The post-pandemic recovery has begun, and Pipeline readers appear to be looking ahead to what the future contact center operation will be. Will work-from-home (WFH) make a successful transition to a more permanent model? Having the right remote-work tools in place to support WFH agents is key. Our Sustainable WFH Contact Center series filled most of our July blog slots, so we’ve included it here as one entry (but be sure to click through to read all 13 posts!). Other popular topics look at how frontline agents can add value to product innovation, emotional intelligence skills for leaders, why you need support staff for contact center technology (and which roles), and how to combat the types of phone fraud that surfaced during the pandemic.
Creating a Sustainable Work-From-Home Contact Center (series)
The sudden shift from on-premise to work-from-home (WFH) last year was an eye-opening experience for contact centers and employees alike. Understandably, there were some early stumbles among companies that had no previous remote-work model in place and those that had not transitioned to cloud platforms. Overall, though, companies reported seeing the benefits of having a remote workforce in a fast-changing, unpredictable business climate. Most contact center leaders have viewed the WFH experience as a promising disruption and have indicated that the model will become a permanent part of their post-pandemic operations.
The Role of Contact Center Agents in Product Innovation
As we turn the page to a new year, and in the spirit of new beginnings, I’d like to challenge managers and leaders to consider alternative approaches to drive innovation and business change. Change must bubble up from within an organization, not merely cascade down from above, because in the next two years we’ll witness more change than we’ve seen in the last 10 years.
Becoming an Emotionally Intelligent Contact Center Leader
We are now well into 2021, and I hope this year will be a much better year for all.
It is interesting that, although 2020 was such a tough year with so many challenges, for some the silver lining was that they were able, or maybe forced, to get to know themselves at a deeper level. I have heard from several contact center and CX leaders that they have taken more time to reflect and journal, invest time in self-care through working out more, cooking and eating healthier, finding hobbies that brought joy, and most importantly, gaining compassion for those who are going through hard times due to COVID job displacements, living situations and general stressors.
The Case for Staff to Support Technology
Companies often exhibit a failure of imagination when implementing new technology. Leadership can readily imagine the power of the new tools but can’t extend that vision to the people who’ll use and derive value from the tools on a daily basis. They think you just get started and it will all work out (a.k.a. “good people find a way”). It places contact center management in the position of scrambling for resources using one of the following scenarios.
COVID-Era Phone Fraud Demands Omnichannel Response
The contact center is an essential part of any business that requires one: Both human agents and electronic IVR systems play key roles in establishing customer trust, enhancing customer convenience and solving customer problems. Over the past year, the world’s contact centers have conquered overwhelming challenges. In the first month of the coronavirus pandemic, some industries received triple their average weekly calls even as they struggled to transition to remote work and decentralized offices. Those first weeks of chaos would, in retrospect, seem almost quiet: Some businesses saw 800% of their normal call volume in the three succeeding months.