Let’s be honest, no one was prepared for a global shut down due to the pandemic. Contact centers that relied on outsourcing calls and other channels overseas—instead of relying on work from home agents—were blindsided when the virus spread like wildfire to other countries. In early spring of 2020, we published a whitepaper called “The Comprehensive Contact Center Guide to Deploying a Remote Workforce” where we talked about the importance of having a plan in place for the “What ifs…” It should be obvious that in the post pandemic call center, every business needs to have measures for any future local, regional, and/or global events. Here’s a few more helpful tips on planning from that whitepaper:
- Start with a solid foundation grounded in the company’s resources and needs
- Invest in cloud-based contact center software that is easy to use and can scale quickly (we’ll focus on this in a bit)
- Build out emergency response teams and detailed instructions on how to deploy a remote workforce
- Revisit the plan annually and make any changes as necessary
As previously discussed, solutions need to be easily deployed for remote workers. Since many on-premise systems cannot be easily accessed, it’s imperative to use cloud-based contact center systems, like Bright Pattern, that can be launched in just days or weeks and doesn’t require a VPN or special software. Also, since agents don’t typically have complex phone systems or other hardware like headsets in their home, it’s important that the software includes a softphone to ensure the highest quality connection for both the agent and the customer.
It’s important to note that while contact centers should have a plan for major outages, don’t forget about smaller disruptions to service. Earlier this year, we heard reports about spikes in traffic at financial institutions once the stimulus checks were released where premise-based systems were prevalent. Customers had overloaded banking contact centers trying to obtain loans. Bright Pattern was able to quickly help the second largest US bank turn on 2000 remote agents in only 10 business days, giving the bank the ability to handle over 3 million interactions per month.
These smaller surges in traffic could be handled using a “all hands on deck” approach to CX. One such company, Cabrillo Insurance, bolsters their contact center agents during hurricane season with employees from different functional areas. It’s not uncommon to have agents working the phones, emails, chats, and other contact center staff but what if the spike is so severe that more resources are needed? Cabrillo was able to bring not only contact center agents but every employee in the company to help out during the hurricane season, demonstrating a super innovative approach for bringing the entire company together to help improve the customer experience. Talk about scout innovation…
Keep up with the hottest trends in CX. Check out Bright Pattern’s full guide “2021 Customer Experience Trends: The ABCs of the Post Pandemic Contact Center”