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How can contact centers equip retailers and companies for successful remote work?


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Today’s current events have only titled the scale further in the direction it was leaning, with more and more consumers turning to online shopping. As in-person experiences become less and less of the norm and online funnels are flooded with customer expectations, transactions, and an evolution of needs, companies can find themselves scrambling to keep up amidst changes that, if approached strategically, are full of new opportunities. 

The online shopping climate: Facts and figures 

When looking at the growing numbers of online shopping, the momentum becomes undeniable. Data collected by OptinMonster claims that the global online shopping market size is expected to hit 4 trillion in 2020, with the US expected to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023 –– accounting for 91 percent of the country’s population. Currently, eCommerce accounts for 14.1 percent of retail purchases worldwide, with that number expected to rise to 22 percent by 2023. 

As consumers shop online, they maintain high expectations for customer service. Contacting a brand after an online purchase is common. Sources say: 

58 percent of consumers say that they reach out to companies they’ve recently made a purchase from up to six times per month.

Whether they’re exchanging a product, setting up their purchase, troubleshooting, making a return, or just providing feedback, whether online or offline, one thing is clear: customers need dependable, accessible access to support. 

The remote working climate: Evolution and impact

As customers have shifted to more of an online presence, so has the contact center work environment. In order to staff contact centers with the best customer support talent possible -– and to keep up with the modern working world –- many call centers are filling less chairs and connecting more networks. While remote work opens up a world of opportunity for hiring that’s not tied to location, it also demands a closer look at tools and strategy. As teams change in real time and new norms are devised from scratch, it is imperative leadership thinks of all the ways to answer this question: What proactive measures can be taken to account for physical distance? 

RingCentral is remote: Software and support for agents 

The right contact center solution can be the difference between thinking of remote work as full of hurdles and thinking of it as full of boundless opportunity. RingCentral is dedicated to helping companies come to the latter conclusion, with software features specifically designed to help agents successfully navigate being apart from the rest of their team. Here are some of the most meaningful ways that RingCentral contact center supports remote working environments:

Advanced inbound call routing 

A huge part of customer service initiatives involves getting queries answered and problems resolved as efficiently and effectively as possible. RingCentral’s sophisticated inbound call routing system helps remote teams do just that. With advanced inbound call routing possibilities, customers are able to quickly connect with the agents best equipped to assist them. For instance, Spanish speaking customers will be immediately directed to Spanish speaking agents. In another example, customers with specific shipping questions will be directed to agents that are trained and ready to pull up shipping information. This ability to connect needs with knowledge empowers agents to serve customers faster and eliminates friction from initial dial-in to final problem solved. 

Collaborative contact center tools

When agents are physically siloed, teamwork can come to a standstill –– but it doesn’t have to be that way. RingCentral’s contact center is set up to be as collaborative and inclusive as possible, ensuring that agents can easily reach out to team members or subject matter experts, and that teams can still function as teams while serving customers, no matter where individuals happen to be. 

An adaptable digital platform

Customers are slowly but surely outgrowing phone calls as a primary contact channel. A recent study found that so much as 42 percent of consumers prefer online chat as their engagement channel versus an 800 number, at 23 percent. With that overarching preference in mind, it’s imperative that contact center teams –– remote or otherwise –– are setup to answer the call…or instead, respond to the chat. 

Ring Central’s comprehensive digital platform helps contact centers build stronger relationships with customers no matter what channel they’re on, aggregating every message so that remote teams can see at a glance what’s happening with every interaction, and respond accordingly in line with customer ideals. 

At the end of the day, remote work is not the enemy –– it’s the future. And that future is filled with the potential to be immensely successful and rewarding, both for customers and contact center teams around the world. If your company could benefit from remote working options, learn more about how we can help get you started.

Originally published Apr 24, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022

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