Author: Julien Rio, Senior Director of Marketing at RingCentral Engage Digital
Companies the world over are practicing social distancing and allowing employees to work remotely their staff are safe. Consequently, firms are now likely to join the trend of remote work on an increased basis for years to come.
The demand for connectivity and benefits of using cloud-based tools in these situations warrants that the process continues to be productive for both the company and the employees.
To guide you through the challenges that face contact centers in undergoing such a transformation, here are a number of challenges and how to overcome them.
For many businesses, contact centers operate exclusively through their software of choice, which is usually office-based. One of the biggest challenges that companies face and is directing employees remotely, according to 57.1% of research participants.
Companies require solutions that do not disrupt or diminish the quality of customer service, allowing teams to connect with employees and customers. After overcoming these challenges, there are countless benefits in the workday of each staff member.
On-premise technology for contact centers expects agents must travel to work, which may not be ideal when peak commute times need to be avoided, agent turnover needs to be reduced by keeping morale high, and performance has to be at the top level.
Cloud-based contact center technology helps the agent with instant access to customer records notwithstanding where they are working. It presents employees with the opportunity to boost performance while raising morale in the contact center workforce.
Investing in easy-to-use tools helps employees thrive in their work from home environment exactly as they would at the office. This approach can prevent issues in obtaining customer data or trouble connecting with customers on your service, which will only frustrate both your agents and customers.
Contact Center managers should know this is especially important. Using the right tools that accommodate each person to work together is essential for a successful remote working strategy. Especially if it offers the possibility of adding extra seats for increased peaks and team growth when necessary.
You may fear that agent productivity will suffer if you are not able to communicate with them day-to-day, face-to-face. There is an anxiety that work-ethic drops, handling rate decreases, and trusting employees is hard when you cannot see their activity.
Keep teams involved, enabled, and culpable. Schedule check-ins and updates. Require "resolution experts" to check-in when they start their shift. Have your team update a daily report before their shift ends. These practices will adequately compensate for the in-person supervision your organization is used to, even if you are not in the same room.
In a recent survey, FlexJobs found that of the companies that allow remote work, 85% increased productivity, 90% improved employee morale, and 77% reduced operating costs. Trust the process and good things will come to fruition.
Other features that can speed up the process of replying to customers, is an omni-digital channel management solution for contact centers where you can createtemplates, which give a structure of the message (email, for example, has the right header, signature, etc), so agents can focus on assisting customers and not on formatting.
Working from home may be a dream scenario for modern workers, but it does have a fair share of problems. Remote employees are likely to feel left out or isolated than their on-site peers, which can make it tougher for teams to collaborate, maintain morale, and retain employees.
For customer service agents, they often need to ask information to internal experts (technical team, billing team for example) and this can be challenging when not in the same place at the same time.
To address these challenges, companies should foster easy communication and collaboration. Tools uniting employees are indispensable for the success of your remote team.
Team messaging allows each employee to be on the same page across all devices. They can drag-and-drop files, pin important documents, and share directly from tools like Google Drive or Box. Team members can distribute tasks, update stakeholders and move projects forward with built-in task management.
Also integrate your calendar, enable meetings face-to-face over video, and share your screen to collaborate live. This interlocks remote workers on a daily basis, making it more accessible to message them tasks through an all-in-one solution that combines direct and group messaging, video conferencing, and phone.
Customers anticipate reaching organizations on the digital channels they use, such as messaging, email, SMS, and many more. They expect to reach the right person to assist them with their query on the first contact. Unprecedented situations do not lessen expectations, if anything they create more demand for contact centers to handle.
Unlike synchronous calls via phone, digital channels function asynchronously. Indicating the transition from phone calls to digital interactions. But it necessitates developments in the contact center organization.
These multiple channels can be consolidated into a single platform, with many benefits. From the dashboard, agents can manage more than one interaction at a time and can reduce waiting times for customers. In a remote working situation, unlike phone calls, it does not require additional hardware and when you answer on digital channels, there is no interruption from background noise.
Consider digital channels as the new primary way of business as a physical presence in stores subsides. 84% of consumers expect brands to find ways to maximize digital interactions to keep them safe. So adapting to the new-norm can be innovative and considerate.
By observing the realities of remote work, supervisors can help employees make a knowledgeable decision about working from home. Applying chat and video communication tools to the team setup, managers can build an inclusive culture. Employees will feel more connected to one another and collaborate regularly to improve business workflow.
Whether employees are in the office or not. It’s crucial that supervisors maintain employee output is consistent and meeting KPIs. Managing this remotely can remove the barrier of not being able to communicate and offer clarity to employees to be autonomous and manage their time effectively.
About RingCentral, Inc.:
RingCentral is a publicly traded provider of cloud-based phone systems for businesses. It is headquartered in Belmont, California and has offices in Denver, Colorado; Manila, Philippines; Xiamen, China; St. Petersburg, Russia and Odessa Ukraine.
Published: Monday, July 6, 2020
Eastwind sells Oracle, Ribbon, and Dialogic SBC and routing solutions for both premise-based and cloud-based deployments along with Microsoft Teams integration. Eastwind offers managed service offerings and complete 7x24 support.
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Call Routing and Contact Center Optimization
L&A provides consulting services to optimize contact centers, including call routing, skills-based routing, and multi-location routing. The firm's senior consultants have several decades of experience each in this area and work with all vendors' systems. L&A's president pioneered skills-based routing.