During the pandemic, organisations of all sizes have shifted their contact centre teams into remote environments. Using technology that was once only accessible to large organisations, smaller businesses can set up remote contact centres in minutes, with no upfront costs. This results in lower overheads, a larger pool of accessible talent and great tools to support and delight their customers.
For companies that have yet to establish a remote contact centre, it’s important to remember that not all solutions are created equal. Here are seven key criteria to keep in mind to enable you to set up a successful and scalable remote contact centre.
1. User-friendly design
Clunky or complicated software user interfaces can slow down each step of the process, culminating in hours of wasted time throughout the whole remote contact centre. Your software vetting process should answer: Is the user interface intuitive? What’s the learning curve? Is it scalable? How flexible is it across various browsers and devices? The ability to meet customers where they are is vital, with the option to adapt this as technology changes.
2. Security features
Secure management and storage of your customer interactions and personally identifiable information (PII) is another major consideration. The geographic diversity of a remote workforce can mean employees are spread out across local, national, and international jurisdictions that govern the use and storage of customer PII. Should a security breach occur, it can land a financial blow to the company involved, even if it used third-party remote contact centre software. It is therefore vital to vet the security practices of your provider.
3. Cloud-based architecture
Low hardware overhead is one of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based remote contact centre. The old model of on-site centres required procurement of specialised hardware and complex deployments into data centres, significantly extending the setup time. Supporting the system required teams of IT staff dedicated to supporting infrastructure. With Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) delivered out of the cloud, you can set up a contact centre in minutes, and employees can make calls through a browser or an app on their smartphone. Choose a solution that allows staff to work from any device.
4. Seamless routing
Everyone can think of a time when they were routed from department to department, trying to find the right contact centre employee to address their specific need. This creates a memorably awful customer experience. A system that offers intelligent routing ensures your customer always reaches the right agent at the right time. No matter how the customer contact began—an email, a tweet, or a call—a system that utilises unified routing logic and prioritisation delivers your customer to the agent best equipped to handle their questions.
5. Robust self-service options
Paired with intelligent routing, having flexible and personalised self-service options can hasten resolving common enquiries within the customer’s channel of choice. An intelligent self-service system efficiently guides customers to the correct answers while capturing their responses as part of the customer communication history. Should they eventually need to speak to someone in the contact centre, the employee can leverage customer context and communications history to resolve their issue rapidly.
A great software solution is customisable to your workflow, while a sub-par one requires your business to adapt to the software. Look for a solution that not only suits your needs but can be tailored and configured to address any new requirements that arise. The platform should allow you to optimise the agent and customer experience using best-in-class technology to create a single pane of glass. To suit your specific business requirements, you will want a suite with not only turn-key integrations to get you up and running quickly but support extensibility so that your developers can iterate and craft delightful experiences.
7. Create a positive remote work culture
Finally, it is important to note that even with the best system in place for launching a remote contact centre, remote workers are only as good as their management. A positive remote workplace culture depends greatly on trust. A recent survey found that 60 per cent of Australian workers feel they are more productive working remotely and that remote workers place a high value on feeling trusted by managers and employers.
With the prioritisation of a system that offers a full suite of supervisory tools, managers can do their best work monitoring their team from a more hands-off position, and teams can work to their ideal schedules. A great supervisor user interface tracks productivity and customer interactions, to intelligently infer a complete picture of the customer experience delivered.