Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Activity levels
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
Productivity reports
Team reports
Email reports
Access management
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock BeeBole
Price(per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user+$16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan:$30 for 5 users+$5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user+$8From $2.20 per user$5.99 per user per month
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days30 days,no credit card required
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyEasy
Timecard management
Shift Trading
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Manual time
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Group punch-in
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone,email,chat and onlinePhone and onlineOnline chat and video support in English,French,and Spanish
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
On-premise hosting

Key Takeaways:

  • Human-to-human connection in customer service is more important than ever before.
  • 60% of customers cite customer service as important when choosing a brand.
  • Digital tools such as an hourly tracker can be instrumental in adapting to business challenges.

Read time: 7 minutes

If you’ve ever walked the floor of a large call room, you’ll notice an air of controlled chaos. 

Phones dialing off the hook, representatives calmly asking customers to “please hold while I transfer you,” and the same script lines repeated over and over.

But is this now only a memory of how things used to be? A snapshot of customer service before the new age of AI?

What can you do in 2024 and beyond to effectively serve tech-savvy customers from a call center beyond implementing a  work tracker? How do you ensure you aren’t left behind at a time when AI language-based models appear to dominate the customer service narrative?

Before we dive into the thick of it, let’s ask ourselves: 

Why Are Remote Call Centers Still So Vital in Our Digital Age? 

We have FAQs, educational blog articles, online chatbots, and we can even troubleshoot problems via text. 

So why even maintain a call center?

Nearly 60% of customers say that customer service is a critical factor that impacts their choice of a brand. 

Logic dictates that every touch point you have with new leads for your business is an opportunity to show your brand’s core values and demonstrate that you’re the best option for your customers.

So it makes sense that a large majority of customers would place a lot of importance on a brand’s customer service. After all, nobody wants to feel as if they’re just another number, they want to feel as if their voice is heard.

Market sophistication evolved at a rapid rate in 2023, meaning there’s a huge demand in the modern age for new tech and cutting-edge solutions to age-old problems.

However, contrary to what you might think, this means that there’s an excellent opportunity to set up a call center. While competitors can outsource their customer service to AI chatbots, there’s a chance they risk losing what makes them trustworthy: a human voice.

This is why the call center is arguably as important in 2024 as it’s ever been.

The faster you can grant them a human-to-human connection where an operator empathetically addresses their problem and looks for a solution, the higher the likelihood you have of converting a disgruntled customer into a lifelong fan of your brand. 

Put simply, if someone puts in the effort to call a company in our world of instant gratification, they likely have a frustration or question that needs human-to-human contact. A call center is often the fastest way to provide it.

The “On Hold” Conundrum

Now, just having a call center isn’t enough.

Thousands of call centers have gone under due to:

  • Poor responsiveness
  • Ineffective scripts
  • Operational inefficiency

For example, let’s say you force customers to listen to “please hold” music for thirty minutes before passing them around from agent to agent like a game of hot potato.

Does this strategy instill trust in your customers that you can solve their problems?

Not likely.

If anything, it’s a surefire way to lose customers and ramp up the number of one-star reviews you see on review sites across the internet.

62% of customers noted that they have stopped doing business with a company after a single poor customer service experience. That’s right, all it takes is one poor interaction to lose a customer and damage your business reputation.

Taken one step further, that means poor customer service can cause a business to lose more than half of its customers due to a single issue.

One of the main reasons for these increased expectations is Amazon Prime (as well as Zappos, an online shoe business regarded as a customer service pioneer acquired by Amazon in 2009). These companies have elevated the concept of customer service several notches above the industry standard. 

These days, customers have exceptionally high standards for their interactions with businesses. 

Most customers want:

  • Instant solutions
  • Effective delivery
  • Interactions with real people

Amazon’s level of customer service didn’t happen coincidentally: it was a systematic approach incubated over two decades, likely using a variety of optimization techniques and call center monitoring tools. 

But it’s not just BIg Tech and companies like Amazon that have the power and resources to elevate their customer service.

You too can build a five-star service business with your call center according to best practices and leveraging the cutting-edge technology of recent years.

Building an Operational Powerhouse

It’s not just enough to have a call center that can handle its incoming volume; it must also be an operational powerhouse. 

Most customers will tell you that a quick resolution in a single interaction is the best outcome for any customer service experience.

The most frustrating aspect for customers is an agent who simply lacks the knowledge or ability to solve their issue, with the second being having to repeat their issue multiple times. 

What does it mean to be an operational powerhouse of a call center? 

