During lockdown we’ve seen how productive and efficient people can be when working remotely. Employees who have the right tools find it’s easier to do their work, stay connected and get things done faster. This certainly drives efficiency and productivity.
In the 2019 Future Workforce report from Upwork, 55% of hiring managers said remote work is likely to grow significantly in the decade ahead. The pandemic accelerated adoption of software like virtualised contact centres and unified communications as a service (UCaaS), which have both proved tremendous value for businesses. But for those who invested in separate and disjointed systems, the transition to remote work hasn’t been quite so smooth, and IT teams have struggled to manage the myriad of separate systems during the pandemic. Employees found productivity decreasing and frustration increasing as they switched between disconnected communication apps.
Business continuity, customer care, cost reduction and data security are top of mind for businesses right now, and mobility and flexibility remain a big focus in the coming months.
Unified desktop app needed
Research has shown that some workers toggle between apps up to 10 times an hour, which equates to up to 32 days lost in workplace productivity. Today, users may find switching from a messaging app to a phone or video call difficult – more so when they have to download and update the system before it connects. What if I am a contact centre agent being pressured to find the right answer?
What if contact centre agents could easily switch between modes of communication in their agent desktop to messaging a colleague to get the information they need, and could also switch to a video or voice call spontaneously from within the same messaging app to discuss more details for a quicker resolution?
Real-time collaboration between your frontline and back office is absolutely necessary if you want your contact centre to run as efficiently and productively as possible. Tools like UCaaS give you the capacity to connect and empower your employees. Not just through communication functions like instant messaging and video conferencing, but through additional functionality such as tight integration into your workflows, which facilitates the flow of information between your colleagues and customers.
Empowerment is needed
As a contact centre agent, I will need the same tools as my colleagues within my organisation, including team video meetings to check in, and I need to be able to see which experts are available through their status. I can consult subject experts on a customer call and can escalate to video as needed. I will also need to look up each customer’s contact history, as I don’t want to repeat the questions asked of the customer in previous interactions.
I had an experience recently in which I contacted a service helpline, and when my call eventually was answered, the voice quality was so poor I could hardly hear the agent. He was so apologetic because his connection was unstable. I know it’s not his fault. What if when an SLA drops, the admin gets notified instantly and alerts the support team to troubleshoot so that they can deliver a better experience for the customer?
Direct access to subject matter experts
As mentioned earlier, agents may not have every answer available at their fingertips – but customers expect instant solutions. It puts a huge amount of pressure on the agent trying to find the right person available to assist with the call. It’s critical to have access to the resources they need to give guidance and reliable information to help customers instantly.
All your communication on one place
Having an easy-to-use collaboration platform that fits with your business continuity aspirations and system integration has become a priority for a lot of organisations. With everything in one place, employees can message colleagues from their PC or mobile device. They’re also able to share links and files with no size or storage limits, which makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. Agents can continue to collaborate with experts across your organisation and solve customer issues quickly.
Originally published 23 Jul, 2020, updated 13 Jan, 2023