On-Premise Vs Remote Call Center Agents: The Pros and Cons Explained

On-premise Vs Remote Agents

Learn about the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring Remote Agents and How On-Premise Teams Can Benefit Your Company

More and more call centers are replacing on-premise agents with remote workers. While this approach helps call centers contain costs and boost productivity, it doesn’t always work well for their clients.

In fact, the approach can have serious disadvantages for them.

Using remote agents that are just in it for the money can not only create a lack of customer satisfaction but also damage your brand and your brand’s reputation.

Using a call center that uses on-site call agents, on the other hand, makes a difference to not just your customer service but also your bottom line.

So, if you’re working with a call center that uses remote agents, you might want to reconsider that decision.

Hiring Remote Agents Has Advantages

There are advantages to hiring remote agents. But many of them accrue to call centers companies and not their clients.

Hiring remote workers, for example, saves call center companies time and money. For one thing, they don’t have to spend extra on IT equipment. Remote workers use their equipment.

For another, having less IT cuts maintenance costs for call centers. All maintenance is handled by the remote workers themselves, since it’s their equipment.

Here are some other advantages that accrue to call centers using remote workers:

  • Don’t have to pay them in off seasons
  • Have more choices in terms of the labor pool
  • Smaller staffs mean smaller carbon footprint
  • Eliminates some staffing issues
  • Frees center from hassles and costs of managing a larger team
  • Helps meet the staffing requirements of niche industries
  • Helps save money on currency value

As you can see, these advantages accrue mainly to the call centers themselves—not to their clients.

Many of them also address costs. And while call centers may tell you that they pass cost savings on to their clients, that doesn’t always happen.

Serious Disadvantages for Client Companies

While using remote workers is more convenient and productive for call centers this approach presents serious disadvantages for clients—disadvantages that you don’t face with on-site agents.

Among the most critical disadvantage with remote workers is security. It’s a big one.

Offsite workers present a challenging security problem. With workers using off-site technology in their homes or a coffee shop using unsecured connections, you have to rely on workers to protect your sensitive information.

If your data is especially sensitive, using call centers with remote workers is a risk, no matter how tight the call center’s security.

Worker Training Another Disadvantage

Worker training is another critical disadvantage of using remote workers. Since these agents often work off-site, training is a challenge for call centers using them.

It has to be done via video and over the phone. And while there are things call centers can do to boost training for remote workers, it’s not the same as onsite training.

Poorly trained remote call center agents reflect badly on your company—not the call center. More importantly, the call the remote agent is answering may be the only time a customer contacts your company.

Making a good first impression on first-time customer calls is imperative. It boosts brand loyalty and generates positive word of mouth advertising.

Here are some additional downsides to using remote call agents:

  • Hard to manage/monitor day to day activities of remote workers
  • No sense of belonging/poor attitude on the part of remote workers
  • Remote workers don’t always share call center’s culture or values
  • Communication updates are often a challenge
  • Lack of team spirit and unity on the part of remote workers

Lack of Customer Satisfaction Results

Simply put, the disadvantages to using remote call agents often results in a lack of customer satisfaction. In fact, it can give them the feeling that you don’t care. That’s especially true if the remote workers are from another country.

Using remote agents from another country often presents language and cultural barriers inhibiting communication between them and your customer, and preventing them from fully understanding the problem.

Things are changing in the call center industry. One trend emerging from these changes is the use of remote call agents.

More and more call centers are using them. That could be bad news for you and your customers if you hire these call centers.

Using a call center that employs on-site call agents, on the other hand, can not only increase customer service and satisfaction but also protect sensitive data and boosts the bottom line.