Coronavirus has literally changed everything, including the job profiles of many, and call centers are no different. However crazy it may sound, reports suggest that almost 80% of call centers were operating entirely from home in early 2020. With things continuing to shift massively as new COVID-19 variants come up, call centers will continue to operate from home, and many customer experience enterprises are working on their contingency plans for the long term. What’s interesting is that with things slowly turning to a hybrid setup, customers are tuning in more for assistance—and that only increases the scope of consumer support.
Therefore, in order to streamline things (especially when managing things remotely), there are a few things that you need to ensure:
Translate Benchmarks and Expectations to Agents
It’s not an easy thing to migrate mass operations from onsite to remote. However, not everyone may have all the required resources, and therefore needs to be taken care of by the employer. This would help everyone to stay on the same page, as well as clearly communicate remote work expectations, for example, Average Handle Time, After Call Work—and provide better data monitoring analysis.
Maximum Call Coverage
As said earlier, there’s a rise in call frequency as customers are relying more on digital sources for all their needs. Therefore, to leverage data-backed decisions into collating insights, Average Handle Time and other statistics need to be collected for better target predictions. However, the secret to providing an effective customer experience is not to micromanage individuals, but instead, to keep your focus on everyday customer support parameters. Sometimes, also providing employees with automated tools gives them the flexibility and ease required to manage things single-handedly from their homes.
Adaptable Virtual Setup
One thing that both the employees and employers need to keep in mind is that, just like everything else, working remotely comes with its own set of challenges. First off, since there’s a lot of sensitive data handling involved, it requires making new policies and eliminating any gaps in them. Furthermore, your agents will also require access to cloud-based solutions that can keep all things organized in one place, irrespective of their place of work.
Composing and Receiving Constructive Feedback
A little bit of honest feedback goes a long way, especially when done one-on-one—something leaderboards can never achieve. Additionally, good customer experience and support come with experience and require work to make interactions effective and comfortable. A dash of helpful insights here and there, discussing any shortcomings, can help your associates.
Setting up Work Allocation
Things always become easier to handle when there’s a distributed work network involved, especially remotely. The more your team members are in-sync with each other’s work routines, the quicker and more fuss-free the project becomes. Furthermore, it also enhances work monitoring, quality checks, and training across all levels—from agents to leadership. There’s no denying that teamwork can feel daunting, especially when you don’t get to take coffee breaks with your coworkers. Therefore, the right combination of online chats, group video roundups, and checking in can go a long way to build team cohesion.
The fundamental truth of the customer experience industry is adaptability. With the pandemic flaring things up, it’s crucial for organizations to align their previous methods with flexibility, technology, and most importantly, empathy. In the long run, reports say that at-home call center agents have an 80% retention rate when compared to onsite ones. It only goes to show that with the removal of the daily commute, call center agents have increased job satisfaction, all the more when they’re provided with convenience and cohesion.
In case you’re looking for effective customer service solutions, here are some of our suggestions:
- Freshdesk, Australia
Freshdesk’s a quick and convenient way to connect businesses to their customers. Their myriad of products—both for customers and employees—provides insightful methods to keep things streamlined.
- Kapture, USA
They’re a full-scale customer service platform that delivers smart customer support solutions. With features like live-chat support, chatbots, live dashboard, etc. they’re a good place to start.
- Uniphore, Spain
A conversational automation tool for quality customer support and experience, Uniphore’s products deliver curated, AI-driven services in convenient ways. They provide different tools for functionalities like AI-based virtual assistants, co-pilot real-time call transcripts, and seamless agent verification.
In case you’d like to explore more as a small business, check out PYPA. They’re a suite of automated business tools that streamlines all your business requirements—from managing customers to brand websites. The best part is that they’re currently under beta testing, so you can sign up for their early release!