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How to Test Internet Connections for Remote Hires

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Image: Pingman Tools
Remote and hybrid work environments are here to stay—and replicating your office setup at home may be more conducive to your productivity. According to this recent NPR story, employees should create identical workspaces at home and in the office to stay productive and reduce stress. Why? Because your company wants you to be constructive wherever you work. And having the right tools for the job should be a priority, including a reliable Internet connection.
“If you’re splitting your time between your home and the office, you should try to make your home setup just as good as your office one (or vice versa),” Lorrissa Horton, general manager of Cisco Webex, said. ”Most importantly, make sure everything works properly, so you don’t spend frustrating hours every day trying to troubleshoot IT problems.”
One of the more time-consuming and costly tasks for IT is setting up the remote workspace of a new hire. For instance, every contact center rep has a different location, a different laptop, and a different Internet service provider (ISP)—some with spotty connections at best.
Ruby, a virtual receptionist company, has 750 employees and receives an astounding 40,000 calls every day. The home networks of their remote reps are their biggest problem.
“We want to be able to monitor them at home to see if they are having problems before they start taking calls,” Chris Georgeson, Ruby Director of Technology, said. “While they are in training, we can tell them their Internet is not so great, and they should call their ISP.”
Employee productivity is a must for contact centers. Validating new representative networks during the hiring process eliminates wasted time and money. Here are three steps to make this happen:
1) Incorporate an Internet qualification test.
This test involves evaluating a remote employee’s Internet connection before their first day on the job or while in training. Identifying connectivity issues avoids productivity delays and sets up the new hire for success.
2) Make sure your test is easy to deploy.
Traveling across the country to test every new rep’s Internet connection doesn’t economically make sense. The ability to test remotely makes network pre-qualification feasible and much more accurate.
3) Test every few seconds for at least a day.
Most network issues happen at irregular intervals and are tough to catch. Testing as frequently as possible creates the granularity required to capture any significant issue. It also saves a tremendous amount of downtime. For example, if the connection fails 10 minutes every hour throughout the day, that’s four hours of disruption in the day.
“Most of our tickets are reps saying that ‘my calls aren’t coming through clearly,’” Wendy Decker, Ruby Desktop Support Manager, said. “It would take us a week just to figure out what the problem is. Is it our network? Is it the rep’s ISP? Do we need to send them a new computer? A lot of going back and forth.”
Ruby uses PingPlotter to screen new rep Internet connections while they’re in training, reducing onboarding costs significantly. A troubleshooting app, PingPlotter constantly tests the network from the end user’s perspective, visualizes the source of the problem, and recommends how to solve it. To learn more about PingPlotter, click here.