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Hybrid Working and the Great Communications Redesign

Events of 2020 and 2021 forced contact centers temporarily out of the office. One year on, it’s clear that many of these teams will be spending much more time working remotely. 

Hybrid work and a growing demand from employees for flexible working conditions is a new reality for businesses across the world. 

A cloud contact center solution, built on a data-driven omnichannel communications infrastructure, is unquestionably the best way to manage and retain your hybrid customer care workforce in our new normal. You can seize game-changing opportunities to leverage AI and automation technology, and free up teams to deliver incredible CX to customers. 

This is the route to happier teams and more satisfied customers. Here’s what you need to know to put a plan into action. 

What do hybrid contact center teams need?

Success in the post-pandemic digital landscape means being agile enough to keep scattered teams connected in all the ways that suit them, whatever the circumstances. For contact center teams, the priority remains delivering fast resolution and seamless experiences – whether at the office, at home, or on the move. 

Outdated contact center systems are a stumbling block to hybrid team success. For agents, juggling multiple tabs and siloed customer information makes it hard to resolve queries satisfactorily, let alone deliver great customer experience. For managers, a lack of visibility makes tracking and reporting performance metrics a struggle.

cloud-based, omnichannel contact center lets teams access activity and information from the system at any time, from their computer, laptop, or even their mobile, so customers always get the attention they deserve

Better experiences for agents and customers

Whether a customer chooses to interact with your business using text, email, video chat, phone call, or via your app, the right contact center solution means that every interaction across every channel can be handled in one place. 

Agents can be more productive by concurrently controlling interactions with multiple customers on different channels. Some routine requests like delivery status updates can even be automated through chatbots, with only the more complex issues passed on to live agents.

Remember, agents enjoy seamless experiences just as much as consumers do. With a cloud-based contact center, they have access to real-time customer data and a clear view of customers’ previous interactions on every channel. That means, while handling a live conversation with a customer, agents can view their conversation history, purchase history and channel preferences, all via one interface.

Happier, more comfortable teams deliver optimal results and resolutions. And access to customer insights lets them add a personal touch to interactions to improve CX – it’s a win-win situation.  

Connected, insight-driven teams

Hybrid work models bring new opportunities, as well as new challenges to navigate. It’s not just customers that expect always-on support. You also need to be able to communicate with employees in all sorts of circumstances. 

Some companies need to organize shifts and relay staffing issues as they happen. For others, keeping remote teams engaged and connected across time zones is a priority. 

During 2020 and 2021, mobile messaging became the norm for enterprises to communicate with employees, from chat and announcements to systems access. For hybrid to work today and in the long-term, companies need to shift the dial and engage in all the ways their staff expect.

With an omnichannel cloud-based approach to employee communication strategies, you deliver regular, relevant messages on all the channels your staff like to use – helping them feel safe, connected and engaged.  

You can also track all interactions with employees, gathering insights to continuously improve them. 

Flexibility to work their way with hybrid working

In the hybrid work era your business needs to facilitate fluidity between remote and in-person work environments. The onus is on you to bring flexibility for everyone – customers, agents and supervisors.

It’s also a great opportunity to offer contact center teams more control over their work in uncertain times. We’ve already covered how agents can handle queries and combine all relevant data from one interface from wherever they want to work. With growing demand for flexibility, managers can also help them set up flexible working patterns (especially helpful for engaging part-time and freelance agents). 

For your contact center leaders, cloud-based solutions enable easy remote monitoring and tracking of agent activities. With a dashboard view of real-time insights into everything from employee performance to queue and channel volumes to available agents, they can take decisive, informed action whether from HQ or the home office. 

Equipped for hybrid working success

Hybrid working is here to stay. In fact, post-lockdown, it’s the most prevalent work status in the US

Done well, hybrid work models drive better outcomes like increased productivity and employee satisfaction, opportunities for continuous development and better collaboration.

The challenge for enterprises with scattered contact center teams is to carefully balance the needs of customers, teams and the business. This means offering the right tools and access to the information they need to do their jobs well. 

Bringing every communication channel together in the cloud is the single best way to empower hybrid teams – and it’s easier to build than ever with a single platform approach. 

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