This year marks the 25th UK National Contact Center Awards in association with the CCMA (Call Center Management Association).
Over time, we’ve seen a lot of change in both the role of the call center and how they operate. In many cases, they used to be a distinct area of a business – separated physically, technologically, and culturally. Now, the call center has evolved to be integrated with the wider business, as organizations shift from seeing this as a cost center to recognizing the value of great customer experiences.
THE ACCELERATION OF HYBRID WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
The shift towards hybrid working models has been dramatically accelerated in 2020, driving forward the evolution of call centers and creating new challenges and opportunities to set up employees for success. The unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic has caused a reliance on call centers while in-person and face-to-face services decline. This puts remote customer engagement in the spotlight – making it more crucial than ever that employees are supported with the right tools.
The CCMA has been working closely with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to identify how call centers have been affected by COVID-19 and how they might be affected by future events. Their joint report, Voice of the Industry, Contact Centers Response to COVID-19, found that:
- 83% of call centers will move towards a business model that includes an increase in the number of staff working from home on a full or part-time basis
- 83% have invested in technology for employees
- 73% plan to change shift patterns before Christmas
- 21% of roles will change in the call center
The CCMA and BEIS report offers encouraging news, indicating that employees will have the ability to work from anywhere, at a time that suits them. Enterprise-grade technology such as headsets and next-generation desk phones will enable them to do this effectively. Offering this flexibility will also increase your talent pool and employee loyalty.
IMPROVING CUSTOMER SERVICE AMIDST NEW CHALLENGES
Maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction against a backdrop of rising, unpredictable demand for call center services is no easy task. At the same time that consumers can’t access in-person services, they are also experiencing increasingly stressful and complex personal and work scenarios.
A study by British Telecom found that only 21% of consumers rate the digital experience of large multinational organizations as ‘excellent’, making it imperative that we focus on voice calls and delivering a high-quality audio service.
Customers require empathetic customer service representatives that keep lines of communication open. Voice is the best channel for these complex interactions, but calls can make or break relationships with customers.
Equipping employees with enterprise-grade audio solutions that work across multiple environments and endpoints is critical to set CSRs up for success. The right technology, with crystal clear audio and active noise-canceling will produce more efficient calls with reduced background noise and, therefore, fewer mistakes and increased customer satisfaction.
Headsets such as the EncorePro 700 series offer all-day comfort for intensive phone users with simple controls to easily manage and switch between calls. Call clarity with customers is ensured with excellent microphone pick-up and noise-canceling features.
MAXIMIZE HYBRID WORKING ENVIRONMENTS WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Importantly, headset solutions need to transition across any workspace so teams can work efficiently whether at home or in the office. When it comes to the spaces we work in, the emphasis is moving to create the best environments for employees to be productive, rather than considering a fixed location.
It can be challenging for IT and facilities teams to manage newly dispersed devices. Fortunately, most headsets sold today connect through USB ports and are visible to cloud management systems, which means they can be audited.
For the most productive call center, Poly Lens software ensures only company-approved headsets are used to ensure enterprise-grade experiences. The user and customer experiences are seamless, insights on the use of endpoints and workspaces can be gained, and any maintenance needs are monitored. Additionally, a conversational analysis tool gives the data needed to hone agents’ customer experience skills.
All this change makes it even more essential than ever to recognize and reward contact center professionals that are leading the industry forward. Join us at the virtual UK National Contact Centre Awards 2020 on Monday 21st September at 7 p.m., where we will be announcing the winners of the Team Leader/Manager awards.
Register here if you haven’t already.