For organisations operating contact centres, now is the time to plan for a more settled future where consumer and worker habits are permanently changed from how they were before. This is according to TelcoSwitch, a provider of unified communications and compliance solutions.
The past year has seen significant evolution in the ways consumers interact with contact centres, as more people shifted to internet-based communication in most aspects of their daily lives. At the same time, those working in contact centres have experienced an upheaval with the shift to lockdown-induced home working.
Russell Lux, CEO of TelcoSwitch, believes organisations planning for the rest of 2021 should assess their current contact centre situation as a priority, and recognise the need to make changes as new customer and worker habits take on a sense of greater permanence.
He said, “maximising choice for consumers by providing omnichannel contact centre communication has always been important, but even more so since early last year. The pandemic has led most to engage more heavily with technology, so options like online self-service and social media have grown in popularity. At the same time, the need for traditional voice-based communication has remained strong.
“Contact centre leaders and employees have had to be adaptable to these changes, despite the disruption the last year have brought to their own roles. While businesses have done an admirable job of coping, much of the arrangements were made in a makeshift fashion and were designed to deal with a constantly changing situation. With the promise of much-needed stability on the horizon, it’s important that firms prepare adequately.”
To set themselves up for future success, Russell believes that companies should redouble their efforts to empower their contact centre employees so they can engage effectively with customers across a range of channels, regardless of where they are working.
He added, “the first thing leaders need to do is accept the hybrid working reality, and then take action to make the most of it. This means implementing, maintaining and fine-tuning customer engagement tech so that employees have seamless, comprehensive interactions with customers, whether they’re sitting at a desk in an office or at their own kitchen table. Omnichannel obviously means giving customers choice, but it should mean giving workers choice too.
“Once lockdown ends, some of our old habits will be welcomed back with open arms, but others have changed for good. The companies that gear themselves up for a different world are the ones who will make the biggest success of customer engagement.”