As the world continues to cope with the unprecedented impact the current situation is having on our lives, economies, and businesses, companies are forced to react to the new landscape and put measures in place that ensure they are able to function, at least to some degree.
For many customer service departments, this means equipping agents to work-at-home.
Of course, work-at-home is nothing new. But, until now, many companies haven’t considered it as an important element of their own customer service model. They’ve considered it to be a risk, and why take a risk on something new, when life is good with what you’ve already got?
It’s not just the risk associated with change – many companies find the concept of work-at-home to bring other risks, citing concerns about security, productivity, and remote management. These perceived risks aren’t realised in reality, however. A professionally-run outsourced work-at-home team, with access to great technology, training, and people, will actually raise standards, enhance security, and improve performance. That’s far from a risk.
Integrating work-at-home into your customer service model allows for a host of benefits – making it easier to cope with seasonal demand peaks , providing access to more qualified and experienced agents, and help in managing staffing to respond to changing intraday demand.
In terms of security, which is easily the most commonly cited area of perceived risk, work-at-home compares very well to in-centre customer service.
Without going into details here, there are at least six security layers that reduce the potential for fraud or breach and achieve standards that are higher than most inhouse contact centres.
In addition to this, as we’ve all seen over the past couple of weeks, work-at-home can be hugely useful for disaster management, enabling response to the unexpected in a thoughtful and considered way, rather than being forced to react quickly and under immense pressure.
The fact is, ensuring that your customer service has built-in work-at-home capability going forward not only allows you to embrace all these benefits, but also ensures you are better able to respond to a future crisis scenario.
So, while continuing to adapt and come to terms with this current situation, it’s important, once this is over and new normality resumes, to take stock of the lessons learned from this crisis. Companies must seriously consider the benefits a work-at-home model offers, not just in times of crisis, but as a long-term solution.
For further information on how SYKESHome can benefit your customer service model, please get in touch.