2020 has been a year none of us could’ve predicted. The coronavirus pandemic has completely upended the way we live and work, and most companies were ill-prepared for the sudden transition to work from home (WFH).
In the early days of the pandemic, the main focus was safely getting workers set up to work from home, but seven months in – trouble spots have become increasingly apparent. With this new work style showing no signs of ending anytime soon, companies, and especially contact centres, need to improve their processes. Here’s how to overcome common challenges that WFH contact centre agents are facing
Access to Equipment
Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, most agents worked in an ergonomically friendly environment and were equipped with top-of-the-line headsets. In the mass move to WFH, agents lost access to their ergonomic chairs and keyboards, adjustable workstations and quality headsets. Agents are also facing additional challenges that come with working from home, such as barking dogs, children and makeshift workspaces. As such, it is imperative that organizations provide the equipment needed to improve agents’ WFH environment.
Connectivity and Bandwidth Issues
For contact centre agents to be successful at their jobs, they need a solid voice/telephone connection as well as good bandwidth. Despite the popularization of other channels of communication, a large number of customer interactions still take place over the phone. With most customers calling from their cell phones, which are known to have less than optimal sound quality, and heightened emotions due to the stresses of COVID-19, agents need a reliable, hard-wired connection in the form of a landline.
Access to adequate bandwidth is another problem contact centre agents have run into, especially when other household members are working from home or doing virtual learning. To combat bandwidth issues, contact centres should arrange for home agents to have dedicated voIP lines or PSTN connectivity. If agents are relying on a Wi-Fi connection, they should also be provided with a wired Internet connection that is more reliable.
Sufficient IT Support
IT support has always been an integral part of everyday contact centre operations, and the importance of this operation has become even more apparent with WFH. Contact centres are now facing new customer support issues and given the fact that IT workers often expect agents to know more about their at-home setup than they actually do, these challenges can be especially difficult to resolve. To combat this issue, contact centres should implement a dedicated applications team that facilitates interactions between agents and IT desk support.
While not all WFH trouble spots can be resolved by contact centres, there are steps that can be taken to improve agents’ ability to work. Now that we’ve had the chance to adapt to this new normal, it’s time to evaluate your organization and make suitable changes that will ensure the longevity of your contact centre and workforce.
At Innovative Vision, we are passionate about the world of Customer Experience. Founded in 2002, we are a marketing technology firm specializing in Contact Centre BPO. Through the power of omnichannel support and hybrid live agent/AI models, we ensure that every interaction that a customer has with your business is positive and meaningful.
Allow us to inspire your company to grow through our enhanced approach to guiding the customer journey. To learn more about our advanced and specialized services, contact us today!