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CustomerServ’s Work-at-Home and Remote Agent Call Center Expertise for COVID-19 call center staffing and business continuity

CustomerServ’s U.S. and Global Work-at-Home Call Center Vendors Are Answering the Call!

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) instantly brought to light the value of remote call center agents for business continuity and risk mitigation. Communities around the world are shutting down nonessential businesses and sending workers home to shelter in place.

Meanwhile, contact centers are struggling to stay on top of the surges in call volume by deflecting callers to self-service channels. Or quite simply, not answering calls, chats, emails and other contacts in a speedy and proficient manner — not an ideal solution for anxious customers, callers and patients seeking the reassurance of a human voice.

The unprecedented events we face today have caused upheaval in the call center industry by forcing vendors to quickly react to seismic shifts in staffing needs. The new normal, especially for Tier 1 / leading call center firms, is their ability to rapidly introduce work-at-home or expand existing work-at-home services.

But even before COVID-19 swept through the U.S., and the world, work-at-home call center staffing has been steadily rising. Forward-thinking brick-and-mortar call center outsourcing vendors already provide a work-at-home option to their clients as a way to expand capacity without incurring the capital expense of building additional call center sites. 

Expanding work-at-home opportunities in contact centers have been mainly driven by employee demand for flexible schedules and better work-life balance. Research by Gallup found flexibility to be one of the highest-ranked employee benefits named by millennial's — and in fact, many said they would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely either full-time (47%) or part-time (50%).

Companies that have embraced work-at-home agent programs in their contact center operation report widespread benefits, including:

  • Increased employee engagement and retention.
  • Access to an expanded talent pool of skilled, high-quality staff.
  • Scheduling flexibility 
  • Ability to offer extended operating hours.
  • Reduced overhead costs.
  • Business continuity — having a backup workforce that can quickly scale up for peaks or provide customer service continuity during a crisis.

Top Challenges of Call Center Work-at-Home Programs

Recent advancements in cloud-based call center platforms have all but eliminated concerns around PCI, connectivity, security, quality, training or line-of-sight management issues. And sophisticated training processes help to ensure that even complex customer contacts can be successfully handled with remote agents.

Still, successful contact center work-at-home staffing models require careful planning and experienced managers to ensure that the appropriate processes and protocols are in place, and that remote staff are engaged, productive and able to deliver high-quality customer service.

The following are some of the challenges and concerns that leaders often identify as their main concerns with using work-at-home call center agents:

  • Isolation. Agents who work from home often feel socially disconnected from the call center firm they work for, their colleagues and the clients they represent.
  • Inadequate home-agent hiring profile and/or failing to screen work-at-home staff for the aptitude to thrive in a remote-work environment.
  • Poor or insufficient communication. Effectively managing work-at-home staff requires supervisors and managers to check in daily with agents using multiple means (e.g., email, messaging apps, communication platforms, chat, video, phone calls).
  • Inadequate data security technology or protocols. Humans are the weakest link in cybersecurity. Without proper training, tools, and protocols in place, malicious hackers can gain access to connected devices, company systems and sensitive data.
  • Insufficient virtual training and coaching programs to ensure that remote agents can maintain and expand their skills and performance.
  • Work-at-home agents often have limited access to onsite managers, subject-matter experts and team members.
  • Lack of experience managing a virtual environment. Supervisors and leads have not been prepared to manage remote team members, and thus, fail to provide necessary support, tools and services to work-at-home agents.

CustomerServ’s Call Center Vendors Deliver Proven Work-at-Home Solutions for Consistent Service Delivery

In the current (and future post-pandemic) business environment, work-at-home capability has quickly emerged as a must-have resource to ensure customer service continuity. However, given the complexity of today’s customer care initiatives, simply sending service staff home with laptops and headsets is not a viable option. An effective work-at-home program requires a management team with expertise in all facets of call center remote work — people, processes and technology.

CustomerServ’s Work-at-Home Solutions include:
  • U.S., nearshore and offshore work at home
  • Rapid deployment of agents
  • Maximum staffing flexibility
  • Seasonal and steady state
  • Dedicated and shared agents
  • Airtight privacy and security
  • Multilingual remote agents
CustomerServ’s Work-at-Home Call Center Vendors provide:
  • Large pool of applicants (thousands per week)
  • Effective agent screening and selection
  • Advanced training and coaching
  • Full-time employees NOT contractors
  • Cloud-based PCI-compliant infrastructure
CustomerServ’s Work-at-Home Call Center Vendors Offer:
  • COVID-19 call center hotline
  • Telemedicine and telehealth
  • Customer service
  • Technical support
  • Member services
  • Telesales
  • Inbound and outbound services
  • Order processing
  • Omni-channel
  • Live chat
  • Email support
  • SMS
  • Social media support
  • Virtual licensed insurance agents