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Top Tips for Combating Challenges In The Contact Centre During COVID-19 - Business Systems UK Ltd - Blog

Top Tips for Combating Challenges In The Contact Centre During COVID-19

Our latest webinar, ‘Top Tips for Combating Challenges in The Contact Centre’ was packed with an array of knowledge, best practice techniques and even a very good list of suggestions on what to watch next on Netflix, thanks to our audience contributions! (Tiger King it is then!).

Here are the top takeaways from the day:

Demand V Customer Service

COVID-19 has meant for many contact centres, juggling a balancing act between managing demand whilst still providing a good customer experience.

Depending on the industry you are operating in, you could be seeing a significant rise in demand or in fact could have seen a decrease in demand.  47% of our audience has seen an increase, 40% a decrease whilst the remaining contact centres experienced no change.

For those who are experiencing an increase:

  • Be proactive: Make use of communications which encourage your customers to self-serve in order to reduce call volumes

Quick wins: updating FAQ’s on your website, setting up or editing existing IVR recorded messages, sending WhatsApp & SMS updates, compiling online tutorials, offering digital forms. The more pro-active you are in communicating with your customers, the fewer inbound enquiries you should receive.

  • Reduce workload by also cutting down handle time

Consider reducing your workload by also looking at cutting down average handle time and not just volume. Review your existing processes such as scripts, statements or automatic IDV (identity verification) checks you have in place. When was the last time someone reviewed these methods, and can you save time during the call as well as customer satisfaction by cutting these processes down?

  • Channel Analysis: Review your operating model and consider which channels are working well and which aren’t

This is a time for reviewing which communication channels are working particularly with agents working from home. Are there some channels that agents are finding easier to maintain for customer communication and are there some channels where the infrastructure with remote working is just not coping?  Also review the reasons why customers are using a particular channel, is it because they are being forced to because they can’t get through on their channel of choice.

  • Automation: Consider which processes you can be automating so that your staff can focus on the more important tasks

As well as using automation to free up agents’ time, why not also consider it as a tool to help temporary or lower skilled staff to guide them through a complex process. As well as considering automation in the contact centre, look at the back office too, why not also consider cutting down long winded processes in order to reduce metrics such as average handling time and agent workload?

For those who are experiencing a decrease, now is the time to focus on the following:

  • Upskilling staff – there will be busier times ahead!
  • Coaching
  • Training
  • 121’s
  • Annual Leave/Time Banking
  • Duvet Days/Study Days

Insights & Regaining Control

Do you have access to the data you need? Working remotely can mean it is difficult to keep a pulse on what’s happening in your contact centre. Visibility of this data, particularly with homeworking is critical.

Here are our top tips on maintaining visibility:

  • Ask yourself whether you have the insights you need and whether you are interpreting this data in the best way to manage your contact centre through this unprecedented situation

Consider what are you measuring and what the actions are that you can take from it. For example, make sure you compare stats pre COVID and post COVID. This will uncover rich data such as agent skillsets which are being impacted the greatest. In order to uncover this data, make use of the existing tools you already have (such as your telephony system or your WFM system) which contain reporting capabilities. Also don’t forget to consider Real-Time Adherence. Real-Time Adherence is a great indicator of a change in performance and therefore agent morale, where lack of schedule adherence can be flagged with alarms. It can highlight where a member of your team may be struggling with the workload and gives you an excellent idea of agent productivity.

  • Find out what your customers are saying

It’s more important now than ever to listen to your customers. One way to gain a holistic view of all your interactions (especially when remote working), is with Interaction Analytics. Interaction Analytics can show you why demand has gone up and whether you can be doing something proactive. It can also show you how your agents are coping – when building search queries for example, include keywords such as ‘running slow’ and ‘not working’ which lets you see what your agents are talking about.

  • Identify inefficiencies with processes and staff

Let’s not forget that the back office is just as vital as the front office in a contact centre. Back Office solutions can enable you identify inefficiencies amongst staff and within certain processes so you can target coaching and training around this. This will help prevent failure demand and improve customer experience.

Agent Engagement

With 60% of our webinar attendees reporting an increase in their agent stress levels in these current times, what practical steps can you put in place to reduce these levels?

How to improve agent engagement:

  • Communication is KEY

Make sure you are communicating regularly with your team to boost morale

  • Adjusting KPI’s and Targets

Keep in mind that this is an unusual time and some of the existing KPI’s you have in place will not be relevant in the short term so consider re-assessing these in order to avoid piling unnecessary stress on agents. If you re-align targets which offer hope and encouragement for your agents, morale and engagement will be boosted.

  • Shift Patterns

Consider offering different shift patterns for your agents during this time, especially for those who are having to homeschool. Although this will take time if you have to realign shifts and rotas, it will have a significant effect on your employee engagement and happiness. It may also help those who need support with changes in demand / demand profiles as agent availability may look very different when working from home (no longer needing to travel to offices in many cases and this may mean early/late shifts are now possible for many, where they were not before).

  • Match Agent Personality with Customer Scenarios

You may be dealing with upset customers more than ever during this time. Why not identify the agents who are best at dealing with those difficult calls and upskill them if required, making these agents even better at what they do? This also means you are protecting your agents and customers alike; vulnerable customers are dealing with the most experienced agents and these agents are better versed at dealing with these scenarios than others who may not have the same experience.

