Staying Remote: Enabling Your
Distant Resources For the Long Haul
At CTI, we know that COVID-19 continues to have an impact on the ability of your resources to work from a centralized location.
In conjunction with CTI channel partner Nectar, we wanted to present some insights on how you can best leverage cloud communications and other remote tools to provide the same level of customer support excellence, no matter where your resources are located.
How Will This New Normal Work Long-Term?
We can learn a lot from what happened in Europe, which is now grappling with a second wave of COVID infections.
With the ebb and flow of the pandemic across the pond, supervisors and organizations have found that actually they may have moved a bit too fast. Many customer support agents were not trained or disciplined enough to be able to sit behind a desk for eight, nine hours, answering telephone calls and having conversations with customers.
With some resources in the office and some having to work from home, the hybrid model is likely here to stay. You may have certain, probably lower-skilled, contact center agents working from offices and the more highly-skilled, experienced or disciplined agents working from home.
That’s the kind of trend we see. Having said that, all the original practices that we had in place pre-COVID, and then the new practices that we had to implement or fast-forward post-COVID will still remain, but only in a balanced fashion.
Will The U.S. Follow the European Model?
Though in the U.S. we’re a bit slower to ease restrictions, we absolutely anticipate a similar shift. It’s got to happen because it makes sense. If you look at centers and agents, you always have a high churn within any contact center.
A lot of employees wouldn’t expect to be at an organization for that long, so they wouldn’t have that much experience. What about discipline? This is probably 30 percent of contact agents we’re talking about, so we think that the same principles will apply to the U.S. for sure.
What About the Job Market?
We think it’s more of a business trend versus a contact center technology trend, but the pandemic has created more job loss than we normally see in a year.
At some point, people are trying to find jobs where they can. That said, we see an uptick in the amount of new employees to contact center roles.
Businesses are getting up to speed with new business models and most of them include more remote working, unless it’s a restaurant, emergency healthcare or public service type of business.
They shut down the stores. They moved to an online model where they would deliver food to people’s doorsteps and they will have an aftercare team.
If your customers can’t get hold of you or they have a bad experience getting hold of you, they’re not going to be satisfied with the service, and they will look elsewhere.
The same principles effectively apply in the COVID new normal.
The customer is going to be put off and they’ll probably end up looking elsewhere if they open up the chat interaction to be able to speak to an agent and an agent isn’t picked out or it’s too robotic.
So, they use too much boldness. If it’s not lifelike, then the customer will be put off. It’s all interlinked and it’s all interrelated. The same principles apply.
What CIOs & C-Level Executives Should Know
C-Level executives need to be in touch with how contact center testing and monitoring really drive value into entire businesses. It’s probably their only touchpoint to the customers, and again, a bad experience damages your brand.
A C-Level executive is always worried about their brand getting damaged, so they’ll always consider that and spend money to protect it.
They are also not taking their eye off the future of work, and many see the pandemic as an opportunity to rethink how we work and communicate, as described in this CEO Survey form KPMG.
Additional Trends for 2021
As we approach the end of the year, we’re going to start pitching some 2021 trends, aside from the hybrid model we discussed and adjusting to that.
Overall, there’s just going to be a progression of customers going to the cloud. A lot of the legacy infrastructure is just going to be not necessarily entirely ripped out, but they will consider having a hybrid model and going to the cloud more rapidly.
If we at CTI can help you to stabilize your support model for the New Normal, please reach out today.