To be sure, the coronavirus pandemic has put pressure on the workforce and many organizations are reviewing their current strategies to ensure business continuity as the crisis continues. To successfully navigate the pandemic and achieve positive business outcomes, companies must take strategic and meaningful steps to build a more flexible work environment that enables agile and remote work practices.
Enabling an increasingly agile remote workforce will be critical to the success of many companies after the pandemic. Especially for teams that operate in customer-centric environments like call centers, being able to maintain an exceptional level of customer experience are paramount during this time of uncertainty.
But how do you prepare your staff and business for success and maintain high levels of customer experience when employees are telecommuting?
1) Managing A Changing Remote Workforce
Although the working conditions of many organizations have changed, the expectations of customer service and experience have not. There has been a huge increase in traffic in contact centers. While customer service needs are growing, so are the needs of call center staff and agents when it comes to working remotely.
To continue meeting and exceeding expectations and meeting customer needs, the team must have sufficient support so that it can continue to work productively and effectively. First, the processes and quality of work must continue to be maintained.
While hours and access may change for staff, companies can ensure that everyone clearly understands and agrees with business priorities and is working toward a common goal. This will mean keeping many other work items the same, including using the same systems and processes as much as possible. If access is an issue for team members working remotely, the IT team needs to actively work towards it.
Keeping communication open, both with IT and with the team in general, will also help keep employees engaged. All stakeholders must be kept up-to-date, so developing (and sticking to) a comprehensive communications plan is valuable. In this environment, communicating is key to connecting remote workers.
2) Adapting Processes For A More Agile Remote Workforce
A changing workforce can also result in changes in overall business requirements and KPIs. For example, changes in customer needs and staff capacity may require changes in goals, such as wait times or call numbers, and these can also fluctuate from day to day. It is essential to consider adapting processes to help employees continue to meet the changing needs of the organization.
There Are Two Key Ways To Support An Agile Remote Workforce While Meeting Business Needs:
- Take preventive action as early and as often as possible: It can be difficult to predict the daily needs of customers. Call patterns can change from day to day, or even hourly, so it’s important to consider taking action again as often as possible.
Call center agents should also be aware of any changes in the self-service strategy to prepare them for changes in customer inquiries and to ensure that they are not overlooking other communication channels.
- Greater Flexibility: In an unpredictable environment, changes in schedules can occur. Scheduling flexibility, such as offering shorter shifts, split shifts, or block scheduling to change job types, can help meet business needs regardless of changes in staffing schedules. Adopting a more flexible corporate culture is critical when it comes to managing an agile remote workforce.
What Does Success Look Like?
It can be difficult to manage success in such turbulent times, yet the most successful companies tend to have shared attributes. There are very mature organizations that share efficient, strategically aligned, and empowering workforce management practices.
Leading Organizations In This Space Usually Demonstrate, Among Other Characteristics:
1) Cloud Technology
- Action-driven information and engagement with Artificial Intelligence (AI), analytics, and machine learning.
- A combination or total automation of low-value tasks.
- Proven omnichannel capabilities across all domains.
- Many organizations may see barriers when it comes to providing more flexible work environments, including the opportunity for staff to work from anywhere, despite the changing nature of the pandemic response. Giving staff more flexibility can involve staff more and lead to higher productivity, especially when it comes to offering flexible hours.
2) Allow Your Business To Run From Anywhere And On Any Device
Cloud-based contact center solutions help organizations work from anywhere, from any device, and with an Internet connection.
2020 has been a challenging year and at masvoz we have helped many call centers transition to a remote and agile workforce immediately, with a future-proof cloud solution that offers CX, omnichannel capabilities, analytics and agent productivity.