Pre-COVID-19 it was almost impossible for some organizations to imagine a 100% work-at-home model for their contact center operations. But the last two years defined a new approach to call center work. Necessity demonstrated that, by leveraging new tools and technologies, customer experience (CX) agents could not only work from home but could be more productive in a reimagined workplace. Today brands are realizing the benefits of work at home CX solutions.
While necessity forced organizations to shift their support teams to a virtual environment, many brands also learned that there were benefits to keeping their teams at home, even as public health concerns receded.
Agents enjoyed the added flexibility and the time they got back, for example by not having to commute to a brick-and-mortar location.
As agents worked remotely, brands saw first-hand that home working results in happier, more engaged agents who stay longer, reducing attrition and, with longer tenure, delivering a better experience to customers. At the same time, brands previously concerned about the ability to maintain appropriate security in a home-based environment discovered that technology ensures that work-from-home teams are subject to the same rigorous security standards as in-center agents.
The pandemic also provided time for employees to re-evaluate their priorities and the importance of work-life balance. This has driven a paradigm shift in employees' needs and expectations from their employer – according to People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View, 64 percent of the workforce would consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time.
With no exceptions, the BPO industry has seen a recent surge in cloud-based Contact Center as a service (CCaaS).
The customer service industry is heavily reliant on work-at-home operations. Consequently, an efficient, digitally-led, secure work-at-home solution is crucial.
But how do service-driven brands deliver world-class CX in this new work-from-home environment?
Post COVID-19, brands recognized the importance of being prepared for the unexpected, including talent acquisition challenges, natural disasters, public health concerns and extreme weather conditions which can disrupt operations. A work-from-home model builds flexibility into the operation, spreading associates across regions or geographies and limiting the risk of team members being impacted by local business disruption.
Over the past few years, there has been a steep surge in people quitting their office-based jobs and opting to work from home instead. According to a survey by the U.S. Department of Labor Department, four million workers resigned in April 2022.
Employees today are looking for work-life balance. This is particularly true for younger age groups, who are increasingly looking for something different to the traditional 9-5 work life. Companies that pressure employees to give up on flexibility should anticipate high attrition. And hiring new employees is a costly affair – in the U.S it can cost a company $4,000 to hire each new team member.
Flexibility is one of the most attractive benefits a company can provide to its people and drives employee engagement.
Work at home solutions create opportunities for diverse work cultures from different parts of the world which eventually grows the talent pool. This also makes the talent pool more inclusive by providing opportunities to working parents and differently-abled workers who may have been less able to be employed in a brick-and-mortar environment. And, with the teams spread over different time zone, brands can more easily offer 24/7 coverage for their customers.
While it may seem counterintuitive, work-from-home solutions lead to greater customer satisfaction. This is because the employees are more productive working in work-from-home scenario – according to a study by Stanford, agents working at home increased productivity by 13 percent. And, when your agents are happy and productive, they’re more likely to provide quality services to your customers.
A work-at-home model offers many advantages, but for an organization to ensure success they must consider:
Fortunately, many work-at-home solutions are available that will ensure your agents stay connected and remain productive.
The award-winning Startek® Cloud - a next-generation omnichannel Call Center as a Solution (CCaaS) cloud platform supports our agents around the world. With artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, Startek Cloud enables organizations to leverage the agility of remote work in a secure environment.