For many, 2020 already feels like the longest and most challenging year of our lives. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is turning people’s daily lives upside down as governments around the world implement quarantines and social distancing strategies designed to slow down transmission. In the midst of all the chaos and confusion, working remotely has gone from a business trend to a forced reality for most people in organizations worldwide.
The sudden shift to remote work has created complex challenges for customer experience leaders, especially those who still rely on on-premises contact center technology. Timely, reliable and efficient customer support is especially important for B2C businesses like those in the travel and hospitality industries, as travelers deal with unpredictable changes like the closure of borders, canceled flights and travel bans. Customer support operations that still rely on on-premises solutions represent a health hazard to employees by using desktop technology and not allowing agents to be in the safety of their homes. In addition, they do not present sufficient flexibility and scalability for the kind of support demand that the world is currently facing.
Companies that embraced remote work before the virus outbreak are generally more prepared to face the challenges of maintaining business continuity (although there are still new strategies they can benefit from). Having grown more than 44% over the last five years, and 91% over the previous 10, remote work has proved to be a huge enabler for business results. 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased in their company because of greater flexibility. A FlexJobs’ survey further supports these findings by adding that 65% of workers are more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace.
At Talkdesk ®, we have fully embraced a global and remote way of working. Our Chief Customer Officer, Chad Gaydos, recently shared why now is the time to migrate to the cloud in order to maintain business continuity and support both staff and customers. As you make the transition to working from home, here are some helpful tips and recommendations to help keep your agents performing at their best.
Just because your workforce is now working remotely on a daily basis, does not mean they should neglect processes and procedures. Make sure to go over business conduct guidelines, organizational goals and employee objectives, so everyone stays in the loop and knows exactly how and why they should be performing their jobs.
Just like in the office, your agents will need the right technology in order to deliver a high quality of service to customers. This can range from hardware like headsets to strong network connectivity. If you aren’t able to provide every remote agent with a laptop, which can be expensive and logistically challenging during a crisis, having a strong mobile contact center solution is important. It’s also a good idea to deploy software that’s intuitive and easy to use so agents aren’t burdened with learning complex new processes and can maintain their productivity. Finally, make sure that supervisors have the analytics and call recording capabilities required to effectively manage and coach their teams from afar.
Being at home requires just as much feedback as you would provide in the office—maybe even more. In a time of self-isolation, it is important to check in with your teams regularly, even beyond the scope of their work, to ensure that they are coping well both mentally and professionally. Make sure they are healthy, engaged, motivated and know exactly what’s expected of them in order to reach their goals.
Follow national and local health authority recommendations for your geographical area. Check reliable sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for any updates on the COVID-19 situation. More importantly; stay calm, positive and patient, and do your part in staying at home, avoiding big gatherings and practicing social distancing.
In order to support companies in migrating to the cloud so they can maintain business continuity and unleash the power of a remote workforce, Talkdesk offers a range of different solutions to meet different business needs:
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