Because of the coronavirus outbreak, many organizations have switched to providing remote services. Most contact centers now require their staffers to work from home. The main challenge of remote work is to preserve a decent quality of customer service. To achieve this goal, businesses install dedicated software and introduce new policies. From this article, you'll get to know how to optimize the work of a remote contact center and improve client satisfaction.
The growing demand for remote contact center professionals comes primarily from the following sectors:
Healthcare organizations. This sector had to quickly build a strong infrastructure to manage chaotic situations and support frontline workers.
Government services. Public advisory services in particular faced an unprecedented workload.
Utilities. During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and additional sources of income. Clients began to call their electricity, gas and water providers to get to know whether they could postpone their payments because of emergencies.
Private organizations. Some companies managed to boost their revenues thanks to the pandemic. They need more support staff to help them drive sales.
Most businesses never had plans of relocating their contact centers to their staffers' homes. They had to adapt to the situation on the go. Blue Arrow shared a report with the following statistics: from January to July 2020, the demand for remote working call center staff grew by 47%. Companies were actively looking for both permanent and temporary employees.
When setting up contact centers, organizations should take the following factors into account:
Training. Before a new remote agent starts to work, they should receive training and guidance. Such an approach should boost the specialist's productivity and raise clients' satisfaction.
Right equipment. Each support agent should have a computer or laptop, power backups and other tools that meet the system requirements of the organization. Their Internet connection should be quick and stable.
Quality assurance software. Companies need such solutions to evaluate the productivity of their support teams both in terms of client satisfaction and employee engagement.
Adherence to organizational compliance. Employees who work remotely should adhere to the company's policies just as meticulously as their colleagues who work from the office. They should create a comfortable and undisturbed environment for themselves.
Scheduling through workforce management software. All the support agents should know their schedules for days or weeks ahead. When some of them inform the manager that they won't be able to work on a certain date, the manager should be able to quickly modify the schedule and inform other agents about it. Thanks to scheduling software, companies can be sure they will always have enough staff to attend to customers.
To be able to go on working, companies need video and audio conferencing software, remote team collaboration software, distributed contact centers and maybe some other instruments. All these solutions can be built into a cloud and integrated through an application programming interface. Using an API should be the easiest and quickest way of switching to a remote contact center.
To organize the work of their contact centers, organizations might want to install the following types of software:
Telecom services. Contact centers require secured networks for communications. Telecom services typically rely on cloud technologies.
Contact center operations software. Businesses need it to overcome the infrastructural challenges and scale up their contact center operations.
Collaboration and productivity software. Support agents need to communicate with their supervisors. They should share experiences among others and with other departments. Plus, employees should know how to measure and improve their efficiency.
Time and attendance software. Contact center agents should be able to log in to the system from any device (be it a smartphone or a stationary computer) at any moment and from any location. Their managers and supervisors should be able to monitor their statuses and allocate resources accordingly.
Contact centers from all over the world rely on Bitrix24. This is a powerful and versatile solution that is available as an on-premise product, in cloud format and as a mobile app for iOS and Android. It comes in handy for businesses of any size and sphere. You can try its basic functionality for free and then upgrade to one of the three paid plans.
Unlimited Users Free
Bitrix24 has a built-in contact center that you can use to communicate both with your clients and team members. You can send emails and make calls right through the app's interface. Each time you get in touch with a customer or they reach out to you, the Bitrix24 CRM will automatically save the record about this interaction. The CRM of the app can store an unlimited number of records and its fields are customizable.
Bitrix24 can generate insightful reports that can help you to optimize your communication strategy. You can use this app to create company and workgroups knowledge bases and modify user access rights to them. The system will offer user-friendly templates for your knowledge bases that you can customize in a couple of clicks.
Besides, Bitrix24 has superb time, project and task management tools. Your managers can conveniently monitor the schedules of your support agents, set goals for them and track their performance. You can add private or group events to personal, team or company calendars and send out invitations to the participants of your meetings. These calendars can synchronize with Google Calendar and MS Outlook.
In total, Bitrix24 contains 35 business tools that seamlessly integrate with each other.
It seems that remote work is here to stay. Not only contact centers but many other departments of various businesses might keep on working remotely once the pandemic is over. Support agents might face the following challenges because of that:
Lack of access to paper-based knowledge banks and policies
Deficit of face-to-face coaching from senior agents and supervisors
Increased distant coaching and training times
Uncomfortable feeling of isolation
Before the pandemic, only around 20% of support professionals were working from home at least a few days per week. By 2023, 53% of professionals are expected to switch to remote work.
To adapt to the new environment, businesses can take the following measures:
Introduce innovative instruments to analyze agent behaviors
Scrutinize their interactions with clients
Keep agents engaged through measuring and adjusting to their expectations
The transition to remote work shouldn't be a difficult process if businesses know how to prepare for it. Companies should understand that the transformation consists of the following steps:
Evaluate productivity improvements
Organize change management
Once support professionals get used to working from home, all the parties involved should benefit from it — the agents, their clients and business owners. Here are the main advantages of remote work that they should appreciate:
Agents can maintain a better work-life balance
Clients receive better support and tend to come back to this business more often
The operational and financial performance of the organization should improve
The company can scale easily and support business continuity
Time will show how many organizations will ask their support agents to come back to offices once the pandemic is over. As surveys show, many professionals would love to keep on working from home.
Hopefully, you found this article informative and now you better understand how to organize the work of a remote contact center. Even when the pandemic is over, many support agents will be likely to keep working from their homes. To ensure their maximum efficiency and a high level of client satisfaction, companies need to use dedicated software — such as Bitrix24. This solution features a built-in contact center and excellent tools for time, project and task management.