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Article : Coronavirus and Contact Centers: Practical Solutions for Business Continuity

#contactcenterworld, @teamhgs

Author: Lauren Kindzierski, VP of Consumer Engagement Solutions, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS)

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases across the United States and the world, businesses are expressing valid concern around how their staff, customers, day-to-day captive centers and BPO operations will be affected. To maintain employee safety as well as deliver quality care during this public health crisis, HGS is providing clients with up-to-date communications and offering proactive solutions to keep daily operations going with minimal interruption.

Employees First

HGS has implemented heightened health and safety precautions at its global sites. Employees are encouraged to leave work if they experience any symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath and some sites have on-site nurses as a precaution. Facilities must have ample supplies of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and tissues, while workstations, common areas and restrooms are to be sanitized hourly. In addition, HGS leaders are distributing educational notices on good hygiene practices, including handwashing.

To ensure the recommended guidelines are followed, it is imperative to assess the risk daily and monitor CDC, WHO and government recommendations closely. High-risk business travel should be put on hold, and travelers returning from affected areas must be medically cleared before returning to work, as the health and safety of all employees continues to be a top priority.

Volume Shifting

Because contagion is most likely to occur in crowded spaces, contact centers may experience high absenteeism. For clients that have multiple, redundant sites, HGS recommends shifting voice and online volume from one location to another if possible. Network teams can reroute the interactions according to architecture strategies that the IT teams designed in collaboration with clients to ensure minimal business disruption. Always be ready to shift volumes if outbreaks do happen to occur.

Work at Home BPO Solutions

Another viable option to curb the spread of the virus is to train existing brick-and-mortar agents to work from home. Strong and mature Work at Home solutions allow clients the flexibility to leverage this business platform while they continue to support their customers with minimal interruption.

Self-Help Portals

Intelligent self-service is in demand, and effortless experiences and answers within seconds are expected. Helping customers help themselves through website FAQs, how-to videos, and peer-to-peer communities drives traffic away from 800 numbers and toward self-sufficiency.

Chatbots

The use of automation and chatbots to handle straightforward requests, such as making reservations or payments, has become the norm for many leading companies. Bots can provide a humanlike and personalized experience at a significantly lower cost than with traditional agents — which is particularly beneficial if several agents are ill at the same time.

IVRs/Callback Features/Website Alerts

Because long hold times are often a consequence of peak volumes and busy seasons, the use of custom IVR messages, such as "We are currently experiencing a high call volume. Please press one if you would like us to hold your place in line and return your call directly," can be implemented. To ensure a positive CX during periods of high call volume due to a disaster or crisis, HGS recommends using callback features and inserting website alerts alongside your customer service number. These messages can share possible delays via phone support and even offer self-help options for customers to use while waiting for live assistance.

It is important for all businesses to monitor the status of COVID-19 daily in order to ensure that best practices are in place for employee health and safety. In addition to employees, it is important in this time of crisis to remain committed to providing both clients and customers best-in-class support throughout this shifting situation, and maintaining open lines of communication for all.

#contactcenterworld, @teamhgs


About Lauren Kindzierski:
Lauren Kindzierski, VP of Consumer Engagement Solutions at HGS, the world’s leading digitally led Customer Experience (CX) company. Lauren has over 13 years experience in the customer experience industry. Her passion for customer experience has driven her to develop innovative engagement solutions – including HGS EPIC™ social customer care and HGS Text for clients. In 2016, she received a Silver Stevie® Award for being a Women Leader in Business, Executive of the Year. Lauren holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Walsh College.

About Hinduja Global Solutions Ltd.:
Company LogoA global provider in business process management (BPM) and optimising the customer experience lifecycle, HGS is helping to make its clients more competitive every day. HGS combines technology-powered services in automation, analytics and digital with domain expertise focusing on back office processing, contact centres and HRO solutions to deliver transformational impact to clients. Part of the conglomerate Hinduja Group, HGS takes a “globally local” approach, with over 42,371 employees across 72 delivery centres (as on 30th June 2019) in seven countries making a difference to some of the world’s brands across nine key verticals.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Repeat Calls

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Thursday, April 9, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2020 Buyers Guide Payment Services

 
1.) 
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CallGuard can be deployed in various ways to fit the way your contact centre works. The solution can de-scope all, or parts, of your contact centre from the scope of PCI DSS compliance and works just as well for on-premise or home/remote working agents.

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