Contact centers, like all other business operations, have forever changed in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Most notably, many companies have been shutting down their physical sites and allowing agents to work from home, in large part enabled by contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions. At the same time, many are looking to accelerate adoption of technologies such as virtual agents to help handle increasing call volumes and video to deliver an improved, more personal customer experience during this trying time.
As the crisis plays out, what’s becoming clearer by the day is that today’s pandemic will have lasting ramifications for how contact centers operate. As such, many of the quick tactical decisions made in response to shelter-in-place mandates taking effect need to be rethought with more strategic oversight. In particular, IT needs to assure that it is able to maintain a secure, scalable, and flexible work-from-home omnichannel operation over the long term.
This sounds like a tall order, especially given the global state of flux in which companies are trying to do business. And that’s where a global digital infrastructure services and network provider like Tata Communications comes into play. Tata Communications offers a range of fully managed Digital Customer Experience solutions — its InstaCC and InstaCC Global offerings — for seamlessly and securely extending the agent desktop to a WFH agent workforce.
Myriad options are available, depending on your company’s needs. With the Tata Communications InstaCC solutions, you can:
- Enable agents to use mobile devices to answer calls forwarded over the PSTN; for new and existing customers
- Using thin clients running on laptops or mobile devices, connect agents directly over the Internet; for existing customers
- Allow access to corporate VPN; for existing customers
- Extend corporate LAN to WFH agents via Tata Communications’ vUTM solution and using multifactor authentication; for existing customers
Tata Communications already has helped a variety of companies with contact center business continuity during this crisis, to great success. With Tata Communications’ guidance, for example, consumer goods company Eureka Forbes has seamlessly transitioned contact center agents to WFH. In addition, Tata Communications has helped keep Eureka Forbes’ IVR updated during this period of constant change; and has facilitated user acceptance testing. With Tata Communications’ guidance from the “configuration stage to the end,” Eureka Forbes reports that all sites are working per expectation.
Having a strong foundation in place is going to be critical for moving forward once this current crisis as has passed. We’ve already seen strong indications that companies will move ahead more quickly than they might otherwise have with their next generation of contact center technology. Here are five trends to watch for:
- Across industries, virtual agents are becoming increasingly helpful in reducing the strain on WFH agents by handling routine inquiries with automated responses. In the future, look for these to become more and more intelligent as they’re trained and are better able to understand conversations.
- In retail, companies are turning to WebRTC to enable real-time communications — voice and video — between online shoppers and customer service reps, along with screen sharing and co-browsing aimed at helping facilitate shopping and purchasing.
- In financial services, banks have enabled video banking and are creating more robust digital banking capabilities to help assuage concerns that customers would previously have addressed in person with branch personnel.
- In collections, companies are adjusting their messaging and outbound calling practices around payment reminders and late notices to account for the pressures customers face in the global shutdown. Meantime, they’re beefing up virtual and live agent support for increased inbound call volumes from customers concerned about late payments.
- In healthcare, organizations are promoting telehealth consultations and video appointments to circumvent in-person office visits.
To find out how Tata Communications can assist your company not only in seamlessly and securely transitioning your contact center operations to the cloud but prepare for what’s next, click here