By Sandy Ellis
Global inflation is on the rise, with supply chain disruptions worldwide causing basics like fuel, food, and utilities to reach astronomical new prices, presenting a need for organizations to cut costs and find creative solutions without it being detrimental to customer experience (CX).
Equally, with the Fed hiking interest rates in March, the probability of a recession is now 33% in the US. As such, customers will expect more brands to show concern for their financial challenges and provide empathetic, understanding support channels as costs and demand for great experiences continue to rise.
Work-from-home, “WFH,” customer service, and business process outsourcing (BPO) presents a straightforward solution to both of these challenges, balancing today’s unique, evolving customer needs with the operational and cost-efficiency requirements of the business.
Let’s look at why the time is right for organizations to source their service delivery to a WFH expert such as Activus Connect to assist with combating the effects of inflation.
Traditional and hybrid contact centers have recruitment limitations that require workers to live within proximity of a facility. Whereas hiring on a remote basis allows businesses to tap into near-unlimited pools of talent. This access to potential employees provides the opportunity to scale rapidly, with shorter, more efficient recruitment processes, made possible with video conferencing and secure digital contracting tools.
Plus, as inflation impacts more employees and their budgets shrink, many will opt to find new employment that enables them to work from home and save some cash. Costs like gas, clothes, food, parking, and daycare equate to thousands of dollars a year, so remote work is becoming far more attractive to the workforce as inflation takes hold.
The geographical dispersion of a remote workforce also removes the risk of a single point of failure, helping companies fortify their business continuity planning concerning CX provision. From a cost perspective, brands can repurpose the time saved on recruiting, onboarding, and BCP into new areas of profitability, such as CX programs focused on increasing the long-term value of an existing customer base.
Strategic partnerships with exclusive work-from-home service providers can decrease capital expenditure since there is no need to procure facilities, equipment, transportation, technology, and other expensive elements of doing business in a physical location. Work-from-home customer service providers also manage and cover operating expenses like payroll, utilities, administration, and insurance as part of their service fees.
With these reductions in CapEx and OpEx, companies can stabilize their business and focus on greatly enhancing CX, attracting new customers, reducing customer attrition, and providing opportunities to increase the customer lifetime value.
Outside of the cost benefits, remote work leads to higher productivity, with companies like Best Buy, British Telecom, and many others reporting 35% to 40% productivity gains from their remote workers. These gains can significantly offset inflation costs while simultaneously avoiding the losses related to workplace distractions in busy contact centers.
It’s no secret that happy, healthy, well-motivated CX employees lead to more satisfied customers, which is essential for doing business during inflation.
Work-from-home employment is proven to increase employee happiness. Full-time customer experience agents recover several weeks of free time every year by eliminating their commute, giving them more time for family, friends, and exercise. The related health benefits include reduced stress and fewer sick days from easily transmissible illnesses like cold and flu. In addition, employees take fewer unscheduled absences since they have more flexibility to schedule and attend health appointments around their work schedules during workdays.
All these benefits, and more, lead to happier CX agents, better interactions, and satisfied customers, which benefits the business’s bottom line. Furthermore, with the cost savings attributed to work-from-home CX programs, organizations can divert more funds to support their customers with financial incentives like discounts, coupons, or other bonuses, building loyalty to the brand, especially in times of rising costs.
As the uncertainty surrounding inflation continues, exclusive work-from-home customer service providers offer a win-win-win for customers, employees, and businesses, delivering cost efficiencies and workforce benefits that transform the customer experience. Connect with Activus Connect to learn about how our SmartVirtualTM platform and our team of US-based, 100% remote Ambassadors can support your business during this challenging business climate.