New Contact Centre Challenges in the Remote Work Age

Contact centres have been operating within a fairly consistent environment now for many decades. But thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, call centres around the globe have had no choice but to require employees to work from home, which has created a variety of new challenges.

Workforce Availability

One of the first challenges that remote working caused for an Avaya contact centre was adapting to the changing availability of their workforce during this time. Without access to accurate forecasting of workloads and adaptive scheduling models, staff members with the right skill sets have not been available when they’ve been required.

In order to overcome this issue, a reliable and efficient system for workforce management is a necessity to ensure there are enough of the right people working to match both the fluctuating customer demand and staff taking personal or sick leave.

Infrastructure Limitations

One of the biggest challenges with working from home is related to the network infrastructure of staff. Remote workers have been experiencing problems when using real-time communication tools and services such as video conferencing Zoom calls and Voice over Internet Protocol.

These issues can still happen despite Internet Service Providers providing sufficient bandwidth, because the bandwidth limitations are actually caused by poor network configuration and equipment. This is because the vast majority of home networks use residential consumer-grade infrastructure, which are unable to handle the required bandwidth, especially when multiple people in the same home are all working online simultaneously.

Increased Call Volume

Most customer service teams have been faced with more difficult interactions since Covid-19, which are also occurring more often. That’s because while work methodologies have changed for many businesses, a high number of end-users are also facing similar pressures, stresses, and uncertainties.

The best way for call centre staff to counteract this trend is by finding the right balance between reactive and proactive customer service. Unfortunately, these types of seamless customer interactions may be much more difficult after moving from a multiple monitor setup at a dedicated contact centre to a laptop at home on the kitchen table.

Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity systems should ideally work silently in the background while protecting data from intrusion or interception. But it’s much more difficult for security systems to facilitate work in remote environments without demanding varying amounts of attention from end-users.

The majority of these ongoing network security risks and interruptions are usually caused by employees who have no real-world experience with cybersecurity requirements. Unfortunately, the implementation of new remote working procedures will not only require major changes to your IT infrastructure, but also how IT support is provided to remote employees. This puts extra pressure on IT security staff, who still have their usual workload to deal with as well as a range of other new IT vulnerabilities.

Adapting to the New Normal

In order for call centres to migrate to a successful remote work-from-home platform in the post-pandemic world, they will need to implement a variety of new technologies and processes. In fact, one of the best ways that contact centres can get back to optimum performance levels is the right combination of technology like right monitoring software tools with a reliable and adaptable human workforce.

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