How to switch to remote work in the face of Coronavirus Outbreak?
Due to the massive spread of COVID -19, companies across the globe are turning to remote work to keep their people safe. Though, not necessarily all the jobs/roles are styled to work-from-home. However, call centers, especially those that run on cloud telephony solutions and other remote call center softwares will not have a problem. Here are few measures call center managers and agents must take into consideration while working from home:-
Firstly, stay healthy and follow these preventive measures to be safe:-
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has flu-like symptoms.
- Wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
- Disinfect surfaces you touch on a daily basis
Apart from taking steps to maintain health safety, follow these steps to switch to a work-from-home model:-
Inspection - As we all know, good voice quality is critical for call center communications. To ensure this, a product vendor must inspect each site i.e the call center agents’ homes, to confirm that network infrastructure (Waif or LAN) is ok for QOS.
Stable Internet Connection - It is important to set up a stable internet connection and power backup to prevent outages which might delay the flow of work and thereby productivity.
Secure CRM Access - To access CRM systems securely, each agent must be set up on a virtual private network (VPN) from their home.
Chat Groups - It is an excellent idea to set up chat groups for fast and efficient communication between agent groups. If the existing product does not offer chat groups between admin and agents, they should opt for video conferencing tools.
Login and Monitoring - Ensuring adherence is a challenge when it comes to working from home. The team lead must monitor the Employee Login Schedule remotely.
Some of the tools or techniques that make the transition to “work from home “easier for a Call Center are:-
Offline Call Routing - It enables routing callers to an agent who is not even online. They could answer calls on their mobile phone or landline while ensuring easy call monitoring and a great customer experience.
Virtual Phone numbers - These help to facilitate easy customer communications without compromising on-call monitoring, call tracking, and customer privacy. In this system, a virtual number is assigned to every agent who makes or receives calls.
Automatic Call Distributor - An automatic call distributor allows hunting agents through ACD logic. For offline campaigns, the agent’s phone number is the sorting tool. It connects the caller to the agent irrespective of whether the agent is logged into the system or is on the move. Call Center Managers may group agents into skills, and route calls to them based on skill, time of the day, or customer priority. This would ensure minimal wait times; better call center productivity and better customer satisfaction rates.
Currently Coronavirus pandemic is a major disruption in many facets of life and work, but this too shall pass. However, in the meantime, managing a remote workforce using the strategies discussed above will help maintain continuity of the work without causing any fall inefficiency and thus, meeting customers’ requirements properly.