The COVID-19 outbreak in Europe continues to spread, and it seems some countries have not seen the worst of it yet. However, businesses are already being impacted massively.
Some of the biggest impacts have happened in the Customer Service or Customer Care area, with many people trying to contact companies to ask for help – making contact centres very busy and stretched.
More than adding people to their contact centres (I heard some companies are adding thousands of agents) the challenge is to ensure they have all they need to work efficiently from their homes (no one is even remotely thinking of having hundreds of agents in an open-space now!)
What do companies need to provide agents, so they can work from home, without impacting the service delivery and customer experience?
- Laptop – most contact centres still equip agents with desktops, and it is critical that all agents have a laptop they can take home.
- Headset – a good headset (noise-cancelling, etc.) to ensure the kids screaming or the dog barking in the background doesn’t impact the call quality.
- Connection – not all agents will live in an area with fibre, so might as well cater for the faults of a wi-fi connection, with an Ethernet cable.
- Security – the majority of companies will have their systems (even if cloud) behind firewalls and only accessible from outside via VPN, so configure those.
- Collaboration – agents will no longer be able to turn to their colleagues, or tap them in the back for help. So ensure they can have “offline” conversations.
Of course this all assumes you have a SaaS platform (cloud and web-based), that your agents can access, to manage and log customer interactions – what we would call a customer/service/ticketing management system.
If you don’t… then I would strongly recommend you look into Zendesk. I partner with them, and have helped many companies enable it. It is probably the quickest to subscribe, switch on and start using. And the easiest to adopt, as it is easy-to-use and user-friendly. Apart from that, it brings the necessary features to collaborate, take calls, etc. all in one app.