With the outburst of the COVID-19 pandemic, all industries are forced to investigate what part of their operation can be performed from home.
The call center would be an obvious answer, however it’s not as simple as it seems.
There are multiple challenges to overcome in order to run a remote call center successfully, these include:
- Ensuring the health of your employees
During a pandemic employee safety is the number one priority to have in mind.
All the technology that are in use during regular daily work should be adapted to home usage.
- Preparing for the increased number of incoming calls
The current unusual operations bring uncertainty to your customers as well, resulting in more incoming calls. Have in mind, that agents might not be prepared to take on the higher workload and their equipment at home may slow them down additionally.
- Ability to supervise the remote workforce
Metrics and analytics become increasingly important, as you will not have the opportunity to identify productivity gaps face-to-face.
- Decreased ability of agents
It’s essential to prepare for lower efficiency due to the agents working from their homes. They have to overcome daily challenges, such as taking care of their children, e-learning or any other personal matter that will have an impact on their productivity.
- Loss of teamwork
In a call center agents often support each other, the more experienced ones are mentoring the ones in need of help. By setting up a remote call center, this supportive atmosphere is shattered.
How can you overcome these challenges?
1. Encourage self-service for your customers
Reduce the number of incoming calls by helping your customers to solve inquiries on their own. Try automating common requests, provide a callback service, implement an integrated IVR and live chat approach.
2. Re-evaluate your processes
What worked perfectly pre-pandemic, might be a disaster now. Try reviewing shifts, agent schedules and dedicated tasks as well. The environment is now different for each of your agents, so it’s best to modify their responsibilities according to their current-state.
3. Make sure that your team is prepared
Agents are experiencing a significant change in their regular tasks. Besides getting used to the new processes, they might have to deal with new technology as well. Make sure that you prepare them appropriately via extensive training and try maintaining as much as possible from the usual processes.
4. Improve the technical background
Working in a remote call center doesn’t only mean that agents should be able to call from home. They should also have access to their work statistics, be able to internally communicate and view the wallboard to have the option to monitor queues.
Having a cloud-based contact center solution, such as Nexios, can help you have most of these features on the same platform.