How business leaders can keep their contact center employees engaged during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Over the past several weeks, we’ve all been flooded with a wide range of information from news outlets, social media, and personal conversations. During this time, every business has had to determine how they will address this global pandemic that is COVID-19. Adjectives like unforeseen, unknown, and unpredictable are being thrown around as we all figure out how to handle this crisis. Yet, amongst the chaos, companies across the globe are continuing to look for new ways to conduct business, while attempting to remain empathetic to the humans that make up their organizations.
In the contact center industry, keeping agents and leadership teams motivated during this time is essential. They are, after all, the gateway to your customers. It is important to note that all of these people, employees, and customers are probably slightly more anxious than usual.
As working from home becomes the new normal, contact centers should look for new ways to keep their employees engaged, productive, and motivated as we continue to practice social distancing, a situation that isn’t likely to change any time soon.
What can you do to keep your contact center agents motivated and productive during the pandemic, while they work from home?
Both employees and customers react positively to companies who are purpose-driven. Employees who feel connected to the vision of the company usually feel their work has meaning. They are more likely to go above and beyond to help in volatile times and grow when normalcy returns.
At the center of a crisis, most organizations are faced with a number of urgent issues. Prioritizing and planning deliverables based on the mission of the company helps keep everyone in the organization on the right path.
The hope is that this purpose-driven mindset translates through conversations between agents and customers, helping customers feel valued and respected during these troubling times. Research shows that eight out of ten consumers are more loyal to purpose-driven brands, which will help sustain customer loyalty during this hardship and well into the future. (Czarnecki, PR Week, 2018)
Provide Crisis Handling Training
Remember, your agents are actively engaging with your customers during this pandemic. Make sure your agents receive training that allows them to understand how your organization is supporting this crisis and how to articulate your contribution to customers. An easy way to do this is to provide them with prepared messaging, ideally in a Q&A format, that will help them respond to new and unfamiliar questions effectively.
Be Flexible With Contact Center Metrics
We are swimming in uncharted waters, and setting expectations is going to be very challenging for many organizations. Customers may have a wide variety of questions that could be completely unfamiliar to your agents. It is important to understand that it may take additional time and/ or resources for agents to find solutions to your customers’ concerns. In addition to the business aspects, agents could be dealing with personal anxiety, recovering from illness, financial burdens, or even death of a loved one.
We all know that traditionally, metrics are a critical part of ensuring that a call center and/ or agent is productive. However, during this time, businesses should review the metrics that usually determine how successful a contact center is through the lens of the current environment. After all, the wellbeing of your agents will speak volumes to the morale of the employees.
Strengthen Digital Capabilities
Lastly, at a time when many organizations are instituting budget freezes or putting projects on hold, contact centers have an opportunity. Now is a fantastic time to take advantage of the lull and strengthen your capabilities. Many digital and technical advances can be made at this time if resources allow. Many companies are providing discounts or deferred pricing opportunities that organizations can take advantage of, and amping up your contact center capabilities now may help if additional support is needed in crisis and recovery efforts.
For example, DaVinci is a robust platform that provides features to contact centers that make them run more efficiently and allows agents to have more personalized interactions with their customers. If you are currently implementing a remote work approach, DaVinci can easily be used by employees are any location, either entirely in the cloud or via your company’s network (ex. VPN).
For more information regarding AMC’s response to COVID-19, including free licenses of DaVinci for recovery and relief efforts, please visit: https://www.amctechnology.com/emergency-wellbeing-updates/