Creating Effective Processes & SOPs

While your call center's human talent is a key component, operational excellence is achieved through processes, not by expecting individual call center agents to do the heavy lifting at every turn. 

When all is said and done, your business is the result of your processes and systems.

That is to say, if you were to remove yourself from your business today, how well would it run in your absence?

The goal is to create processes and systems that support strategic growth and allow you to work towards your business goals even when you’re not there to guide your employees.

Every process should prioritize best practices, rather than focusing solely on functionality and the minimum viable way of accomplishing a task or project.

The Secret to an Effective Process

Clearly Defined SOPs 

Without clear standard operating procedures, your employees will fall back on the easiest ways to complete a task - it’s these shortcuts that negatively impact the customer service experience as the easiest way is often the worst way.

Outline in detail exactly what you expect of your employees for each process that falls under their responsibility. That way, when you’re away, your employees will fall back on best practices rather than reverting to the shortcuts that’ll likely slam your call center with negative reviews.

Data-Backed Methods 

For every process in your call center, you want to lean on the most effective methods. The best way to do that is to dig into your data of past interactions and see what has led to the best results.

For example, if you find that most customers report that they were satisfied with an interaction when the response time is short, then that’s something you should prioritize when thinking up the methods your employees use for various processes. 

Strategic Goals 

Your processes mean nothing if they don’t help you achieve your strategic business goals. Start by outlining your core objectives, then work backward to identify which processes will be most important for moving the needle in that direction.

Leveraging the Right Software

In this digital age, you won’t go anywhere fast without the right technology and software propping you up.

‍There are various call center quality monitoring tools that exist solely to help you identify productivity trends and analyze workforce performance. 

For example, a time tracker for remote workers allows you to single out performance metrics and track employee productivity.

Then having the right monitoring software in place to track and optimize performance. Every minute invested into training call center agents will pay off dividends in the long run.

Training for Agility

The beauty of “process-ization” is that you can streamline every aspect of your call agent training. 

However, don’t just rely on step-by-step lists and scripts. You ultimately want to give your call agents the ability to think on the fly. 

Call center tracking software can help train new levels of autonomy and also help you identify which agents are your top performers, using their processes as a benchmark and teaching tool for all your agents.

For example, incorporate the following exercise into your onboarding and ongoing training: enact a few hypothetical scenarios that go off the script and see how your virtual call center staff handles them.

Close the Feedback Loop

Running a remote call center in 2023 is much like any other year but with a few unique challenges. 

A call center is no longer a “center” but a decentralized array of people working from home– dozens or hundreds of people in a single room just simply doesn’t sound sustainable in a post-COVID world.

However, the ultimate goal of a virtual call center is still the same: establish and flawlessly execute procedures consistent with your company’s values, while meeting the needs of your customers. Call center tracking software helps keep agents, managers, and enterprises accountable to their values and customers.

The silver lining of forced virtualization of call centers (both in-house and remote) is that monitoring performance and acknowledging exceptional success can also be done virtually, thanks to software. 

A time tracker for remote workers, such as Insightful, for example, is specifically designed to help enterprise organizations with remote call centers enhance their business process outsourcing productivity and analyze performance in a simple, digestible format. 

Embracing New Technologies

In 2024, you can’t expect to compete if you’re not willing to embrace the latest technology.

We’re not just talking about the latest headsets or computers, either. To operate at the highest level, your remote call center should be equipped with the following:

  • Voice recognition systems: For the modern call center, voice recognition software is an integral part of the customer support process. This software or system can understand basic customer queries, and then redirect them to the right human agent for a seamless customer experience.

  • Virtual and augmented reality: While they may still seem like something for the distant future, VR and AR are here to stay. Many call centers can now use this sophisticated technology to offer immersive training experiences for their agents, simulating realistic customer service scenarios.

  • Conversational AI: Conversational AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard have opened the doors for all kinds of purposes. In a remote call center, these conversational AI tools can help resolve basic customer queries, generate effective call scripts based on successful customer interactions, and help agents make sense of their notes.

Remote Call Center Optimization

A call center is a supply chain like many others: customer support requests come in, and either happy or unhappy customers come out. 

Above all else, customers want to get in touch at all times on their time, rather than waiting for business hours.

This rising standard for customer satisfaction will force companies to adapt or struggle. A remote call center can be your operational advantage by offering around-the-clock, multilingual customer service.

Call centers that utilize call center tracking software will have an additional competitive advantage. By monitoring and benchmarking performance with software, it becomes possible to provide better service, availability, and speed to resolution --  launching an average organization into the Mount Olympus of customer service. 

Updated on December 13th, 2023

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