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Industry Research : Groundbreaking Research: Is the Call Center WFH Model Here to Stay After COVID-19?

#contactcenterworld, @sqmgroup_

The call center industry is starting to determine if their current work from home model is sustainable after COVID-19. SQM Group has gathered customer and employee experience benchmark research to determine if the work from home (WFH) model is here to stay post-COVID-19.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most SQM call center clients decided to have their agent and support staff WFH. Furthermore, SQM’s 2021 call center employee research shows that 87% of agents are currently working from home vs. 2019 when 19% of agents worked from home. As most call center practitioners know, it was a sudden and drastic shift to a WFH model. SQM’s research examines the impact of pre/post-COVID-19 by assessing operational, employee, and customer experience data.

Most call center leaders now believe that the WFH model has been one of the great unintentional positive outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to higher employee and customer satisfaction with reduced operating costs, most call center providers will continue with a WFH model.

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SQM predicts that the call center industry's post-COVID-19 workforce model will be 60%-80% agents WFH, and 20%-40% agents work in a call center facility-based model. This agent workforce allocation forecast is based on the fact that agents prefer WFH, forcing call centers to have a WFH model to attract and retain agents, especially when considering the current competitive labor market.

The following are SQM Groups major findings for customer satisfaction (Csat), calls transferred, average handle time (AHT), agent turnover, and agents WFH from 2019 to 2021:

  • Csat (stayed the same or improved since 2019): In 2020 this percentage was 75% and in 2021 it was 63% which suggests that the WFH model is conducive for achieving high customer service

    - Calls Transferred: comparing 2021 to 2019, 38% went up, 6% stayed the same, and 55% went down

    - AHT: in 2019 AHT was 545 seconds and in 2021 AHT was 589 seconds (an 8% increase)

    - Agent Turnover: 35% in 2019 and 28% in 2021 (7% increase)

    - Agents WFH: in 2019 19% of agent WFH and in 2021 87% of agents WFH (68% increase)

#contactcenterworld, @sqmgroup_

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent


About SQM Group:
Company LogoService Quality Measurement Group is a service quality benchmarking, measurement and management consulting firm.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Employees

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

Published: Friday, April 1, 2022

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2022 Buyers Guide Payment Services


Branch Employer Payments Platform - Earned Wage Access
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CallGuard, ChatGuard,
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A patented technology that is flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments via live agents over the telephone, web, Chat, Chatbot, or IVR. No sensitive data enters the contact centre environment so, agents do not see, hear, store or record any card or personal details.

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.

ChatGuard makes payments in Chat PCI DSS compliant and...
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PayGuard® is easy to deploy, very easy for agent to use from the office/contact centre or from home and is affordable.

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