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Four Steps to Stay Competitive in the Post-Pandemic Market

Guest Blog by Brandy Joy

Surviving COVID-19 is one thing, but ensuring that your business thrives after the pandemic is another problem entirely. A report by CNN suggests that we might be seeing a vaccine as early as next year, so it’s in your business’ best interest to see how you can start upgrading your processes as early as now to stay ahead of the competition.

Contact centers are a vital part of today’s economy, and lots of companies know this. Especially in the age of COVID-19 where customers are opting to call in for their issues rather than a brick and mortar store in the spirit of social distancing. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, below are some steps to stay competitive in the post-pandemic market.

The state of small contact centers
Contact centers have been hit badly by the pandemic. The sudden shutdown and reliance on stay-at-home orders has left many scrambling to implement work-from-home operations, but the fact is that budget constraints have made it impossible to do so. Security Boulevard also notes that having agents work remotely increases the risk of data breaches, which is a huge threat considering the sensitive customer information that agents course through every single day.

Steps forward
In line with the current state of affairs, contact centers who want to start next year off on the right foot would do well to start investing in their company’s growth. Some ways to this include:

Remain flexible
Staying flexible is the name of the game in industries across the board, but especially in the contact center world. Rather than be strict about hours worked, offering flexible hours and rotating shifts can ease the burden on your limited workforce and still make sure you’re hitting your target goals and metrics. Also, catching up with employees on a regular basis is a good idea to help you assess where your operations are being bottlenecked so that you and your team can find ways to move forward.

Invest in training
In relation to the previous point, using this time to invest in employee training ensures that your operations can prepare to scale once more work starts coming in. You can start by running a thorough performance assessment of all employees to see where their strengths and weaknesses are — this will make it easier for you to invest in training programs or seminars that will yield a positive ROI for your company. Now is also the time to empower employees and encourage them as much as possible so that morale and productivity remains high. If you are able to run an assessment on your own—that’s great! However, it might be more helpful to hire a neutral, third-party company such as CH Consulting Group to complete the assessment for you.

Establish your company’s presence
The world after COVID-19 will be a buyer’s market, and you need to establish your business in order to stand out. Small contact centers might want to consider registering their business as a limited liability company (LLC) that protects owners from personal liabilities. This guide to setting up an LLC highlights that most states allow you to complete this process online, which means the registration process can be done as soon as possible. An LLC is a registered legal entity, which can incentivize potential clients to work with you.

Take advantage of industry verticals
As mentioned in our post Strategic Partnerships: A Two-Way Street, cooperation among companies is key to finding out the best industry practices that everyone can benefit from. Acknowledging that you need help from fellow businesses and forming mutually beneficial partnerships will increase your professional network, especially for contact centers with an extremely niche offering.

Make no mistake about it, recovering from the effects of COVID-19 will be an uphill battle for most contact centers. Keeping these tips in mind and focusing on how you can build your business now will help your business react much quicker when things start to return to normal.

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