Coronavirus Creates a Stressful Experiment in Working Remotely

Even before the pandemic began, working remotely was not something new for certain areas only. Most companies from different fields now have the opportunity to work remotely, and many have never had this experience. As the virus spreads around the world, many companies are now concerned about reducing the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine on their businesses.

The emotional state of consumers and enterprises exacerbates the problem. But the combination of fear, uncertainty and frustration presents brands with both new risks and opportunities. Providing compassionate customer service is likely to lead to a significant increase in positive brand perception and customer loyalty in the post-crisis period. Conversely, inaccessible, ineffective or impartial responses are likely to trigger an equally pronounced negative reaction. Customers prefer live interaction when they want answers to urgent and complex issues.

Sales and support departments face the following ones:

    • Complicated Access to the Call Center Software

The need to transfer agents to remote work is a challenge for those call centers that use legacy on-premise solutions. It would be difficult for your staff to access your software from outside the office. They will have to configure different tools like VPN, Remote Desktop and so on, which usually slows down the speed of connection and can influence on call quality. 

    • Insufficient Number of Operators Per Shift

The health of employees is at risk and lots of them have already caught the virus, as there are hundreds of people working in cramped spaces in on-premises call centers. Every day they must get to work by public transport, which poses a pretty high risk for coronavirus exposure as well.

    • Increased Number of Incoming Calls

It should be admitted that during a pandemic, call volume will increase dramatically, as in-person communication in various industries may not be available. Technology can, someway, help to solve this problem and switch communication to online channels, such as web chats, etc. With Voiptime Cloud you can quickly migrate to a multichannel cloud call center solution. So agents can easily handle all client inquiries (incoming and outgoing calls, web chats, emails, etc. ) from home, even if they only have a computer, headset, and broadband connection.

    • Work with Frustrated Customers

One of the biggest challenges contact centers face during the pandemic is the impact on customer service. Dissatisfied customers call to solve a problem of canceling airline flights; angry bank clients call hotlines trying to prevent their businesses from falling, etc.

    • Long Waiting Time in a Call Queue

The load on daily operations will inevitably increase since depending on the nature of the contact center’s activities as well as an insufficient number of operators on shift due to the coronavirus. The high call volume in this case leads to long waiting times and high abandon call rate, which in turn will increase the number of unsatisfied customers.

Ways to Overcome These Obstacles

So, how to overcome these obstacles and ensure that your business is ready for such unexpectedness?

Continuity is the key! Regardless of whether you have a plan or not, the key point here is the fact that you are ready to act and implement some simple solutions to provide more flexibility in your contact center.

    • Focus on Remote Work

If your call center solution is cloud-based, then mobilizing your agents will be quick and easy to achieve - all you need to do is to set up their workplace at home (install a softphone, check your internet connection, and connect your headset).

You must ensure that agents can also access other important business systems necessary for their work routine (or at least can view the required minimum of client data in your call center solution). This may seem obvious, but make sure you have enough laptops, headsets, and headphones for your staff. Being able to work from home is great, but the staff needs the right tools.

    • Set a Priority in Your Calls of High Importance

Prioritizing specific call queues based on parameters selected in IVR is one of the ideas to transfer the most sufficient calls to the most qualified call center agents.

It is also important to discuss this issue with other call center teams and push other activities that may lead to a further increase in the volume of calls, regarding non-urgent issues to another plan.

It is good practice to apply call queueing techniques. Add a message to the IVR that apologizes for a long time in the queue, informing the customer of the expected wait time, and other possible ways to contact you. Another option is to configure the IVR callback feature in Voiptime call center software. They will receive a callback from your agent as soon as the first agent is available. This will significantly reduce the waiting time in the queue and help to put the customer's mind at ease.

    • Keep Your Customers Informed

Ensure that the data is available at each of your points of contact in order to inform customers of any impact on service levels. This can reduce any frustration with the customer’s changed path. Let the customers know (with an email, for instance) how they can contact your sales & support departments and what response time to expect.

    • Use the Business Continuity Plan

COVID-19 will not be the last crisis contact centers will face. To avert a complete cessation of operations in the future, create (if you don’t have one yet) a comprehensive emergency plan.

Your plan should include things like people, processes, applications, security, compliance, and staff requirements for flexible work and, in ideal, should be checked before an accident occurs. Assign people who are responsible for overseeing its implementation, such as moving to remote work, following all procedures, etc. These specialists have to follow clear procedures and report on each step in time.

With such planning and preparation and investing in the right technology, business crises, such as those being foreseen, can have little effect on your performance.

Implement A Robust Work From Home with Voiptime Cloud

The Voiptime Contact Center is a cloud-based solution for multichannel communications that helps you to connect to operators and managers of your call center from anywhere in the world. PC, headsets and wired reliable Internet connection will be enough to work remotely.

Voiptime Cloud software will not only help you to find the solution to the problem your call center has recently faced, but also to improve your business performance.

Here are some of the advantages of Voiptime call center solutions.

  • Remote Implementation in the Shortest Possible Time

We fully configure and launch the cloud instance for you within 2 business days. It is now the shortest time among all vendors of call center solutions.

  • An Intuitive Solution

With this solution your call center team will be able to process customer inquiries received from any communication channel (phone, email, web chat), as well as to ensure self-service via IVR and chat bot. It requires no special IT knowledge to manage your call center team and perform daily tasks with our software. 

  • Business Continuity

The high availability of the Voiptime Cloud solution allows to serve customers 24/7/365. With Voiptime Contact Center, you can easily run 5 to 600 agents for each instance. Due to a highly skilled team and processes, you can be sure to receive a full response in a timely manner. For example, a reaction time for emergency and critical issues for a 24/7 support package is 1 hour.

You can be sure with 100% certainty that each of your employees will have at their disposal all the customer information that they will need for efficient work. 

Improved integration is very important in providing successful work for call centers, especially for financial institutions and support services. Voiptime REST API allows full two-way integration that is suitable for any external business systems.

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