Today’s world faces extraordinary, uncontrollable situations on a regular basis, giving businesses more reason than ever to update their risk mitigation strategies.
Evolving weather patterns impact almost every country, earthquakes and tsunamis threaten densely populated areas, and now the human race faces the game-changing Coronavirus pandemic, which is already forcing most companies around the world to dramatically alter how they operate.
As CX providers and BPO companies respond to COVID-19 by transitioning to a work-at-home model, we wanted to share our experiences during this critical situation and reassure companies that virtual work is one of the best methods of mitigating overall risk in this industry.
The Show Must (And Can) Go On
Amid this pandemic, business continuity has become the biggest concern for BPO companies and their clients worldwide. Physical contact centers are now under pressure to send their employees home, putting immense strain on an industry that relies on traditional customer service delivery models.
Today’s social distancing measures break that business model apart, forcing companies to find viable remote alternatives. The problem is that many CX providers are ill-equipped to offer dedicated work-from-home solutions, so they’re forced to shoehorn office-based tools and procedures into a virtual setting.
While there will always be a need for seats in physical contact centers, we believe that the BPO industry could benefit massively by shifting the balance permanently to a remote-working majority.
Since day one, all of Activus Connect’s Ambassadors have been 100% remote, meaning no single point of failure and very little risk during times of crisis. As a result, we’ve seen no serious impact on our operations since Coronavirus broke out, and not a single one of our clients have experienced a drop in service delivery or quality.
Aside from the operational benefits of virtual CX delivery, we’ve seen several knock-on advantages that are worth noting.
During uncertain times, one thing is certain: employees are a company’s number one priority and responsibility, so ensuring their safety and offering reassurances on job security should always be paramount.
As more businesses send employees home to work, it should become easier to offer them higher levels of flexibility, including schedule changes, advances on salary payments, and the option for extra voluntary hours. Productivity has always been high among remote workers, but we’ve actually seen our productivity levels jump up a notch as a result of these supportive initiatives—people recognize and appreciate this approach and respond to it by working harder.
On a human level, each one of our Ambassadors is seeing this pandemic develop and feeling incredibly thankful that they’re able to work and continue earning a salary, especially as others are so adversely impacted.
With or without a crisis to contend with, those BPOs with robust virtual work models will always see positive results in their workforce, so now is a good time to build the foundations that can last well into the future.
During any time of crisis, companies are locked into business continuity planning of their own, so don’t have as much time to worry about their BPO partners’ service delivery capabilities. With Coronavirus ramping up, call volume is also up in almost every industry, as end customers set out to relieve their own concerns about the pandemic.
CX providers with virtual work capabilities are in a unique position to alleviate these issues. With more workers confined to their homes, new talent is becoming available every day, allowing companies to take on additional volume if they hire remotely. There is also a need to take new approaches to traditional roles, such as virtualizing front desk reception or other administrative tasks.
Above all else, clients need assurances that their CX partner is there to support them with the fallout, which is much easier to deal with when removing the single point of failure that a physical contact center represents.
Chris Gillen, CEO at A-Closer-Look, shares his experience with a dedicated SmartVirtual™ team of Ambassadors. “Activus Connect has been an invaluable partner during the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting to our demand capacity requirements and allowing our business to service our valued clients without skipping a beat,” he said. “Our readiness by having Activus Ambassadors spread across the U.S. has preserved the integrity of our service delivery, many times over.”
Wrapping Uping Up
Right now, with CX providers forced to rethink their work-from-home strategies, the industry has a unique opportunity to develop their remote working capacity and find plenty of benefits in the process.
During difficult times, virtualizing CX allows clients to focus on keeping their brands afloat and maintain the core of their business by boosting employee productivity, reducing absenteeism, and providing phenomenal service.