The term “new normal” has been heard of and read for maybe a hundred thousand or even a million times starting last year. With the significant events mainly caused by COVID-19 or the coronovirus that transpired last year leading up until now, everything has changed. Working, in particular, has changed for many industries, most especially in the Contact Center industry.
Work from home, or remote working, has risen in terms of ranks to help Contact Centers to cope and respond to the ongoing pandemic. This setup is bound to be prominent well after the pandemic ends. It has, indeed, become a long-term option for many Contact Centers, so standards to perform will certainly increase in the upcoming years.
Expect standards to rise. Regardless of where they work or what channel they support, agents must elevate their own performances to provide exceptional service and experience to customers whilst being supported by their own leaders.
In this blog, we share some challenges and improvement to be done now that the new normal has forever transformed the Contact Center operations known.
The challenges of adapting to the new normal
The work from home approach was welcomed by many, albeit with some resistance from other companies. With that being said, a work from home or WFH setup has been good – and continues to be good for many, becoming a longer-term approach. In other words, it has a number of benefits to the agents, managers, leaders, and the company itself.
However, it can also be said that the approach is far from perfect. Certain challenges have risen that agents and managers alike did not experience in the brick-and-mortar offices. Below, the challenges in the new normal are stated:
Agents have less interactions with their peers. As stated, interactions between agent to other fellow agents have significantly decreased with the remote working setup. Although the agents do not have other workers messing up their work rhythm, they cannot help but feel incomplete without the daily, physical interactions with their peers. Asking for guidance takes longer and more effort than in a physical office. Another example would be that troubleshooting device or equipment problem take much longer to resolve because of the setup. Motivation in the workplace is lost, therefore prompting agents to search for motivation to work virtually.
The environment can distract the agents. The new normal has forever transformed Contact Center operations in both a positive and negative light. The environment, in particular, has a great effect on agent production. Although imperfect, there is some positives that agents can get when present in the office physically. Work is work there. No distractions arise in the office. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for those working remotely. There are distractions like crying children, noisy neighbors, lack of an air conditioner to keep agents cool and comfortable while putting less strain on their devices and equipment, and sometimes even nagging family members.
Managers are having their own challenges, as well. It’s not just the agents – the managers are having a hard time with their duties, too. Monitoring numerous agents without seeing them personally and relying on analytics and reporting is quite difficult. As a result, those in higher positions will have a harder time coming up with trainings and identifying opportunities to increase performance. Even with the correct gathered data, coaching and developing agents will prove hard in the new normal under COVID-19.
Subpar remote management does more harm than good. Letting agents focus on their task without any intrusion (i.e., multiple team video calls in one day) is a must but impossible given the situation at hand. So, what can be done? Are there any strategies companies can use to succeed in the work from home approach?
Thinking of many, different things
On-site or work from home does not matter in seeking success. With the right strategies, both can work to an almost perfect state.
First of all, embracing a more hybrid work model should be a norm – some go back to working in the office while some still stay at home and work remotely. Balance is the key. Know who should return or who should remain at home. Use the right tools to engage with both parties.
Additionally, come up with the proper metrics to measure agent performance. Train them in areas lacking, as well maintain areas agents already excel in. Be sure to help your agents adapt to the new normal that has forever transformed the Contact Center operations.
Tegsoft is a well-design platform capable of helping companies provide the best customer experience. This can truly help in establishing good to great Contact Centers capable of almost everything it intends to do!
Contact us for more information.
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