During the height of the crisis the UK Office of National Statistics announced that just under 50% of employed adults in the UK were working from home – This shift is something that the CX community has been championing for call centre staff for years but has now swiftly become a reality.
The time has come for customer service and experience professionals to move from talking about change to actioning it. The Covid-19 crisis has enshrined in most CEO’s minds that customer support isn’t just a cost-centre, it’s the face of the business and a crucial driver for retention and engagement. From AI and data-driven innovations through to maximising your agent’s effectiveness, the customers’ expectations are increasing rapidly, and you need to ensure you’re keeping up.
Restrictions on movement and businesses have highlighted the importance of digital channels for many areas such as retail which traditionally may have relied on a mix of physical and virtual. Whilst there has been huge turbulence on CS operations with interactions moving completely to online channels or remote agents, the transition has been remarkable. With entire industries such as retail, travel, learning and many more transitioning to online models and performing well, many CS leaders will be asking whether the bulk of their operations can remain remote.
In a recent podcast interview, Sarah Metcalfe the Head of CX for Sure PetCare commented “Look at what we have achieved, look at the we could never do that’s which have become possible. One question I would have for organisations is, your employees are working from home, if that is working for everybody do, they have to actually be in the office?”. Whilst this change has been thrust upon us, it’ll be fascinating to see whether the shift to remote working is one which implements a long lasting change.
According to a recent Zendesk report, Whatsapp has seen an incredible surge in usage with customer queries through the channel up 148% since late February. What this suggests is that customers trust in digital channels is increasing and for non-urgent queries they are more willing to submit a request and receive an answer direct to their messages. With many interactions able to be automated, companies can now focus their agents on the more complex cases where a higher quality, empathetic response is needed.
As part of their CX and Marketing series of B2B virtual conferences and content pieces, Reuters Events have announced they will be bringing together global CX and CS leaders next month. Following on from the Covid crisis, the trends we were seeing in the space beforehand have rapidly accelerated with automation and remote working quickly becoming the mainstream. With over 30 sessions over the course of both days, conversation will centre around the tectonic shifts in call centre’s way of working as well as the huge leaps made in automated technology for customer interactions.
Registration for the Reuters Events Customer Service and Experience can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3gTpwCR