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What are the essentials for an effective hybrid contact centre?

Your contact centre needs to operate just as well when agents are working from home as when they are in the office. Where previously agents were either home based or came into the office, post- pandemic we are moving into a more “hybrid” way of working, where we spend some of the time in the office and some time at home.  There has been a major acceleration in the use of collaboration and communications tools as contact centres quickly moved to support home working.

Contact centres are now faced with the challenge of delivering exceptional customer service, whilst keeping agents engaged and connected wherever they are based. With the right tools and processes you can provide the same customer-centric support as if your agents were all in the office together. For your hybrid system to work effectively check that it offers the following:

  • Cloud technology

With a cloud contact centre solution your service provider hosts the system for you in remote data centres. The pandemic has highlighted that cloud is the way forward as you can quickly scale up and maintain business continuity no matter where your agents work.

  • Easy -to- use IVR

Providing great customer services begins from the moment your customer makes a call, and before they even get through to an agent. With Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology you can record professional greetings and route callers to the qualified and trained agent group who can best address their query. Make sure that your IVR can be modified to direct calls simply and easily.

  • Call collaboration

Call collaboration allows agents to discuss customer issues with their managers when they are not comfortable in dealing with these themselves. Customers can understandably get frustrated when they explain an issue to an agent and then must be transferred and start all over again. If an agent is still in training, or is struggling with a particular issue, the team leader can be joined to the call or able to speak individually to the agent without the call being transferred.

  • Call recording

Call recording software is now an essential tool for quality and training purposes and provides an accurate record of each conversation. When you are aiming to improve service quality and agent performance, call recording allows you to play back conversations regardless of where your agents work and at a time that is convenient to you.

  • Wallboard and reporting

Wallboards offer real-time metrics like number of calls in the queue, average handling time, average hold-time etc. Providing your office-based and home-based agents with a dashboard is a simple way of improving efficiencies and motivating agents to improve their performance. Historical data will help team leaders to monitor individual agent productivity – more crucial that ever in the hybrid environment.

  • Unified Omni-channel Service

Today’s customer expects to be able to contact you via the most convenient channel to them; text, website, chat, or email. With every service channel you open, you offer your callers more convenience. An omnichannel contact centre solution will ensure all your agents and channels operate as one co-ordinated system.

  • Statistics

Every contact centre should be able to provide performance records going back in time and for specific periods of time. This will allow you to understand call waiting times, calls answered, performance of individuals and groups, which can lead to improved efficiency of hybrid contact centre function.

  • Workforce Management

Workforce management tools allow you to accurately forecast call volume trends and to schedule agents in line with predicted demand.  Remote workers can be tracked against the schedule, and any performance concerns can be quickly addressed.

  • Flexible call routing

Route calls according to time of day, day of week or year and even location of the originating call. For example, a call on a Friday night at 10pm might only be routed to the product support team. Calls for other services may be sent to voicemail. The same applies to the day of the week, or the day of the year, useful in holiday periods. Geographic based call routing allows you to send calls to an agent who speaks the caller’s language. This should be simply programmed in the IVR, which can be easily changed by contact centre staff.

In conclusion, to succeed as hybrid contact centre you need to train, measure and support your in-office and home-based agents to achieve the goal of always delivering positive customer experiences.  By choosing the right tools and practices, you’ll build customer and staff loyalty in no time.

Click on the link below to see Firstcom Europe’s contact centre solutions : https://firstcomeurope.co.uk/contact-centre-solutions/