‘New Normal’ is now Normal
Now that many contact centres are looking to make remote working a permanent fixture in some shape or form, we take a look at six things you need to consider when future proofing your contact centre.
The unprecedented events of 2020 continue to dominate the headlines and the world around us is still evolving and adapting to the challenges and opportunities presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Remote working has been one of the most tangible economic impacts of coronavirus on all businesses in the UK – with many viewing that home-working is here to stay.
Pre-Covid it was estimated that 1.7 million people (5%) in the UK worked from home. Overnight, this switched to 20 million (64%) including the vast majority of contact centre agents. According to Contact Babel ‘Inner Circle Guide to Remote Working‘, it’s predicted that at least 25% of agents will permanently work from home by 2021.
From short term fixes to longer term strategy
Only a few months ago many contact centres we spoke to were looking for a short-term rapid deploy home-working set up for agents. Our blog in April Omni-Channel Contact Centre Rapid Deployment Solutions was aimed at providing short term remote working solutions that contact centres could activate quickly and for the short-term.
But in a year where things are still rapidly changing, one thing we do know is that home-working in some shape or form now looks set to stay for many contact centres.
So, what can contact centres do now to ensure a future proofed strategy is in place for effective home-working?
Future proofing your contact centre
The good news is that many contact centres have already proved they can operate remotely, by adopting all or some of the rapid deploy initiatives to get them through the early months of lockdown. The question is how to now embrace ‘remote’ working longer-term?
As independent contact centre specialists, we’ve come up with six pointers to consider when future proofing your contact centre for the long term.
Six ways to embrace remote working
1. Agile Technology
The modern contact centre plays a critical part in your ability to stay ahead of competition and keep up with customer demands. Utilising a cloud-based solution enables agents to work seamlessly from any location as well as providing you with the ability to respond to demand and scale up or down according to market conditions and customer requirements – this of course will ultimately deliver better results and have a lasting impacts on customers.
2. True Omni-channel
Although customers may have been patient as society adjusts, we should not be fooled into thinking such patience will last. Customers will quickly become unforgiving of long wait times and service levels that don’t quite live up to their expectations. If contact centres are to embrace the ‘remote’ model, they will need to progress from the quick fix that kept them operational and adjust to being able to deliver a true omni-channel experience that customers demand now and in the future.
3. Operational Efficiency
Efficiently utilising resources by operating a universal queue across all channels of interaction and leveraging AI powered self-service to deal with simpler interactions will free up agents to deal with more complex enquiries. This allows your agents to become ‘Super Agents’ who are empowered, knowledgeable and highly skilled to drive better customer experience and create customer loyalty which in turn equates to longer-term success.
4. Real Time Visibility
Workforce Management Solutions that provide real-time views into agent activity, customer demand, insight and trend analysis and how well you are responding to this demand are a crucial tool for maximising contact centre performance. Accurate and fully optimised forecasting will not only enable you to deliver optimal and efficient customer experience, it will also motivate and support agents to do the best job they can.
5. Security and Compliance
If your contact centre takes payments, we understand the need to balance the requirement to record and evidence financial transactions against the conflicting requirement to not record or share the cardholder’s financial information. This challenge becomes even more important when dealing with remote workers.
We partner with a number of industry leading PCI Compliant partners to provide advanced PCI DSS compliant solutions to ensure that your customers are protected, so that while all calls are recorded, no actual card information is recorded or stored within the business systems or by the agent.
6. Actionable Insights
Speech analytics allows you to learn from every conversation and provides the technology to respond more effectively to context, to offer more personalised engagements, regardless of how often a customer has connected or what channels they’re switching between.
This in turn will overcome the fact that managers cannot walk the floor by utilising automation and speech analytics to review every interaction and identifying those agents or conversation types where managers need to focus their attention.
Let Opus help you define your future
Whether you have a small contact centre with a few customer service agents or a large, multisite centre , Opus are contact centre solution specialists that can help with future proofing your contact centre, taking it to the next level.
Our ethos has always been to listen, understand, deliver and support. Our team work with you to understand the challenges and opportunities within your contact centre space and then work in partnership with you and our specialist partners to implement these seamlessly within your organisation.
As an independent technology provider, we only partner with industry leading and trusted partners that offer you a choice of platforms and applications that can then be integrated into a single solution. Our pedigree speaks for itself as Platinum partners with Mitel, Gamma, Cirrus and 8×8 and Silver Microsoft Cloud Solutions Partner. We also partner with a host of leading contact centre applications providers, such as Calabrio (Teleopti), Noetica, Verint, Red Box, Talkative and Semafone.