How the Contact Center Industry is Navigating the COVID-19 Crisis

Call Centers Are Adapting to The New Situation During and Beyond the Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, industries worldwide face new challenges and strive to adapt. The contact center industry is no exception. Despite the unprecedented nature of this crisis, contact centers, during COVID-19, swiftly modified their operations to ensure minimal disruption to their clients and the health and safety of their employees.

Work-At-Home Adaptations for Contact Centers during Covid-19

With social distancing becoming the norm, many contact centers have transitioned a portion of their workforce to a home-based setup. This model supports business continuity plans for clients across various industries and helps maintain social distancing in physical office spaces, ensuring employee safety. The work-at-home model will likely remain part of the contact center culture, balancing operational needs and health concerns.

Implementing Social Distancing

Traditionally known for compact office spaces and shared equipment, contact centers now must rethink their working styles to adhere to social distancing norms. This involves:

  • Transitioning some employees to home-based setups.
  • Ensuring each employee has the necessary tools and systems for their job.
  • Assigning dedicated systems and peripherals to agents in brick-and-mortar settings.
  • Seating employees at least six feet apart to maintain social distancing.

Ensuring Employee Health and Safety

To protect employees in physical office settings, contact centers are implementing several key measures:

  • Conducting temperature checks at entrances.
  • Surveying employee health records for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Regularly sanitizing office spaces.
  • Providing hand sanitizers at entrances and on each floor.
  • Deactivating biometric access to prevent virus spread.
  • Installing sanitization booths at entrances.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies

Allowing agents to bring their own laptops or headphones to work can reduce the risk of infection from shared devices. Contact centers must provide the necessary software to connect these devices to secure VPNs and track agent activities, ensuring data protection and compliance.

Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

In this hybrid work environment, contact centers must meet major KPIs. Using workforce management software to track absenteeism, tardiness, shift adherence, and customer satisfaction across the workforce can provide real-time feedback and ensure smooth operations amid COVID-19 disruptions.

Achieving Resilience

Preparedness is the key takeaway from the COVID-19 crisis. Contact centers need to build resilience against future disasters. The ability to quickly transition between brick-and-mortar and work-at-home setups will enable seamless operations during crises. Flexibility in closing office locations, rerouting customer inquiries, and reallocating agents will minimize operational disruptions and maintain client service continuity.

Conclusion: Contact Centers During Covid-19

Although the pandemic caught industries off guard, the contact center industry has quickly adapted, employing a combination of brick-and-mortar and work-at-home models. Contact centers strive to achieve a “business as usual” mode by supporting clients’ business continuity plans and implementing timely measures. The industry is learning valuable lessons from this crisis, implementing changes to enhance business resilience and better respond to future challenges.

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