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Article : What Lessons Did Call Center Industry Learn from the COVID-19 Crisis?

#contactcenterworld, @fusionbpo

Author: Ariful Anam, Manager, Sales and Marketing, Fusion BPO Services

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a worldwide crisis affecting people and businesses alike. Nothing ever prepared us for such a crisis. To say that the epidemic has caught various industries, including the call center industry, unprepared is an understatement.

With the virus taking its toll worldwide and CDC continuing to stress on social distancing and issuing strict regulations about how many people can be present in a single gathering, the call center industry took a big hit. Industry stalwarts started taking immediate action and transitioned a large number of its workforce to a home-based environment to support the business continuity plan of their clients in the best possible way.

While contact centers adapted to the transition pretty quickly, they have faced quite a few challenges in the process. And challenges are just lessons in disguise. If contact centres can learn from these challenges, they can achieve better resilience against any future crisis.

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So, what are the lessons learned so far by contact centers from this global pandemic attack? Here we share a few lessons we have learned from the crisis.

Lesson 1. Setting up the infrastructure following social distancing norm

Most contact centers have cramped working floors with shared equipment. Desk-sharing strategy or hot-seating is also common in call centers where agents can pick any unoccupied system in the workstation in their shift. Such shared and overcrowded workspace is a big no today. Therefore, contact centers were forced to move over fifty percent of their employees to a work-at-home environment. Previously agents chose to work from home, but today, it has become a requirement.

So, it is the responsibility of the call center to arrange the work-at-home setup needed for agents to operate from home. Many agents do not have computers, USB headsets, and other necessary tools needed for customer service. Those who have computers don’t know how to run the software, troubleshoot basic internet problems by themselves. So, equipping every home-based agent with the required tools takes a systematic approach and frequent demonstrating sessions from the IT team.

Lesson 2. Shift allocation across locations

While having remote agents on the payroll allows you to hire the best talents from anywhere in the globe without having to accommodate them in your brick and mortar setup, the process is not devoid of challenges. A common challenge faced by call centers as they have to switch their on-premise operation to home-based setup suddenly is remote employee scheduling.

Agents need to follow their shift timing strictly to avoid overlapping and to provide 24/7 assistance as per the promise. To handle a large number of remote employees, contact centers are relying on workforce management software, time, and attendance systems greatly. It is helping them schedule thousands of agents in one go without chances of overlapping. However, stricter HR policies had to be implemented to make sure agents adhere to their allotted shift timings.

Lesson 3. Flexibility and scalability are the keys

Another important continuity strategy the COVID-19 has taught call centers is the ability to flexibly and quickly change the location of operation to handle fast-moving emergencies.

Call centers must be flexible enough to close one or more office locations and reroute customer inquiries to alternative locations or reallocating agents across multiple active locations or businesses to handle the sudden surge in customer inquiries better. If you need to reallocate your customer service agents to a different sector, you must work hon prepping them in advance.

Lesson 4. Keeping empathy level high during customer service

Though showing empathy has always been the priority for customer service, at present, it is even more important because everyone is affected by COVID-19 in some way.

For instance, maybe a customer is calling to enquire about the delayed delivery of emergency medicine, or another is calling to stop auto deduction of payments from his account because his employer hasn’t been able to pay him due to business loss. Therefore, it is expected from CX professionals to listen, think, and empathize so that customers feel that the company genuinely cares for them.

Lesson 5. Remember to take care of employee

Employees are the biggest strength of any organization. Taking care of the company’s most valuable asset during a crisis like this is very crucial. If remote employees of your call center are not treated well, they won’t perform or act responsibly.

While for many, work-at-home gives a desirable work-life balance, some call center employees remain unhappy because their employers expect them to be available all the time as they are working from home. Such expectations only degrade performance. You have to ensure employees don’t burn out due to the excessive workload and compulsory overtime.

Offering fringe benefits to best performers, appreciating good works in front of the team over Skype or Zoom video conference will make them feel important and motivated as well.

To make the home-based agents feel a part of the team, the company can introduce some fun employee engagement activities. Introducing incentive programs to foster the spirit of healthy competition among the team while pursuing a goal is also a good idea.

Conclusion

Every crisis brings along new challenges and opportunities with it. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the call center industry to learn many new lessons, adopt a new working pattern, and excel despite the challenges to become an essential part of their clients’ business continuity plan.

The lessons learned from this crisis will surely help the call center industry be better prepared for any new crisis in the future. Sure, each crisis will have its challenges. But with quick learning, adaptability, and flexibility, call centers will be able to respond better to the crisis.

#contactcenterworld, @fusionbpo


About Fusion BPO Services:
Company LogoFounded in 2003, Fusion BPO Services is a global outsourcing services provider with dual headquarters in Draper, Utah in the US and Kolkata, India. Its end to end outsourcing solutions include the complete portfolio of integrated contact center services, accounts receivable management, and custom IT solutions. To meet client’s evolving strategic sourcing needs, Fusion BPO Services offers capabilities across eight countries – USA, Canada, UK, India, Philippines, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Albania.
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Today's Tip of the Day - A Welcome Call

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

Published: Monday, June 1, 2020

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2020 Buyers Guide Analytics

 
1.) 
3Fiftynine

CardBoard
CardBoard: Real-time data, shows the most important KPI’s in your Contact Center.
Built for data | Designed for business | Empowers teams

2.) 
Acqueon Technologies Inc.

