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The future is remote: How CC4ALL helps organizations transform home working into remote contact centers

The future is remote: How CC4ALL helps organizations transform home working into remote contact centers

The future is remote: How CC4ALL helps organizations transform home working into remote contact centers
Home working has gone from a short-term solution to a long-term prospect in a matter of months. Employers and employees alike are starting to see the benefits of this new working environment and many businesses are seriously considering shifting suitable operations to 24×7 remote working – out with the ‘traditional’ office-based work and in with the new long-term remote working environment.

When we previously talked about remote working it was simply employees using standard office applications at home – often on personal devices and leaving employees lacking dedicated remote working solutions that ensure staff and customer communication and collaboration remain unaffected. But with remote working here to stay, organizations need to invest in software that can facilitate the successful future of remote working without sacrificing customer experience.

It’s home working – but not as we know it!
With entire offices working from home, businesses have fast become aware of the need for Unified Communications platforms to support advanced remote working and provide the enhanced technology that could offer these dedicated remote collaboration and communication features. Businesses flocked to Microsoft Teams – the platform has seen 75-plus million users per day since lockdowns were established worldwide. This upward trend is not set to disappear post-pandemic.

The new norm post-COVID is likely to encourage employees to work from a remote location, when and where it is convenient to them and to their employers. The objective is to embrace a strategy that is more efficient and effective for everybody – and that includes the customer. Yes, commute times and expenses are significantly reduced, and yes there is pre-pandemic research that indicates employees who work from home are significantly more productive than their office-based counterparts, but businesses must ensure they put in place effective, long-term remote working strategies that ensure customer service levels are not affected or interrupted but rather enhanced.

Putting customers at the heart of operations requires a remote working rethink
In the contact centre space, all that is typically required for agents to work effectively from home is access to modern contact centre software, a headset and a pair of monitors. But it takes more than this to deliver uninterrupted service to customers at the speed and level expected by today’s consumers.

I’ve already mentioned the dramatic growth in usage of Microsoft Teams during this lockdown period. When a proven collaboration platform such as Teams is integrated with dedicated contact centre software, then businesses can stay fully accessible to customers, integrating collaborative platforms and capabilities for all remote agents to maintain the same high level of agility and flexibility. The possibilities are endless.

Customer communication on any channel – it’s the customer’s choice, not yours
At the customer-facing level, omnichannel communications are a must. Solutions must enable remote workers to communicate with and provide support on the customer’s channel of choice – whether this is phone, email or alternative channels such as WhatsApp and Facebook depending on regional popularity.

Integrating these communication channels into a single client unlocks further powerful features to help deliver an excellent customer experience, such as warm transfers, enhanced call routing and colleague availability alerts.

Go remote and go better – add functionalities to reduce wait times and improve customer experience
For all the positives of remote working, disparate teams threaten the level of customer service provided. Customer calls are often at risk of being routed to the first available agent instead of the most suitable agent for a specific query. This threatens to increase resolution times and customer frustration caused by unnecessary transfers between agents.

Features such as intelligent, skill-based routing help tackle this by ensuring customers receive first-time problem solving from the best available expert – without compromising on answer times. All incoming customer calls, regardless of channel, can be routed through the same engine and assigned based on query type.

CC4ALL’s skill-based routing offers an excellent opportunity to boost both employee and customer satisfaction – agents are happy they can apply their specific skillsets and interests to solve customer problems, while customers enjoy a swift, knowledgeable resolution to their issue on the first time of asking.

Keep employees accountable through remote reporting
It’s difficult to ensure employees are fully accountable and operate as effectively as their office-based counterparts – and it’s a challenge that scales based on the number of agents working from home at any given time. This is where businesses should look to contact centre solutions that can incorporate extra functionalities for real-time reporting, to ensure agents are operational and delivering a consistently high level of customer service.

For supervisors this means access to granular reporting dashboards, with performance metrics and data visualised through tools such as Power BI. This level of reporting goes far beyond capturing standard details such as customer solve rates. Supervisors are provided with heat maps of activity to identify particularly busy periods of demand on a daily and weekly basis, and can track average call-back times and queue times to identify and address potential bottlenecks where more agents are required.

Fast tracking digital transformation: Supporting software is key to remote contact centre success
Businesses have shown that they can work remotely and, in some cases, have accelerated many years of digital transformation into a matter of weeks. But as we have seen, businesses who will really reap the rewards of remote working on a more permanent basis need to go further than just extending standard office applications to the home office. With CC4ALL advanced capabilities integrated into a core platform such as Microsoft Teams, remote contact centres can unlock more efficiencies, operate effectively and keep customer experience front and top of mind.

The future is remote
Anne-Meine Gramsma is CCO at Contactcenter4ALL