8 Ways to Prepare Your Operations for the Future of Contact Centers: Part 1
Building resilience into your processes brings confidence and flexibility for your remote workforce.
Articles published May 22, 2020
In the 17th century, French sentinels would call out “Que Vive!” as they guarded castles, challenging their peers at other posts to be vigilant and “on the lookout.” The term implies a state of readiness, or alertness, for the challenges that come to your doorstep. Just as French castles were fortified structures in their place of history, we have a similar responsibility to enhance protection around our businesses to ensure maximum protection and alertness.
What should your rallying cry be as your business responds, recovers, and plans for the challenges of tomorrow? Que Vive!
No matter how strong your Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is, there is a good chance it has been tested beyond its limits during this challenging and unprecedented time. The Aureon Contact Center team enacted operational processes developed primarily to sustain new business growth with a diversified rural workforce that supports the ability to be flexible and scalable. In other words, our model was uniquely suited to address the COVID-19 challenges.
Unlike other contact center operations, Aureon Contact Center already had a mostly remote workforce, distributed across a wide regional area. Many new challenges that businesses were facing as they attempted to deploy work from home strategies were examples of already-conquered obstacles by the Aureon Contact Center teams.
In today’s unpredictable environment, Aureon stands prepared to meet the needs of the Clients we serve. We have this capability thanks to a handful of key practices that have ensured our teams remain nimble, flexible and connected as they work from home. Here are a few strategies for your business to consider as you continue to adapt to today’s changing professional world:
1. Diversify your workforce.
Working from home is not a new concept, but typically these are positions created around the main center. The multiple service hub is a small facility that supports small group recruitment and training. The hub supports multi-skilled employees which are clustered within a community to develop informal support networks. By engaging smaller communities, companies can recruit candidates which are often out of reach for metro-based hiring and staffing models.
This approach has made Aureon a leader in attracting and maintaining a sustainable workforce that supports not only continual expansion opportunities but prioritizes performance to clients even under major business interruptions.
2. Recognize the value of home-based employees.
Home-based models provide significantly more scheduling flexibility than individuals based in a brick-and-mortar location. Split shifts can be effectively deployed providing more efficient use of the workforce and supporting a better work-life balance. Remote employees also benefit from living in their communities of choice; often in rural areas.
Offering employment contracts specifically for work from home employees includes overtime or flex hours and mandatory makeup time for absences. Remote workers earn recognition through superior performance and are rewarded with higher compensation and non-cash rewards. In turn, Aureon Contact Center has found that work from home employees provide exceptional loyalty and stay with us, proven by a retention rate that is the envy of the profession. With Aureon Contact Center, our “sentinels” are at their posts and on the lookout as seasoned, tenured professionals who are experienced and stable members of your team.
3. Develop centralized IT.
Having a centralized location for network operations and IT services provides not only cost-savings but enhances the integrity of the IT strategy which enables faster response, higher security, and effective use of technical resources. A primary key to success in work from home models is keeping remote workers working without costly down-time caused by sourcing or replacing/repairing IT equipment. Virtualization technology allows for ease of implementation in the home and requires less technical support and less cumbersome hardware. With the right combination of technology tools, your remote workforce will continue to be collaborative while also being secure and productive.
4. Commit to the process.
According to an April 2020 survey by Gartner, 74 percent of CFOs plan to keep some of their workforce remote permanently. Managing multiple modes of delivery requires in-depth consideration to recognize the needs of both the operation and employee. It is imperative to proactively recognize the need to creatively develop online methods of recruiting, training, coaching, and conducting performance reviews rather than simply adapting once the need arises.
As Aureon Contact Center continues to grow our remote agent program, we will continue to keep these factors top of mind to deliver an exceptional customer experience for all our Clients. The spirit of Qui Vive is about building resilience into our processes and procedures of which a remote workforce is a critical component. In doing that, Aureon Contact Center has proven alert and flexible to the challenges of today, allowing us to remain committed to our Clients.
Find out more about Contact Center readiness.