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.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

3.) 
CallFinder

CallFinder speech analytics
CallFinder® is a leading provider of cloud-based SaaS speech analytics, automated call scoring, and speech-to-text transcription technology with sentiment analysis. Our easy-to-use solution is designed to help businesses and contact centers automate quality monitoring to improve agent performance and provide a superior customer experience.

With CallFinder, you get…

100% visibility into agent-customer interactions
100% monitoring of interactions, up from only 5-10%
Scalability of QA reviews with the same size QA team
CallFinder isn’t just your average speech analytics provider. When you work with us, you get unparalleled, continuous support through our MyAnalyst managed client servic...
(read more)
PH: 800-639-1700

4.) 
ComSys S.A.

CCube for Business Intelligence
CCube by Comsys is a business intelligence application, developed for enterprise contact centers. It delivers powerful, and dynamic reporting that enable managers to gain insight into their business. CCube is natively compatible with Aspect Unified IP and Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCE/UCCX) platforms
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect...
(read more)
PH: +302109241486

5.) 
CUSTOMER SQUARE

CROSSCRM.CX - CRM Dataviz Module
CROSS-CRM manages daily interconnection with your CRM tools to centralize data and analyse CX on all channels, and is able to provide deep analytics insights.

All the Kpi’S are here for precise control of your Customer Relationship : Interactions - Quality - Satisfaction - Campains forecast MyClient

Filters, Data Extraction, Custom Views, dates sheets, email subscriptions, xls Extracts, images, pdf


PLUS ! Automated extracts
for integration to third party applications.

6.) 
Daisee

Daisee
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-...
(read more)
PH: +61404697151

7.) 
DialogTech

DialogAnalytics™
Powered by AI, DialogTech’s DialogAnalytics analyzes conversations to provide marketing and sales teams a wealth of insights for smarter optimizations. With the power of conversation intelligence, you can learn which channels, ads, keywords, and webpages drive the best sales calls, if the caller converted, and more.

AI analyzes how calls are handled at locations and call centers to detect issues that negatively impact ROI. See what percentage of calls go unanswered and who is best (and worst) at converting callers to appointments and customers. Get email alerts when phone leads are mishandled at locations so those leads can be called back right away.

With DialogAnalytics, you can get a...
(read more)

8.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

1. Operational Analytics™ empowers the business to measure and manage the call center directly and without IT involvement.
2. Knowledge Analytics™ provides insight for eGain’s knowledge and AI applications.
3. Digital Analytics™ measures contact center performance within eGain’s digital channel applications.
4. Journey Analytics™ captures customer behavior on the website—identify the churn points and cre...
(read more)

9.) 
Lieber & Associates

Contact center Analytics and Metrics
Lieber & Associates provides services to develop, interpret, and improve contact center metrics and analytics. The firm's experience spans forecasting, customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, sales, segmentation, media-source-tracking, and testing design. L&A's president pioneered segmentation for telephone scripts and the tri-level service level metric. He brings broad analytics experience to contact centers.
PH: +1-773-325-0608

10.) 
Noble Systems

Noble IQ
Turn business insights into actionable intelligence. Noble’s IQsolutions provide you with rich and robust customer data that can transform your business. Automate decision making and campaign management and refine the quality of interactions with precision and efficiency. We have developed proprietary and patented tools to help you make sense of data on your current operations and then help you make strategic decisions to improve performance and efficiency. Identify who your best customers and prospects are and the ideal methods to reach them. Understand what types of campaigns work best for your business and how to optimize underperforming campaigns. And nake real-time decisions rather than looking back to see what went wrong.
PH: +61 (0) 3.9008.1700

11.) 
PRILINK

SIP-Trunk Demarc Monitor
Analyzes SIP signalling and RTP audio stream of every call passing through the network demarcation point. Provide a real time 24/7/365 network baseline database that contains the IP bandwidth, call traffic of up to 128 voice groups, Call Detail Record (CDR), call blockage and MOS voice quality. All information are displayed in SIP-Trunk dashboards and are used in many applications, such as Telco collaboration, UC/CC analytics, Work Force Optimization (WFO) and caller identification.
PH: 905-940-8844

12.) 
Trillys Systems

ActuCall
Imagine for a moment that you are a call center manager responsible for generating revenue through signing new customers or up-selling to existing ones. Imagine that your KPI is telling you you have an abandonment rate of 5% and someone comes along and says "No, your abandonment rate or dropped call rate is 13%." .." How do I know? AcutuCall VoIP software application can show you the dropped call data including, originating number and whether it was a network or equipment failure." Now imagine you can see your calls in progress on a mobile app, take your dashboard where ever you go! "What is a lost call worth to you?"
PH: +1 613-521-1639
 
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