If there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the past two years it’s how businesses have had to be flexible in how they do business. We’ve either needed to make a quick shift to all working from home or hire extra staff to meet demands or putt employees on furlough for short periods.
Being flexible is no longer a “nice to have” but rather the new “essential”. Every business has been affected in some way or another, whether in retail, hospitality, non-profit or financial services, for frontline staff or back office operations, adaptability is necessary for survival.
For businesses with contact centres, this is particularly true. Call centres have switched quite drastically from an office environment to a remote working model, or a hybrid of socially distanced contact centre connected to some homeworking agents, which has forced fundamental changes to business operations moving forward.
Where businesses were previously reliant on their existing legacy communication platforms, that required staff to only be office bound, they’re now looking to a solution which can permanently support homeworking. But they are faced with two issues:
Finding a solution that’s adaptable to your needs and easy to use is the key. A cloud-based contact centre solution that’s flexible so users can be added easily or reduced to match your agent demand, and intuitive to use so your agents can be up and running with minimal training or support.
Many contact centres are set into 3–5 year contracts or investments into on-premise hardware making it tricky when looking to invest in advanced new systems. The great advantage of cloud-based services is that there is no need for major investment any more using capex budgets but rather a flexible, ‘pay as you use’ model. The solution is made up of various features and advanced modules that you can pick and choose from as and when your agents need it.
If you’re worried about your workforce changing over time and being stuck with paying for user licenses you don’t need, this is no longer an issue. You’ll only ever need to pay for the agents on shift and not every staff member.
Customers’ demands have shifted and want to communicate through the platform they feel comfortable in. For some that’s moving from a voice call to an email, for others that’s swopping between WhatsApp to email and then a phone call.
Contact centres have looked at how to streamline and create a unified communication experience both for the customer and the agent by integrating voice calls, emails, live chat and a range of social media apps into one view to the agent. The agent is able to then have an overall view of the customer query and offer the best service across all communication channels.
Enabling customers to choose whether they use live chat, email or a voice call can also help with peaks in demand. As a customer there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting on hold when you have a simple question, how much easier is it to find the answer on the FAQs on the website or for a chat bot to handle the query? It also frees up agents to deal with more vulnerable customers who may require that extra reassurance.
Back at the start of 2020, when our first lockdown hit, customers may have been forgiving when they had longer call waiting times to cancel their holiday booking or talk to their bank. But now there’s no excuse. Businesses have had enough time to put alternative working arrangements in place. With cloud on-demand services there’s no reason why there aren’t enough agents available to answer queries, or alternative communication channels be available as options.
The old call centre shift management forecasting and scheduling models are redundant and today, managers can quickly scale up or down to meet peaks in customer demand.
Cirrus contact centre complements our cloud-based phone system solution and offers a flexible way for contact centres to dip their toe in the new way of working, while also offering an exceptional unified communications experience to the customer.
Cirrus contact centre solution allows businesses to confidently handle customer conversations through one single view and intelligently handles queries across agents and channels. Its advanced reporting and analytics help businesses better manage their agents resulting in quick and efficient response times. And, as it’s fully cloud-based, agents can work from any location, supporting today’s hybrid workforce and improving shift management. Get in touch for a demo and further insight into how Cirrus contact centre can transform your business.