  • Gamification

Gamification can boost employee morale and engagement. Some metrics which are relevant to gamify now might be NPS or CSAT scores.

Future Proofing & Compliance

With all our webinar audience agreeing that some form of homeworking will be part of their strategic future plans, it’s important to consider what the world of remote working will mean in the long run.

Here are our top tips to consider with homeworking (in the short-term and the long-term):

  • Take advantage of remote working solutions out there

There is an array of technology out there to assist remote working and the regulators will still be expecting organisations to keep a tab on communications for compliance purposes if you are within an industry that is monitored. It’s also worth not just thinking about the short term remote working solutions you need, but how these short-term solutions will fit into your future strategic goals.

  • Assessing what worked and what didn’t

Transitioning to work from home in a business and compliance sense will take time and will require reliable technology so don’t rush! When things have calmed down, take time out to assess productivity levels during this period – what worked and what didn’t?

  • Look after your employees

Homeworking can be a big step for some employees. Make sure they are taking their lunches and coffee breaks, and these are away from their dedicated workspaces. Also use collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams to encourage communications between employees building morale and engagement.

If you need any more information on combating challenges within your contact centre during this time, then get in touch with our team of experts.

Also, if you didn’t get a chance to view our webinar on the day, then here’s a link to the recording.



Publish Date: April 28, 2020

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Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.
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Balto Software Inc

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Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
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eGain Corporation

Automate the routine and boring and augment the interesting with eGain AI (Artificial Intelligence). eGain is a pioneer in AI for contact center customer service and customer engagement and has developed cutting-edge technology as also best practices and proven use-cases over the last two decades. eGain’s patented Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) technology, called Guided Help, is a simple but powerful AI technology used to find answers to customer issues, and for process guidance and decision making. Along with Knowledge and Analytics, Artificial Intelligence forms the core of the eGain Customer Engagement Hub platform and its omnichannel and digital-first capability.


ExecVision is a conversation intelligence platform built to drive human behavior change which positively impacts individual, team, and organization performance. The software ingests, transcribes, and analyzes conversations to provide actionable insights for coaching, upskilling, and more informed decision making. Sales, QA, customer success and support teams use ExecVision to create a consistent experience across the customer journey.


Most customer-facing interfaces make it the end user’s job to figure out how to navigate and find their way to where they need to be. This is true of websites and mobile apps as much as it of touch-tone IVRs. The interface is usually designed for the most generic of uses; and because making changes is expensive and time-consuming, these interfaces tend to be inflexible with regards to evolving times, use cases or user needs.

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Automate up to 70% of messaging conversations on your website, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Apple Business Chat, WhatsApp and more. LivePerson has a complete solution to create, manage, and optimize bots for businesses of all sizes.

Mediatel Data Srl

Contact Center Solution AI-Driven
Mediatel Research and Development team developed Artificial Intelligence Engine, part of the Contact Center platform, suitable for vocal interactions using Natural Language Processing modules and digital interactions, used in chat sessions, for chat bots, email management for email dispatching or text messages.
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The next generation state-of-the-art text and voice AI Chatbot . No coding required.
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Trendzact AI On-Demand
Trendzact provides on-demand data science Insights team who will solve the AI resource dilemma. Our Insights team will apply machine learning models into your business processes and build functionality such as natural language processing and service level agreement (“SLA”) diagnostics into your CRM solution. Use AI for aftercall documenation, agent sentiment analysis, proactive agent guidance and anomaly detection with real-time alerts
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virtualQ’s AI-based, enterprise solutions
virtualQ GmbH designs and develops enterprise software that enables companies to control incoming calls to its service centers 24/7 without waiting times. We offer an intuitive virtual assistant platform that reduces waiting times on the phone, provides information to callers, answers recurring customer inquiries, collect customer satisfaction surveys, and display a data dashboard to track performance. We employ artificial intelligence to provide intelligent call-backs, appointments, FAQ bots, voice IVR, virtual assistants, high call volume management, and more! All of our products and services are quick add-on solutions for companies who want to take advantage of AI.
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VOZIQ Predictive Customer Retention Solution
VOZIQ is the only cloud-based predictive retention solution that is powered by 10+ targeted machine learning models to enable recurring revenue businesses to predict customers who are at-risk of cancellation and prevent the cancellation by driving large-scale actions through contact center customer care, marketing and field channels.

With pre-built AI/ML models using both structured and unstructured data, risk driver libraries and multiple deployment options, VOZIQ’s solution significantly cuts time-to-value in industries such as home security and automation, pest control, home warranty, deregulated/retail energy providers, telecom, and insurance.
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View more from Business Systems UK Ltd

Recent Blog Posts:
Navigating & Adapting Your Contact Centre For the FutureJune 10, 2020
Top Tips for Combating Challenges In The Contact Centre During COVID-19April 28, 2020
Top 10 Tips For The Modern Contact CentreApril 8, 2020
Mobile Call Recording – How To Keep Traders TradingMarch 30, 2020
Real-Time Adherence – A Key Ingredient To Help You Manage Your Workforce RemotelyMarch 25, 2020
How To Manage Remote Contact Centre Agents During the COVID-19 OutbreakMarch 25, 2020
Top 3 Resource Planning Techniques Within The Contact CentreMarch 13, 2020
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