3 Ways Contact Centers Must Prepare for COVID-19

Voca Enables Businesses to Address Customer Service Spikes Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

The recent outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 has quickly evolved from a local issue to a global crisis. The disease is having, and will continue to have, a profound economic impact. People are buying products in bulk, organizing their finances and preparing for lifestyle changes. 

VOCA HELPS COMPANIES HANDLE AN INCREASE IN CALL VOLUME WHILE WORKING REMOTELY


 

The outbreak of Coronavirus has led to volatility within the workforce and millions are forced to work from home. If the new Coronavirus causes workers to take sick days, customers to stay home, and officials to order quarantines, it will be hard on all American companies. Many people are feeling the economic impact that COVID-19 has brought, either with pay cuts, situational changes, less hours or at worse, job loss. People are preparing their finances for this tough time of uncertainty. Our customers have disclosed that their customer support call center is receiving, on average, 3X-4X increase in call volume. 

Many of the calls that our customers are receiving are simple, repetitive questions regarding current events. Due to the high call volumes many contact centers have increased wait times or are practically inaccessible. 

THE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN REQUIRES COMPANIES TO BE EXTRA SENSITIVE TO COST. VOCA CAN HELP HANDLE CALL PEAKS AND LOWS IN A COST EFFECTIVE WAY

 

With the global impact of COVID-19, organizations need to ensure adaptability within their plans. To accomplish this, companies are quickly adopting Voca to assist with an increase of call volume.  As the nature of customer inquiries is changing by the day, the ability to quickly adapt to call volumes and seamlessly hand over calls to agents, even if they are working from home, is exactly how the rapid change should be handled to make sure no customer issues are left unresolved. 

A decisive and rational response, along the lines of the 3 principles outlined here, will minimize economic risks in customer support call centers and contribute to a speedy recovery, handling all calls with care and with the highest levels of customer satisfaction. 

1. Equip your Remote Call Center With The Best Tools

There is a wide range of must-have features included with contact center software, which are specifically tailored to managing remote workers.

Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents are easily able to handle 80% of all first-line inquiries, such as assisting with repetitive tasks that could easily be handled with one of our human-like virtual assistants. As an outcome wait-times have significantly decreased. Virtual Agents allows your call center to provide 24/7 availability and support, giving customers a sense of trust and security in such dire times.

Call Monitoring

Call monitoring tools make it possible for managers to stay on top of their agents, despite working in separate locations. Managers can train agents virtually, drop in on live calls, or even provide silent coaching to agents through a chat-based conversation to help ensure your agents are providing a consistent level of service.

Comprehensive Analytics

With call logs, managers can take a peek into the wealth of data, how long and how many calls agents are making. These tools also allow managers to see when agents are logged in, if they are idle and how long they have remained on a call and see if they are unavailable to take another call.

Workforce Management Tools

A complete schedule is key to keeping your agents on task during the day. Sophisticated workforce management tools make it simple to build schedules that adhere to agent availability, manage call flow and call volume based on the number of agents available, and help maintain a flexible workforce.

Post Call Customer Surveys

Some of the monitoring and analysis of your agents will be done after the fact, with post-call customer surveys. Made possible through contact center software, these surveys give callers a chance to rate their interaction and levels of satisfaction to help managers better understand and receive feedback on their agent’s performance.

Real-Time Supervisor Dashboard

Monitor your agent’s activity in real-time. If an agent is on a call, managers can take a peek to see all of the relevant information, and from here, call barging and silent coaching can be made possible.

2. Voice AI

In today’s situation, sick leave, time off and remote working is forcing call centers to innovate, adopting AI to handle increased call volumes. More agents are time-stretched and only a few are multi-skilled. Voice AI can be the most logical option to fill that gap, due to the fact that Virtual Agents are able to handle 80% of all first line inquiries, lightening the load of calls and decreasing repetition. Moreover, it is a cost-efficient investment because just one virtual agent can handle any number of calls, simultaneously, and is capable of handling customer service calls around the clock.

Designing a cost-effective experience that include AI Virtual Agents as first tier, and human agents as second tier, improves contact center productivity, customer experience and agent retention. The infusion of AI into conversations revolutionizes agents’ efficiency. AI application assimilates information over time and creates patterns that can be addressed with ease. For example, when a customer calls to understand their loan application status, the Virtual Agent answers and solves these complaints with ease, freeing up agents for more complex questions. Most importantly, AI brings the consistency customers crave, with no wait times and quick solutions for first tier inquiries. AI assists contact centers to easily increase call volumes by reaching the right person quickly and responding efficiently to customer inquiries.

It is all about helping agents do more with less, and providing value to your customers. The future success of your company partly depends on how you prioritize your customer interactions, especially in times of change and need. In short, AI requires companies to rethink the way they interact with their most valuable asset – their customers.

3. Boosting Agent Performance

In addition to dealing with the challenges mentioned above, managers are left with supervising agent times and making sure they are as efficient as possible. The key to achieving this in the financial services industry is boosting individual call agent performance by maximizing call effectiveness.

Having good call agents is important in every industry. But it is even more important in financial services where a premium is placed on building trust and developing solid relationships with customers – especially in such times where hysteria and emotions run high. That is why critically using agent time is mandatory to stay afloat while managing any call center, remote or not.

Agents need a unique set of skills to perform their jobs effectively. They also need the right mix of knowledge, professionalism, and technology to support their efforts and achieve high levels of performance that today’s financial customers demand. Investing in a technology that provides immediate measurable results is critical when overcoming national and global changes. In fact, it provides a leg up when your customers feel their needs are being met.

TO SUM IT UP…

Employers need to figure out how to survive these tough times by supporting their most important assets – their customers. As call center agents work in the office or remote, finding the right tools to empower and maximize their time is critical in providing support to the increase in call volume from customers who are also facing financial and economical changes. Onboarding a Virtual Agent can take the weight off agents, assist in seamless handovers and provide the customer service your customers need in such dire situations.

“Our customers love our advanced self-service capabilities over voice and chat, and we couldn’t be happier with the partnership.”

Interested to Learn more about Voca’s Virtual Agents?