Welcome to part two of The CX Reframe, where we examine Talkdesk’s Five-Point COVID-19 response plan. In part one, we discussed how CX teams can begin responding and adapting to their new normal with Resolve and Resilience. In this piece, we’ll examine how CX teams can manage the eventual Return to their pre-pandemic working conditions.
Let’s make no mistake: Working environments as we knew them will not be returning all at once. Depending on your location, CX teams and their facilities will be subject to a slow, deliberate, and gradual re-opening, based on country, state, and local laws.
In many cases, CX leaders may need to re-think their open floor plans, opting instead for the 90’s vintage cubicle floor plan. Greater spacing between workstations will also likely be a requirement, forcing leaders to consider staggered shifts, and hybrid remote/in-office working environments. In some extreme cases, temperature checks upon entry may become a regular part of your Agents’ daily commute. In any event, the days of the crowded, cramped contact center are not returning any time soon.
For contact centers that have seen their case volumes and staffing levels fluctuate due to the pandemic, leaders will need to ensure that tools are in place to help their teams ensure proper staffing is in place as volumes normalize. As playbooks slowly transition back to their pre-pandemic forms, leaders will also need to ensure that agents are re-trained on their old scripts.
Finally, CX leaders will need to bear in mind that at any point, flare ups in infection rates are a real possibility. In some cases, this may result in a return to shelter-in-place ordinances and a re-closing of facilities. To account for this, businesses need to ensure that their strategies remain flexible and adaptable. This means that leaders will need to ensure their COVID business continuity agenda is agile, equipping teams to retain any of the tools, resources or equipment offered to them while WFH, to ensure any transition back to remote work happens as seamlessly as possible.
In practical terms, this may mean developing multiple hiring plans and staffing models, to account for the various scenarios your team and industry may encounter. Those in retail might consider creating a plan adjusted for a post-COVID rise in discretionary income. Those in travel might consider adjusting their holiday staffing models to account for a drop in holiday related travel. As a CX leader, planning for these scenarios ahead of time will ensure that your team is prepared for whatever the rest of 2020 throws your way.
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