Customer contact without the contact centre
Hybrid Working; Part 3
One of the problematic areas our clients faced in 2020 was maintaining the level of availability and service that customers expected pre-pandemic. With staff no longer in the office, emails could still be serviced but taking phone calls proved much harder. Telephony, in most cases, is dependent on an office based deployment of infrastructure such as wired handsets and headsets. Remote working also makes the day to day interactions between Team Leaders and Agents a challenge, something that is essential to the efficient running of a contact centre. Team Leaders are no longer a few steps away to ask questions or escalate complaints, take over call handling or prompt Agents to make themselves available. There are no screens giving teams a view of call queues, abandonment rate etc.
Typically, organisations would have a business continuity plan for scenarios where the office is no longer available. But when you can’t have people collectively in any building, this doesn’t help. No doubt, BCP’s of the future will cater for global pandemics! Some organisations were prepared. Many had to seek alternatives, either enabling existing phone solutions to allow VOIP via their VPN systems, or adopting a new, cloud-based telephony solution. Obviously, the latter takes time to implement leaving a gap in customer support. Some organisations simply stopped taking calls and relied purely on email.
Fortunately, the current situation presents, and in some cases, forces opportunities to maintain continuity for customers and improve the experience they have when they interact with your company.