The past few months have been challenging for many businesses, as they’ve had to adapt to a new, unpredictable and quick-changing situation.
Companies have moved people home quickly and efficiently, in difficult and unprecedented circumstances. But what challenges have they faced and how have they overcome them?
In our series of webinars, we’ve taken a look at how companies moved people home, how they’ll need to adapt their models when bringing them back in-centre, and how they continue to monitor and manage their agents, wherever they’re based.
Significant change was imposed upon organisations by the Covid-19 crisis and they dealt with the situation as best they could. In some cases, that meant moving their people home and continuing to provide their full range of services, while, in others, it meant the loss of service because it wasn’t viable to support certain channels in a home environment.
The initial priority was getting people home quickly — and many companies were successful in doing this. Once their people were home, however, the challenge was supporting their teams and ensuring they were equipped with the tools and strategies needed to work in a home-based environment. Many of these agents weren’t recruited to work from home, and had little or no experience of doing so. Companies had to work out how to keep them motivated, how to look after them from a health and wellbeing perspective, and how to ensure they were able to achieve the right work/life balance.
The next milestone for businesses was planning their approach for getting agents back in-centre. Many companies want their agents to return to the office, however, so much has changed that simply reverting back to how they operated before isn’t possible. The process of taking people back in-centre needs to be carefully planned and structured, following a well thought out schedule.
Once companies have established how their models will look moving forward, they need to consider how they will monitor the performance of their agents.
Wherever agents are physically seated, team leaders need to be able to monitor what’s going on, so they can manage the relationship and the agent’s performance. The way a distributed workforce is managed differs to an in-centre team. Certain connections are broken. Technology, such as SYKES OneTEAM, can replace these missing pieces, enabling effective communication, collaboration and management.
Accommodating change and the emergence of a new customer service model is possible through a combination of analytics, tech, experience and, above all, a willingness to embrace change. No matter what the new model is, there are ways of delivering the highest level of service, whether the agents are sitting in the same building, or hundreds of miles apart.