No one can predict the future, but strategic planning determines how well companies survive unexpected events. TTEC’s webinar, COVID-19 NOW: What you need to Know NOW, outlined resiliency practices that will help contact centres navigate these uncertain times. These 4 webinar takeaways focus on the strategies to move your workforce home, withstand uncertainty, and ultimately move beyond emergency mode.
1. Evaluate work-from-home readiness
In a truly global sense, the pandemic has forced individuals around the world to live with day-to-day changes in business, regulations, mandate and life in general. Your first step to managing the situation should be conducting an international survey of your workforce to assess their technological and work-from-home capabilities. Once you have a better understanding of their wi-fi capabilities, work spaces and tools, you can rapidly leverage a population of your workforce that is ready to jump into action to work from home.
2. Rethink training
Organisations will face two key issues when adjusting to a remote working situation. One, they’ll be moving experienced brick-and-mortar agents to an environment they are unfamiliar with and two, they will be hiring a new wave of at-home agents.
Our approach to the first issue is to create an abridged version of the training curriculum that we would normally save for new at-home hires. That way, experienced agents who are adjusting to this new workplace can refresh themselves with easily digestible training sessions tailored to a work-from-home scenario.
New hires, who will no longer be learning in classroom environments, can make use of a simulated learning approach that replicates what it’s like to be in a live environment so they can hit the ground running. When possible, they should be asynchronous, with self-directed lessons that provide immediate feedback and coaching opportunities.
3. Analyse top interactions
The high fluctuations of customer interactions mean your organisation needs to prioritise the problems that are the most meaningful for your customers. Target and prioritise interactions that take up the most volume in your organisation.
Our experience in analysing the various cadences and problems that come in daily have helped us better inform agents on the most common interactions they will have to manage and how to make them better. It helps to have the right tools and insights to understand what the frontlines will be facing and how to readily train your workforce on how to handle it.
4. Make new channels a priority
The sheer volume and scale of the move to remote work, coupled with the millions of customers who are digitally shopping, streaming, and accessing the internet will be a struggle for any infrastructure. To adapt quickly, new interaction channels, primarily chat and messaging, make sense.
First, channels like messaging are a non-heavy application that is not as taxing on bandwidth compared to traditional channels like voice. They can be stood up quickly, and issues like background noise at home are eliminated.
Second, you will be meeting customers on the channels they are already using most. This will help escalate further development into a channel that is increasingly gaining popularity with IOS updates and digital transformation.
Seize today, focus on tomorrow
Managing customer experience in these uncertain times means anticipating the transition from crisis mode into what tomorrow will look like. After deploying these measures, the contact centre space will have to face the new reality of workforce diversification and the use of digital-driven tools.
The executives on the webinar believed that this move will prove attractive for agents who come from regions that traditionally did not practice work at-home, and the investments made in leveraging training and knowledge bases will make for vast improvements for traditional systems.