“New Normal” For Contact Centers

“New Normal” For Contact Centers


Diren Nâzım Selimoğlu

Diren Nâzım Selimoğlu

07.08.2020

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It is not an overstatement to say that the world has changed in many unthinkable ways these past few months. While it is also true that countries are slowly but surely reopening to provide a much needed boost to the heavily impacted economy, the global impact COVID-19 brought will surely be felt for quite some time.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an alarming crisis that continues to take people’s lives day by day, so naturally, movement restrictions were implemented all across the world, both domestic and international. Additionally, with the strict implementation of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, businesses, in particular, face a big wall in their daily operations, especially with the ones not labeled as “essential businesses” - businesses that cannot be put to a halt because of necessity. But, even in the midst of this, many businesses have taken the initiative to step up, face the future with confidence, and still provide customers with quality service. 


Even without the consideration of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it can be argued that businesses are in need of major changes, particularly on the implementation and upgrade of digital solutions. As a result, more and more businesses now are focusing their effort to implement or upgrade their digital solutions to satisfy their customers without the quality of service they bring being undermined.    

Since the start of the COVID-19 global pandemic, countries all over the world saw a sudden surge in digital transactions. People used mobile applications to either purchase a product, service, or both from a number of industries. Most notably in these trying times, for people to be safe from home, they have resorted to ordering food and grocery with the use of their phones, downloading different mobile applications to cater to their needs from other businesses -– such as grocery stores and other essential item stores, and many other product or service people can now order online. 

Additionally, e-commerce has become more prominent amidst the pandemic. Virtual shops have become the go-to of people who want to purchase certain items with the unavailability of physical stores. To summarize, going digital is now the “new normal” for everyone in most – if not the whole – world.

As a result, the role of the contact center will only continue to increase during the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as post-pandemic.
Stating all of these, industries now will need contact centers more than ever. Customer experience will now be prioritized more because occurring now is a huge increase in support tickets, customers inquires, cancellations, and solution seekers in the past few months mainly due to the pandemic. With going out and inquiring physically not being applicable at these times, the customers have now swarmed through various communication channels to voice out their inquiries – or even complaints. 

According to Kustomer, customer service teams in industries saw a 17% increase in customer inquiries during the pandemic time frame;  phone inquiries, email, and web also saw an increase of 34%, 28%, and 24%, respectively. Finally, the least impacted is social media with only a 7.2% increase. So, with all of that being said, industries will now have to rely on contact centers to provide an excellent customer experience to cater to these. 


This begs the next question: which industries need a call or contact center after working remotely? 
With the pandemic occurring, there are a number of industries in need of such services. Some of the industries include:

  • Health care
  • Online retail stores
  • Stores selling food and beverages
  • Banks


“What about the contact center itself?”
Much like some of the industries stated above, contact centers will also return sporting a “new normal” in the post-pandemic period. 

Obviously, with the events that transpired being only recent, the “new normal” that is widely talked about in the contact center industry is still yet to be completely known. Furthermore, the “new normal” will not be the same for every contact centers; there will be various differences depending on the situation of their respective countries. 

What is known, however, is that the working remotely trend is and will become a bigger part for the contact center industry in the near future. 

Now, certain questions keep arising regarding the work from home phenomenon: will agents, agent leaders, and other contact center employees be more productive even without their combined presence in a physical office? 

The answer is yes! According to Calabrio, contact center industries will be one of those who can, and will, implement a permanent option for remote work post-pandemic, stating that it will become the “new normal”.

Here are the reasons why:

  • Agents can be as productive working – or even more productive – remotely because of certain factors like easily-adjusted or flexible schedule and less stress caused by commuting.
  • Contact center companies have now properly equipped their agents that are working remotely; they have deployed their agents with the data security and technologies needed to continue operations despite the WFH setup.
  •  By continuing the “remote agent” trend happening worlwide, contact centers can cut costs by a significant amount; contact centers can cut real-estate cost if they allowed half of their agents to work from home while the other half return to work.

Emphasized Importance Of The Omnichannel Strategy
Contact centers that have invested in adopting an omnichannel communication strategy are now benefiting greatly. With the pandemic still rampant in many parts of the world, one of the most important things to have these days is to have a means of communication. Omnichannel contact centers are more important nowadays because they can provide excellent customer experience; omnichannel contact centers can be reached by customers – as its name suggests – in various channels.


Conclusion
The “new normal” for businesses and contact centers involve the need to implement or upgrade digital solutions to operate even with the strict regulations placed by many countries. Additionally, contact centers – especially the omnichannel ones – will become very important for the continuity of the economy.  

https://www.kustomer.com/blog/why-efficiency-is-important-during-the-global-pandemic/

https://www.calabrio.com/wfo/wfh/wfh-the-new-normal-for-contact-centers-post-pandemic/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=tl

https://www.zendesk.com/blog/zendesks-benchmark-snapshot-impact-covid-19-cx/

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