After the lockdown imposition, everything came to a halt and so did contact centers across the globe. With the pandemic hit, businesses started moving to remote contact centers and be prepared for the contactless world. In our Philippines Webinar, we have uncovered some of the biggest challenges that Ian Madrid and Neil Macalino faced in their businesses and we will try to understand how swiftly they were able to transform their contact centers for the contactless world.
In an insightful discussion with Sir Ian Madrid and Neil Macalino, Sachin Bhatia, Co-Founder and Global Sales & Marketing Head at Ameyo discussed the role that remote contact centers are going to play as they form the last line of business to human interaction. Not limiting it to just customer service, Sachin believes that contact centers are going to be driven by Sales, Collections, and Contactless Onboarding.
How Contact Centers in the Philippines reacted to COVID-19?
“Communication can solve all the problems,” our experts believe that. And with the COVID-19 hit in the middle of March, the contact centers in the Philippines completely relied on the communication.
Sir Ian says that they have seen a surge in call volumes and their customers have been demanding human to human interaction more than ever before. Contact centers in the Philippines instantly chose remote solutions to keep moving forward and build a workforce that they heavily relied on.
What is the future of Remote Contact Centers?
According to our contact center survey in the Philippines, 71.43% of people believe that the Remote Contact Centers are going to disrupt the contact center industry. This tells us that WFH is here to stay and is here for major business disruption.
“WFH can stay if the agents’ productivity is taken care of,” says Sir Neil in the webinar. This brings us to the strategic challenges that remote contact centers will face in the longer run.
IT Governance & Security
In a remote working environment, what do you do when the agents report a network issue or an unsupportive device problem? What would you trust, the agent, the device, the network? This brings a challenge of employee loyalty towards their work.
In the physical workspace, an agent’s device challenges can be addressed by the IT department instantly but in remote locations, this becomes a legit problem.
To overcome this, you can establish remote IT governance and security by monitoring agents’ devices, identify the reason for low productivity, network issues, and many more with 15 monitoring parameters that provide detailed information to the managers, thus helping in creating a high-trust environment.
Virtual Collaboration & Onboarding
When an agent is stuck with a call in a physical workspace, the floor manager, the peers, the supervisors can help resolve the query instantly ensuring an increased first contact resolution rate. But, how do we ensure the same kind of on-call assistance while working in a remote environment? The agents will need the same kind of support from their managers.
To build a workforce that is confident to resolve all customer queries with minimum supervision, you can provide the agents with options like internal chat, call transfer, call confer, in real-time, and provide on-call assistance whenever they feel stuck. Supervisors can monitor the calls in real-time and jump in a call to help the agents have qualified interactions with the customers.
“Anything that can be measured, can be managed,” says Sir Neil. Rightly so, because contact centers run on metrics like average handling time, first contact resolution rate, number of calls handles, win rate, customer satisfaction, etc. And we will constantly need metrics to measure and monitor the metrics that are important for any business.
Providing the agents with the flexibility to log in from any device, any browser, and any location ensures the inclusion of a diverse workforce and their productivity can be measured with a centralized view of contact center irrespective of the devices that they are using. Measure the metrics like agents log in hours, number of queries resolved, average call handling time, adherence to call quality metrics, etc. to ensure that the agents are working efficiently even while working remotely.
What are the Advantages of Remote Contact Centers?
Now that we have established that the Work from Home is here to stay, let’s try to understand what our experts have to say about the advantages of remote contact centers.
Reduced Cost Pressure
The biggest cost in a contact center is the manpower and then comes the cost to manage that manpower. What if you could reduce the cost of managing the agents? In a remote contact center, you do not have to invest in setting up infrastructural facilities in the physical office environment. You can save 12.5% of the total contact center cost which can be invested in scaling your business, alternate channels, tools, and equipment for the remote workforce.
Hiring a Diverse Workforce
Working remotely can be beneficial for businesses to hire a diverse workforce irrespective of their work location. This has manifold benefits:
- Businesses working for different time zones can access the global talent pool, ensuring that they provide native experience to each customer
- It helps in reaching emerging geographies and providing a local experience to the customers
- It helps the businesses to tap into a much broader range of applicants/employees
- Working remotely eliminates the need for traveling to reach the office daily and employees like to be given flexibility. With Remote Working Solutions, employees are more likely to accept job offers that do not involve traveling
- Working remotely also lifts up the age barrier, people that are approaching a retiring age are also looking for opportunities that give them a sense of purpose and income
- Parents staying at home will also get opportunities to take care of their families and work remotely
“People who can crack this soon will be ahead of the game in the market,” Sachin Bhatia adds while enclosing his thoughts on the future of remote contact centers and the need to transform contact centers for the contactless world.