While bank branches and offices of financial institutions have remained closed or operating at reduced capacity, organizations in such an essential industry have had to find pathways to serving more customers through their contact centers. These contact centers are continuously rising to the challenge presented by this global pandemic.
Initially, the most significant obstacle was the scramble to move from in-office to work-from-home (WFH) contact center agents. Now, financial institutions must figure out how to keep those agents comfortable, supported and productive over the long haul in remote work or hybrid work scenarios, as it seems unlikely that we are heading back to the workplace anytime soon.
To overcome the challenges of managing a remote workforce, you need the right technologies and policies in place to support your teams long-term. Here are seven keys to setting up your remote contact center agents for success in the current environment:
- Be human. Supervisors must be aware that even agents who have never needed help in the past may require it now. Contact center leaders should be proactive about providing emotional support, listening to concerns and clearly communicating organizational goals.
- Don’t micromanage agents; macro-manage the customer experience. While it can be frustrating to lose direct visibility into how agents are spending their time in a WFH setting, it’s ultimately topline CX metrics like C-Sat, customer sentiment and NPS (not any given agent’s keystroke count or time spent browsing Reddit) that speak to your performance. Focus instead on day-to-day KPIs like interaction quality and customer satisfaction.
- Give agents structure and agency. Gamified performance reporting and leaderboards — when properly implemented via contact center tools like Lifesize CxEngage Scoreboard — give agents clear goals, recognition and sorely needed structure.
- Ensure your technology (as well as your people) can adapt to change. Carefully designed WFH policies do you little good if WFH agents can’t access the tools they need to do their job. It’s critical that contact centers continue to embrace cloud-based solutions that give them the flexibility they need to rapidly bring on new remote agents wherever they may be.
- Provide continuous, individual feedback. Leaderboards are great, but nothing can replace 1:1 feedback. Supervisors need to devote time to personally connect over video, reviewing customer interactions, to both reinforce that agents are valued and that their individual performance matters.
- Video can humanize interactions for agents as well as customers. There have been several reports suggesting that video calls can alleviate feelings of social isolation in situations where physical contact is limited. By equipping agents to interact with customers over video, you not only provide customers with a more human experience, you provide your agents with one as well.
- Maintain team culture. For agents used to taking calls in the contact center, it can feel daunting to suddenly find themselves working alone. It’s important for managers to find the right combination of group video calls, online chat and low-stress virtual events to continue promoting cohesion and connectivity across their WFH teams.
Migrating contact centers to the cloud – and more specifically to contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) platforms – is the most effective route to successfully navigating this ongoing situation and to be prepared in advance for the next crisis.
For example, a multinational financial services company addressed COVID-19 challenges by quickly supporting WFH agents on the Lifesize CxEngage cloud contact center platform. Within a matter of hours, a dedicated internal hotline was operating to assist remote agents and maintain positive customer experience and business continuity.
As you contemplate a cloud contact center solution to position agents for long-term remote work success and uninterrupted banking and financial services, it’s critical to focus on solutions that not only have the prerequisite features but can also get you up and running with speed, are highly scalable to grow with your institution’s needs and, most importantly, give you the confidence that you can migrate your workflows and agent workforce onto a platform without impacting business continuity.
– Josh Kivenko, Chief Marketing Officer, Lifesize
For more information on how Lifesize can help your financial institution migrate to a cloud-based contact center solution, click here.