An unprecedented challenge. The coronavirus pandemic is like nothing in our lifetime. Every day brings more global news of measures to control the spread of the virus — closure of schools, restaurants, stores, sporting events and more. Social distancing is the mantra of the day. Large gatherings of all kinds are being shut down. Grocery stores can’t keep goods on shelves as people stock up and hunker down. Workplaces are mandating a shift to work-from-home (WFH).
What’s your customer service continuity plan?
In these unprecedented times, your customers have questions and concerns. Contact centers are being flooded with calls about everything from finance to travel to healthcare, and more. Your customers need support now more than ever. The business continuity of your customer service operation is critical.
At the same time, so is the health and well-being of your contact center staff. The traditional contact center, by its very nature, is a concentrated gathering of people — exactly the kind of environment that contributes to the spread of a virus. We’ve already seen evidence of this in South Korea, a country that has been lauded for its rapid and comprehensive response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For this reason, contact centers are exactly the kind of environment that could be ordered to shut down. It’s already happening. After demanding the immediate closure of the largest call centers, Portugal’s Call Center Workers Union (STCC) decided to strike to force companies to create telework conditions and prevent the transmission of the new coronavirus.
Some companies are considering outsourcing some, or all, of their call center operations as a virus contingency plan. This strategy presents some challenges. First, those outsource call centers are also at risk of being infected and/or shut down. Second, this means jobs are lost by existing customer service agents. Third, a loss or reduction in operational control and customer service quality.
Transitioning your own agents out of a centralized contact center environment to a WFH environment is the logical thing to do, and do fast. But, does your existing call center solution support this?
Your on-premises ACD ball and chain
According to Gartner, over 80% of contact centers still run on old, on-premises phone systems, mostly Avaya and Cisco. That means agents are “tethered” to their workstations by a desk phone and computer. There’s no easy way to transition this legacy set-up to a WFH scenario. To quickly, easily and cost-effectively enable remote contact center staff requires cloud contact center technology.
Fortunately, Talkdesk® offers innovative and unique options to address this challenge:
- Talkdesk Now: Enables the industry’s fastest move to the cloud — companies can deploy a powerful cloud contact center solution in as little as 24 hours.
- Conversations Mobile App: Enables service agents and sales representatives to handle inbound and outbound calls virtually anytime, anywhere from their mobile devices. We are offering our Conversations Mobile App service to existing customers for free for three months. Sign up by May 1, 2020.
In addition to remote and mobile-enabling your agents, Talkdesk gives you the benefits of:
- A modern, intuitive agent UX that enables fast ramp, more efficiency and cost savings
- AI-infused apps, including Agent Assist, which provides real-time answers to agents
- Omnichannel apps, including email, messaging apps, and chat
- Self-service apps, including Virtual Agent, chatbot and AI-powered knowledge base that provide significant cost savings
- 60+ pre-built integrations, including Salesforce, Zendesk, ServiceNow, Slack and more
- Access to a constant stream of new innovative features
To facilitate effective remote supervision of call center agents, Talkdesk also provides access to robust management tools including:
"Thanks to Talkdesk, starting today our contact center workforce on the boat is now 100% working remote without any loss in business continuity for contact center operations."
VP-IT, Hornblower Group
Despite the inherent cost savings and customer experience advantages of moving to a cloud contact center, this has remained a low priority for many companies. That all changes in light of the coronavirus crisis. Talkdesk is doing everything it can to provide flexible options to expedite that transition to enable at-home workers for business continuity and agent safety.