Updated: Aug 19, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced contact centers to close their offices and allow agents to work from home (WFH). Companies with cloud-based infrastructure were able to handle this crisis better than those with legacy solutions, which had limited experience in serving customers remotely. According to a January 2020 National Association of Call Centers survey, only 52% of the industry in the US had some part of their staff, which is typically less than 25%, working from home.
As agents scramble to handle rising call volume, managers ponder on critical shortcomings in older technology and work arrangements that COVID-19 exposed. And there are various lessons to be learned from this experience.
Remote work lifestyle, yet productive
Many companies took for granted how difficult it can be for agents and managers to work from home. The current crisis revealed challenges such as internet connectivity fluctuations, differences in operating systems, workstation requirements, etc.
Yet the shift to a virtual workplace also delivered a number of benefits as well. Employees went to flexible schedules and a better work-life balance. They could map their shifts to spikes in volume instead of having to follow rigid eight-hour shifts. And being happier with their jobs, agents are less likely to leave the company, thus reducing turnover rate.
While those are positive points from the employee side, companies must also see that productivity remains the same or even increases. Their investment in cloud-based technology helps with engaging agents and provides businesses with much-needed flexibility.
CCaaS for all
COVID-19 also made it obvious that both local business and enterprises, and all those in between, need access to customer service solutions. Even more obvious is that voice is not the only channel customers use or desire to interact with businesses on. Companies must invest in a solution with omnichannel support in order to deliver a truly connected customer experience.
Preparing for the next crisis
While COVID-19 has prompted business leaders to rethink their strategies, technologies, and staffing, the shift to a virtual workplace was imminent. The current economic environment has incentivized companies to adopt the latest CCaaS technology and accelerated the move of customer service and contact center operations to the cloud. While some agents will eventually return to offices, this crisis has helped companies review their business continuity plans to be prepared when the next crisis inevitably hits.
If you’d like to learn more about a cloud-based contact center solution, including how Leap Connect can quickly and cost-effectively support your remote workers and home-based agents, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.