With such unprecedented times, all of us are unleashing massive changes in our lives. Pursuing business continuity with the pandemic has been a big struggle. Businesses are taking obligatory steps to shift their work processes along-with equipment and technology to a virtual workplace at home. With employees asked to work remotely, businesses especially call centers are failing to put forward a correct strategy for continuing operations while tracking deviations.
Across various industries, customer call centers are facing a huge increase in the number of distressed callers. Handling a large number of callers wasn’t a problem before until now. For Instance, if we consider the statistics, the first few weeks of remote working, employees struggled to work. Reason being, the lack of a proper strategy to work effectively at home and balance both work and home. Other reasons included lack of proper equipment, technology, techniques, communication gap, understanding issues, absence of training etc. It took a long time for many businesses to help arrange a proper infrastructure for their employees to work effectively and efficiently.
Without proper availability of a contingency plan, businesses failed to do their below KPI’s:
1. Loosing on their important customers and failing to provide them with suitable solutions,
2. Repeated customer calls returning for similar queries because of the inability to provide first call resolution,
3. Declined Customer Experience and
4. Long waiting ques.
The need of the hour calls for conventional business continuity and action plan to avoid disturbance and we are here to help you out. Taking into account the given circumstances, we have listed ways on how to handle the current dilemma constructively:
Communicating with your agents:
There can be a whole lot of issues that can be concerning your agents. These could often deter their productivity. These odd times have brought them a shock, stress and the inability to handle situations easily. What will help them the most is communicating and seeking help from a senior who could probably help them with creative ways to tackle situations.
Statistics tell us that “approximately 19 per cent of the employees working remotely often struggle with the absence of coworkers and feel quite lonely”. Since these dubious situations have forced all of your agents to work virtually, they can tend to feel lonely too. It stands important to communicate and understand what is bothering your agent rather than just assuming them to be anxious or lazy to work.
A sense of togetherness & collectiveness can be missing, which is leading a big miss on productivity. In conclusion, employers need to be very attentive while interacting with their teams or agents and find out loopholes. Using tools like Hangouts, WhatsApp, Skype or Google chat, Employers can actively communicate with their agents and provide immediate guidance whenever required.
Rewards and recognitions weren’t just confined to the office premises, but they should be used as an active tool to promote enthusiasm to work better each day. Your agents are overburdened with distressed callers who can get into rough conversations as well. Their anxiety can overpower their calls often resulting in rude behaviour. Your agents are not in a situation to respond similarly to callers reaching out for help but then this struggle to remain calm and not react often takes a toll emotionally.
Your agents are striving hard to communicate, interact and actively provide customers with relevant solutions while working under immense pressure. They need to be awarded for what they are doing best. Moreover, their efforts should be recognised on a timely basis as they are indirectly benefiting your business in the worst times.
Rewarding them will instantly boost their confidence and productivity and most importantly will give them a feeling of contentment. Obviously, who doesn’t like to be acknowledged for what they are doing best? Go ahead and recognise their efforts because they stand equally important as your customers are.
Communicating with Customers:
Now that you have sorted your agents with proper tools and techniques and also have healthy interactions with them, concentrate on what your customer needs. Customers determine the base of any business and during these rough times, they might have a lot of issues.
Businesses should focus to train their agents to be empathetic toward their customers.
Because your customers’ can have big-time anxiety and stress issues during the pandemic. It’s not just the business who is trying to adjust with the new normal, but your customers are also equally facing its challenges. Agents should understand the customers’ needs and aim to provide immediate resolution to them.
Here are the steps, agents can follow for smoother interactions:
Understanding the customers:
Listening is the key. Your customers can have a whole lot of issues that they want you to solve for them and in order to solve them, you should listen. Paying attention to what they say and understanding the depth of the conversation will make your customers feel important.
The result of simply listening can provide a much better feeling to your customer.
We are all in this together:
The second step to a healthy interactive conversation comes when you as an agent plant a sense of togetherness in the customer’s mind. The customer shouldn’t feel that they the brand that they have invested their money and time in doesn’t bother about its own stakeholders. They should rather have a feeling that their issues will be well-taken care off by the company.
The key to a successful relationship with your customer is providing them with first-hand & timely resolutions. Solution and answers to their queries will promise a good relationship for not just today but also when the uncertainty ends.
Making future plans:
The uncertainty is here to stay. Businesses should continue on correcting their current plan of action while preparing themselves for what is yet to come. An emergency plan needs improvements on a regular basis considering that every day cannot go as planned. Understanding the deepest vulnerabilities and formulating a plan of action is the right way to work.
Business continuity should be carried on smoothly in an efficient manner. Remember moving ahead with everyone hand in hand will only make your tasks smoother and easier. Remote working has come with its own set of problems. What employers should concentrate on is to work on the problems and embrace the new normal.
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