- Call Center Operations
- Work at Home
The Future of Remote Work in Call Centers
- Makayla Ruebush
- 6 March 2021
With the Covid-19 pandemic affecting workplaces, including high unemployment, businesses shutting down, and the increasing shift towards remote work; it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Work From Home (WFH) model is here to stay. In order to maintain the safety of employees and reduce disruptions to business operations, many call centers are creating new work from home policies. And one reason could be the exponentially increasing call volumes experienced by the customer service industry.
While the continuity of access to customer service is vital in regular circumstances, the sharp increase in recent customer demands has made it even more crucial. By overcoming the stereotypical idea of WFH in the customer service industry, many businesses are finding themselves seeing real, immediate benefits of utilizing remote teams like flexible business operations, increased productivity, and better employee satisfaction.
Will The Work From Home Model Become Permanent?
Even though there are challenges associated with moving teams from the call center to living rooms and spare bedrooms, WFH has accelerated the pace at which customer service has transformed its digital presence and opportunities for staff to work from the comfort of their homes. With this early success, the new work from home model is likely to become a permanent fixture in the call centers of the future.
According to a recent survey done by Gallup, nearly 2/3rd of U.S. workers who have been working remotely during the pandemic are likely to continue to WFH. 35% of those who have worked remotely prefer to WFH, while 30% would like to do so because of a concern about COVID-19. Only 35% would like to return to work at their office.
Best Practices While Working From Home
Here are 3 essential elements to make WFH call center models work well for the agents, customers, and budget.
- Keeping Agents Safe & Customers Satisfied With Cloud: Many contact centers have moved to a work-from-home model, but the technology being used was never designed for remote work. Right now, contact centers need to look at building a solid foundation for a work-from-home call center model that can address technology needs, work environment specifics like reliability and security, and special considerations for global and multi-site operations. In such a scenario, cloud contact center technology is a great option to route and deliver calls and digital interactions to remote agents. This technology is optimized to drive remote agent engagement, performance, and productivity.
- Restoring Team Performance & Productivity: To restore team performance and productivity, you need new ways of engaging and boosting the morale of your agents so as to create employee development, collaboration, and performance, especially when you can no longer rely on leaning over their shoulders or using wallboards in the office. You can always line up processes and tools for a new remote workforce to plan, forecast, schedule, and frequently reschedule to handle a dynamic environment. More targeted coaching and personalized remote training can also help agents to better handle current customer needs.
- Cost Cutting – Quickly and Responsibly: Covid-19 gave a sharp economic shock to the world. With this, there has been a growing need for contact centers to quickly adapt to near-term budget cuts and efficiency goals. Depending on how the COVID-19 economic hit is affecting your industry and company, you can identify the gaps to do a cost-cutting, quickly and responsibly. If the need to cost-cut is immediate, it is crucial to have a future vision and a balance between short-term vs long-term ROI.
Covid-19 is not just a pandemic that shook the world, but it is also an opportunity to do things that we think we couldn’t do before. Many dynamic and flexible set of working environments are sure to evolve from this crisis.