra-organizational communication. Supervisors can monitor their agents and share necessary confidential information with them directly through integrated chat options without any fear of data leaks. They also ensure that message alerts are no longer accompanied by any annoying interruptions in workflow. These broadcasts and alerts only flash across the agents’ screens without interrupting their calls/communication with clients.
A culture of mutual trust and respect develops among the workforce through regular collaborative efforts. The broadcasting feature can be used to congratulate exceptional employees or teams and boost organizational morale.
Save time and increase operational efficiency
Performance monitoring tools can also be used to save a lot of time in the work process. In a regular course of work, a lot of time is wasted waiting for reports from agents and feedback from supervisors. These tools remove this problem allowing supervisors to give real-time feedback to employees through monitoring their user systems whenever required. Supervisors can also broadcast weekly rosters and other important notices to all relevant employees at one go by using performance monitoring tools. The inefficiencies of physical notice-boards are replaced with immediate on-screen alerts.
But why should you monitor your agents regularly?
A company’s biggest asset is its workforce. Having a good, efficient, transparent work culture is imperative for a healthy enterprise. Assisted agent monitoring can be a very useful and time-efficient method for upper management to keep an idea of their employees’ behavior. This ensures employee privacy while also making sure that organizational managers can monitor their performance. An optimum level of supervision keeps agents motivated and inspires healthy competition and co-operation among them.
In today’s fast-paced world professional burnout has become one of the most common causes of employee turnover. The stress of managing work-life balance while working from home is adding to the pressures on working professionals. Employee monitoring can help identify changes in work patterns indicative of burnout and help employees seek timely intervention. System inefficiencies that add to an agent’s workplace pressures can also be recognized and rectified.
Use monitoring tools to provide a comprehensive picture of the work pattern of all agents and thus points out any possible bottlenecks in the workflow which affect the organization’s overall output and efficiency. Historic records of employee behavior can be studied to make predictions and alterations for the future. Corrective measures based on analysis of agent behavioral patterns will eliminate the inefficiencies of the operational setup of the enterprise. The more employee behavior patterns are analyzed, the better the workflow can be streamlined to remove redundancies and reduce time requirements for each query.
Another aspect of employee management that has been deeply affected by the shift to remote work is employee training programs. But some programs are also integrated with a Learning Management Software which makes it efficient to train employees remotely. Virtual classrooms can be conducted with the encrypted video conferencing feature. There is also a hand-up feature built into the system to make virtual training more interactive.
Easy to Use
These aren’t complicated software tools that require advanced technical knowledge. Commonly, we see a simple configuration for desktops that anyone can use, with a single page dashboard view for supervisors to publish employee reports and study performance reports. The single dashboard gives management a comprehensive view of the operational productivity of their entire workforce. Supervisors can also access the daily reports of all their agents on the dashboard to get a clear picture of that day’s work.
But it doesn’t end at just providing supervisors with endless data. It presents the data in the form of easily understandable graphical reports and charts. This information is actionable data. Management can use the information gathered from agent monitoring reports and take specific targeted actions to improve, modify or correct certain elements of the workflow. These generated reports give management an idea of which areas they are lagging in terms of efficiency. A study of agent performance monitoring reports over a few weeks or years might also give supervisors some insight into what works for their agents and what does not. Performance monitoring tools aren’t just tools for daily agent monitoring needs, it has many long-term implications in maintaining a healthy, efficient workforce and organization.
How have agent monitoring tools helped others?
Many of today’s largest app-based e-commerce platforms use some kind of agent monitoring system, almost always reporting a jump in employee productivity as a direct result.
It goes to show that performance monitoring is truly a massive innovation in the remote work sphere that can have huge effects on a company’s overall employee performance. Agent performance is a huge factor in the conversion and retention of clients. So maintaining a close watch on agent work patterns is very important for the overall health of an enterprise. It is the employees which can make or break the future of any organization.
New solutions for new problems
Modern remote solutions are part of a new outlook on how to supervise employees and keep them happy. Working from home does not mean slacking off anymore. It is no longer an excuse for half-hearted efforts and low-performance scores. Agents working from home are now expected to be working at their highest efficiency. As remote working becomes part of the ‘new normal’, companies are looking for more permanent solutions for their agent monitoring needs, with a healthy market full of companies offering great solutions. Remote working is the new norm – and performance monitoring provides a reliable metric with which to guide us into the new era of work-from-home solutions.