The current COVID 19 pandemic has made several organizations and enterprises realize the importance of transforming their core business processes and encouraging employees to work from home to ensure their safety.
In-house contact centers also need to shift to the cloud to run remote contact centers with their agents working from home or anywhere in the world.
Keep reading to learn about the importance of remote contact centers, especially in present times.
Understanding Remote Contact Centers in COVID 19
There is no doubt that customer contact centers are among the most heavily affected areas in the lights of the COVID pandemic.
For most companies, enabling supervisors and agents to work from home instead of coming to the workplace is the ideal or even the only option available during the prevailing Coronavirus outbreak. This is where cloud-based remote solutions come into play and can make a monumental difference!
While most of the premises-based contact centers make it doable for sales agents to work remotely, the entire processes are much easier and quicker with a remote cloud service. On-premise contact center solutions might not provide all functionality for work from home agents. Typically, it is more expensive for the company to have remote agents making use of landline telephones.
One of the most significant benefits of remote contact centers (such as the solutions that Twilio Flex offers) during COVID times is that supervisors and agents have full access to all the system’s capabilities and features from any location. Such features include analytics, omnichannel capabilities, monitoring, performance and quality management, workforce optimization and management, and a lot more!
Additionally, the cloud makes it easier to integrate capabilities like bots and AI (artificial intelligence) to automate consumer interactions and help agents.
Transitioning from In-house Contact Centers to Remote Contact Centers: Advantages
There are scores of benefits and reasons why it may be in your best interest to shift from an in-house contact center to a remote contact center hosted in the cloud.
Flexibility and Scalability
Cloud-based remote contact center solutions do not need too much on-site software or hardware, enabling businesses and companies the freedom to scale features and phone lines, all in real-time. Organizations can add new call routing structures or phone lines to manage seasonal variations in customers’ call volume.
For instance, on a snow day or during the current COVID times when call volume tends to spike on most days, agents can work from the comfort of their home and still manage their work phone calls.
Leading cloud-based remote contact center solutions, such as the Twilio Flex platform, can offer flexible support and features from any place in the world, from several agents to thousands of customer service employees.
When using locally hosted contact centers, businesses and companies are usually stuck paying for licensing expenses during specific periods when demand is reduced. With a cloud-based remote contact center, you have the flexibility to pay for the features and volumes used every month without bearing the expenses of unutilized capacity.
Up to Date Compliance at all Times
With a locally hosted contact center, it is quite prevalent for various businesses and companies to take care of compliance needs internally. This means, for safe data handling, all contact center agents have to balance necessary scripts, disclosures, and policies. The management of a contact center has to closely collaborate with compliance experts to comprehend how dynamic legislative needs can influence workflow.
Compliance requirements can be quite complex in heavily regulated industries impacted by HIPAA, PCI, Frank/Dodd, Oxley/Sarbanes, and other comparable regulatory regimes.
Remote cloud-based contact centers on the flip side provide ample flexibility in adapting to new changes in regulations. They provide a 100% centralized platform for archiving, recording, and deleting calls to control and minimize regulatory risks. The cloud technology flexibility can considerably reduce the expense to add new workflow changes and features to fulfill emerging compliance needs.
Better User Experience
Remote contact center cloud-based software is extremely flexible, and it boosts user productivity significantly. Agents have the flexibility to log in from any browser (Chrome, Explorer, etc.), any device (tablet, laptop, etc.), and any environment. Plus, they can utilize all features (enterprise-grade) in laptops and smartphones alike. Agents gain full access to a completely unified and intuitive interface, enabling them to retrieve all important customer information in a single place. This leads to lower call handling time and better productivity.
Better and Easier Remote Workforce Communication
Remote contact center solutions can enable your organization to consider “homeshoring” options to support more workers who clock in from home or anywhere outside the office premises. Cloud-based technologies lower the expenses of home-based agents and enable businesses to have access to a superior pool of proficient English speakers at a minimal price. Not to mention, they get the added advantage of scaling talent as the call volume goes up.
How to Fully Secure Remote Contact Centers?
As the COVID pandemic rages on and you have agents present in remote locations instead of traditional offices (where companies only use their own networks), there are some extra challenges to keep customer data safe.
The following are some of the ways in which companies can secure their remote contact centers while their agents work from home.
Strong firewalls and passwords need to safeguard internet connections (home-based) so that no one else can access the network. Remote contact center agents working from home must validate to the network. Even if their login details are saved, this is an additional step in place that validates the agent is accessing the service personally. Hence, this ensures no one else is using their computer system to obtain unlawful access. While traditional on-premise contact centers have integrated firewalls to safeguard systems, home routers are considerably more at risk. Remote contact center agents require personal firewalls that are work approved on their computer systems.
Whether agents are working within an on-premise contact center or working remotely, managing any customer data that the teams may process is vital. It is of paramount importance to store this valuable information according to compliance and security requirements, both sector-specific and regional. In addition, encryption practices are vital as well both at rest and in transit. Besides encrypting the hard drive of a personal computer, cloud-based storage services offer one of the safest means to secure customer, company, and personal data.
Microphones and Cameras
While video chat-based contact center customer support can be less common, a tangible camera cover will stop unanticipated sharing and avoid recording video content lest the camera gets hacked. Even if contact center agents use a wired headset equipped with a microphone to converse with consumers, laptop devices have their own installed microphones for recording purposes. These microphones may (by default) very well be listening to automatically activate a voice-enabled assistant in the computer’s operating system.
Remote contact center agents working from home need to pre-set the headset microphone as the input device (default) and deactivate the laptop's microphone if necessary.
Other Great Features of Remote Contact Centers in the Cloud
The following are some of the most useful features that cloud-based remote contact centers provide:
When there happens to be a long customer queue waiting in the line, most businesses unanimously agree that it is a high priority to connect those customers to the appropriate agent as swiftly as possible. In an inbound cloud-based remote contact center built with Application Programming Interfaces, the intelligent routing feature enables you to connect the customer waiting in line to the correct agent much faster.
Routing (attribute-based) evaluates the context and requirements of every caller and links them to the most skilled, active agent with the precise skill set to address those requirements. Priority-based routing gives you the flexibility to escalate the most vital customer callers to the queue’s front.
Call centers generally depend on a number of software systems that entail call script generators, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and helpdesk tickets. Integrating these software systems’ data to your conventional call center system can be a monotonous and exhausting process. Remote contact center (cloud-based) systems provide single-click integrations with several prominent and useful business tools such as Salesforce and Zendesk. This leads to a superior agent experience maximizing productivity and efficiency while lowering data redundancy.
The Two Most Important Factors to Select the Right Cloud-Based Remote Contact Center for Your Organization
Businesses have to be strategic in finding an efficient remote cloud offering for their contact center that comprehends their business goals and requirements. Remote contact centers that are cloud-based ought to align their strategic roadmap in customer experience and customer service. Vendors need to educate enterprises and offer several multichannel capabilities as they become more readily available with different version upgrades.
Businesses have to identify and pinpoint the void in their current business strategy that creates an obstacle in offering remote customer service that is seamless. This entails identifying the routing, hardware, and applications required to manage the customer touch points. Companies must ensure that important data sources can be integrated within the new system architecture.
However, what is most important is that businesses need to come up with an effective solution allowing them to gauge the failures and successes of their customer service company.
In the current COVID crisis, it has become extremely important for businesses to shift from an on-premise contact center to a remote one. This will ensure the safety of all employees but also allows the company to keep pace with the swiftly changing trends in the contact center landscape. A remote contact center that is cloud-based offers many advantages in regards to operating cost structures and technical features. It enables the business to enhance and strengthen its customer service division.