There are many reasons contact center agents should work from home. With vaccines on the horizon, businesses need to plan for the contact center of the future.
COVID-19 has been here for a year. Many of us are still working from home after offices closed last spring in a bid to “flatten the curve” while we waited for a vaccine. The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is starting to glow with three vaccines in distribution and dozens more still in development. While it’s unclear when everything will be back to normal, here are four reasons contact center agents should work from home even after the pandemic is over.
As people get vaccinated and we inch closer to the goal of herd immunity, companies are faced with the difficult question of how they’ll resume operations once public safety measures and occupancy restrictions have been lifted. This question is especially relevant to businesses that outsource their customer support to contact centers. Prior to the pandemic, most traditional contact centers used huge open office spaces with dozens of agents packed in a single room. When COVID hit last year, businesses were suddenly faced with an unprecedented demand for virtual support. Not only did contact centers lack the resources to triage this huge influx of requests, but they also had to pivot to a remote work environment that would keep their agents safe.
While traditionalists might argue that a return to in-office work should be the goal for life after COVID, here are 4 reasons that your business should plan on using a remote contact center for your live support even after the pandemic is over:
1. It future-proofs your business.
While it’s obvious why a WFH setup makes sense in the context of a pandemic or any other widespread outage, there are a variety of reasons why using a remote contact center creates more stability for your business in the long run.
Setting up live agents to work remotely is like saving your files to the cloud rather than keeping them on your local machine: it allows your support team to be location-independent and adaptable to unexpected circumstances with minimal interruption to your daily operations.
Another added bonus: you can easily offer 24/7 live support since agents can be spaced across time zones.
2. It saves you money.
When you tally up the price of office space, technology, employee benefits, and more, running an onshore contact center can get very expensive, very quickly.
This means most traditional contact centers charge exorbitant prices in order to turn a profit, making the benefits of outsourced live support inaccessible to small and midsize businesses.
A WFH operational model eliminates a lot of overhead expense and gives contact centers more flexibility to pass those cost-savings on to you, the client, whether it’s through a reduced per-agent rate or a lower project minimum.
3. It gives you access to more qualified live agents.
Letting live voice agents or chat agents work from home means contact centers are no longer limited to candidates from a specific area. Additionally, offering the option of remote work is a great way to pull in qualified jobseekers who want more flexibility and autonomy in their next role.
Using a WFH agent setup means that hiring managers can pick from a wider range of experienced prospects, making sure only the very best are chosen to support you and your business.
4. It motivates agents to provide a higher level of support for your customers.
A remote contact center model not only offers all the benefits of traditional contact centers with lower costs and more stability – it also gives live agents more freedom, which in turn has a positive effect on their interactions with your customers.
One study found that workers are 13 percent more productive when they’re happy, while another study found that unhappiness among employees can lead to a 10 percent drop in productivity.
For live agents, remote work means no more long commutes or hours spent in a gray herd of cubicles with a bunch of strangers. Letting live agents work from home makes them feel more like people and less like a cog in the wheel, leading to better work and better support for your customers.
These are just a few reasons why businesses looking for live agent support should prioritize contact center solutions that use remote live agents. While this will hopefully be the last pandemic of our lifetime, one thing’s for sure: the future is never certain, and a remote contact center is one way to ensure that your business can keep running as usual in the face of unprecedented times.