The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, live and interact with one another. There is no doubt that the ensuing quarantine has significant effects on our day to day lives even after everything resumes normal operations for our call center agents. One thing that is a guarantee is that many new companies are utilizing the work-from-home or telecommuting, business model. This has become the new business model of working.
While working from home was not a new idea before the pandemic, many businesses had no experience with it. Before COVID-19, they never had a reason to try it, so therefore they didn’t. Now that everyone has experience with remote staff, it is sure to be utilized much more in the near future.
Why The Work-From-Home Method Is Beneficial
The COVID-19 Pandemic forced the current surge in remote workers to keep employees and families safe and healthy during this time. With this new model, there are many benefits now being discovered that will anchor these models with many businesses.
One of the significant advantages of having workers being in their home is personal satisfaction and health safety without the constant 6 ft. social distancing. Workers are in their place of comfort and can surround themselves or decorate their work areas any way they would like. They have much more control over their work environment, which increases morale and improves productivity. Additionally, removing stressors such as commuting, traffic, time away from home, and many others continue to improve the well-being of your staff.
From the company’s perspective, there are many benefits beyond happier employees. Utilizing work-from-home agents means that your hiring area moves from those surrounding your place of business to the entire nation. Expanding your hiring area provides the opportunity to access skilled people who live outside the area who would otherwise not be an option.
Expanding your staff’s geographical area also decreases your vulnerability to things such as power outages and network outages during natural disasters. This decrease means improved continuity for your business and better service to your customers.
Considerations for Call Center Remote Operation
Working from home has some obstacles for most industries, but in the call center industry, we are more equipped than most. Since call centers are heavily centered around technology, Ansafone has the call center infrastructure and technology systems to accommodate remote working agents and communication systems.
Ansafone Contact Centers provides artificial intelligence technology and Genesys Pure Cloud System. Our Pure Cloud System is a cloud-based platform designed to deliver the ultimate customer experience with efficiency and accountability. With its rich features such as blended AI bots and web chats as examples, agents can improve the first contact resolution and ease customer interactions and requests more quickly.
Training & Communication
While in-person training is the most popular in our industry, virtual training programs have many key benefits. These virtual programs allow a trainee to go through the material at their pace. It also allows them to back up and review content they might not have asked about during an in-person class with others present. The same applies to communication platforms such as video conferencing, where employees are more comfortable interacting versus in-person meetings.
Looking beyond the industry norm, shipping individual agents a set of company equipment at the start of employment is a beneficial method. By doing so, you are demonstrating a bond with the employee and making them feel like they are part of the company from day one. Through proper legal documents, you can levy protection for the equipment against theft or damage. Utilizing dedicated tech support, you can make sure your new agents get everything up and running without issues.
As work-from-home agents are working, there is bound to be issues that arise. Since customer tech support is such a significant avenue of our business, we already have set plans to deal with this. Setting up a remote agent support team means that any work-from-home agents that need help can immediately connect to someone within the company to help them with whatever issue they have experienced.
This quick support solution helps build confidence in your newer employees, but also limits downtime. Making sure the agents are up and running improves overall capacity and performance.
The Broader Impact of Work-From-Home
When you start to look at the broader effects of the work-from-home model, we see an ever-increasing list of positive impacts. As more and more companies utilize these remote methods, we will continue to learn new and exciting benefits. We will also learn how to take advantage of them from a business perspective.
One example of these broader impacts is on safety. The current school of thought for working from home is to keep employees safe from exposure to COVID-19. However, once you look beyond COVID-19, there are other safety benefits as well. Traffic accidents alone claim the lives of 1.25 million people per year in the US. By eliminating commuting, that is another level of safety for our employees.
Another impact is on housing. Currently, our staff has to live close enough to our facilities to be able to commute daily. When we look at work-from-home, this allows employees to expand their housing options. To individual employees, this can significantly improve their personal lives and help to eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Environmental impact is one that is not often considered, but can be substantial. One contribution would be the reduced commuting by the employees. Eliminating staff coming into a central location every day reduces emissions, but also reduces the impact on public transportation. Additionally, the reduction of utilities to power and run a brick and mortar operation contributes to a lower carbon footprint for the company. You can also reduce staff since certain services such as cleaning and janitorial work are reduced.
How Ansafone Can Help with Call Center Agents
Ansafone Contact Centers is an award-winning, BPO provider with 50 years of world-class customer experience and brand care. We are a national call center with omni- channel services, fully-equipped to help you in business and any special circumstances.
Request a quote or call 800-510-0514 to learn more about our custom solutions for creating exceptional customer service experiences for your clients. We’re happy to offer insight into what your customers seek from your company’s language offerings and tailored customer solutions.