Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in the use of contact centers across many essential service industries including the banking sector, the medical sector, the travel sector, and many more. In the effort of practicing social distancing and ensuring the safety of contact center agents, many organizations have been forced to implement work from home programs. (See: 3 Key Strategies for Contact Center Work From Home Success)
This has not been an easy transition for most contact centers due to many factors and the main one being: No one was prepared for this abrupt shift. Because of this lack of preparedness, your contact center frontline leaders may be struggling to maintain productivity, morale, efficiency, and effectiveness. This may result in frustration, burn-out, and possible panic.
In order to help your contact center frontline leaders and agents, here are some resources that can help you cope during this pandemic.
Helpful COVID-19 Contact Center Resources
Your contact center work-from-home program is heavily dependent on affordable and reliable software. Chances are you have already begun implementing your work-from-home program, so now is the time to learn to be good at it. These resources can help you set up a remote contact center that is convenient for both your agents and customers.
1. Call Center Coach
You may be struggling to keep things afloat as the world is changing and this is a trying time for any business. Most contact centers were not prepared for this sudden turn of events. You may also be struggling to cope with changes that your contact center is going through. During this time, it is important to equip your agents and contact center frontline leaders with the necessary skill that they will need to keep your business going.
Call Center Coach is a virtual leadership academy to improve the leadership skills of your frontline leaders. Improve their skills and give them greater confidence during this volatile time. This resource is useful in a time where your contact center employees have to work from home. Call Center Coach is available virtually making it convenient for your work-from-home program.
2. Persado COVID-19 Contact Center Resources
Knowing the right words to use is key during this crisis. Language is a big part of customer contact and it impacts customer loyalty greatly. Persado assists in engaging your customers effectively during this unprecedented time. They have a Language and Communication Resource Center with data-guided insights and ideas.
In the effort of supporting business continuity during this difficult time, nice in contact is offering CXone@home a free of charge option of their cloud contact enter platform. The service helps contact centers move their agents to a work-from-home environment within 48 hours or less.
It also ensures that the transition period for your contact center is smooth and productivity is maintained. The service is free until the 30th of June 2020 giving your contact center a cost-efficient transition. Emergency service providers also get a bonus of free unlimited voice ports which help to assist expected volume increases.
4. TouchPoint One
As many aspects of your contact center will be changing due to the circumstances. It is vital to have a system that allows you to analyze different data concerning your contact center. TouchPoint One offers Acuity which is easy to deploy. It will align, empower, and inspire your personnel and deliver a clear and compelling ROI. Acuity features include:
- Storage for the data and business logic that your business relies on and it is accessible from one place.
- Personalized dashboards and scorecards which deliver role-based features, intelligence, and alignment at every operational level.
- Acuity gamification which boosts employee engagement, business results, and the customer experience.
- Integrated quality monitoring, quizzing and ESAT modules that enable you to instill best practices, maintain quality and ensure compliance.
- It has a Low-cost, easy to deploy Cloud-hosted or on-premise Software as a Service Solution (SaaS).
- Messaging and chat systems that facilitate fluid coaching, support, and other interaction to promptly address challenges and capitalize on success.
5. Zoom COVID-19 Contact Center Resources
Most contact centers are going virtual and the funds are tight during this pandemic. Every penny counts. Zoom provides videotelephony and online chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform and is used for teleconferencing, telecommuting, distance education, and social relations. The best part is it offers a free plan. Although it also has paid plans, they are very affordable. It can be an easy way to transition into your work from home program.
6. PACE Association
The Professional Association for Customer Engagement (PACE) is the only non-profit trade association dedicated exclusively to the advancement of companies that engage with customers via the contact center. They promote their members’ ability to provide outstanding customer service and sales solutions delivered via Omnichannel communication including voice, email, chat, text, and social media.
PACE offers many resources that can help your contact center cope during the pandemic. These resources include policies, guidelines, contact center news, and educational webinars so that your work from home program is successful. They also have a monthly newsletter called the PACE Pulse that keeps you updated on the latest news in the contact center industry.
Managing a remote contact center during COVID-19 Pandemic
Contact Center software for your work from home program is just one aspect. It is also important to ensure that other factors are addressed such as training, team building, productivity, and maintaining employee morale.
There are several consulting firms that you can also hire to help you through this transition. It is advisable to invest in the business continuity of your contact center because times are uncertain and work-from-home programs may have to last longer than anticipated.
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Jim Rembach is the Editor in Chief of the Customer Service Weekly and it’s Podcast host. He is President of CX Global Media and the creator of the Call Center Coach Virtual Leaders Academy. As the host of the Fast Leader Show Podcast, he has interviewed hundreds of experts, authors, academics, researchers, and practitioners on various angles, viewpoints, and perspectives for improving the customer experience. He has held positions in retail operations, contact centers, customer support, customer success, sales, and measured the customer experience. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence practitioner, Employee Retention Specialist, and recipient of numerous industry awards.