Social distancing has had a direct and indirect influence on so many facets of our lives, and everything seems forever-changed because of COVID-19. People are adopting new approaches to maintain a social connection, business models are shifting, and consumer expectations are evolving in a way that won’t reverse once a vaccine becomes readily available. We have to adapt, and we must persevere.
At a quick glance, this five-point plan encompasses: resolve, resilience, return, reimagine, reform.
Resolve: Focus on customer and employee safety while maintaining service excellence
As we experience the apex of this crisis, it’s vital to address the immediate challenges across the workforce, customers, technologies, and business partners, King said. For example, many Talkdesk customers have adopted new ways of working with protective equipment and remote access, “and they’re doing an incredible job at mobilizing that way.” They’re also leveraging Talkdesk cloud solutions and mobile applications to extend contact center capabilities across any device, anywhere — taking extra security measures to ensure safety.
Resilience: Have a multifaceted business continuity plan that adapts throughout a crisis
This action item should involve examining your personnel, business processes, and customer care plans with a brand-new lens — in sprint-like form. Once the pandemic is under control, consider the fundamental management of your contact center. Talkdesk tools like Help Desk Live and Explore put business intelligence in the hands of your CX leaders. “Harnessing data … allows for your organization to be far more responsive and to provide relevant ways of addressing customer needs as they continue to change,” she said.
Return: Resume operations when the time is right
The return stage will involve enhanced business continuity planning for the end of physically restrictive measures, as well as a gradual transition to some form of normality. This phase might include reopening some of your storefronts, getting back to the office, supporting workforce flexibility, or resuming some services you had to suspend. During this process, having a workforce management solution is absolutely vital, King said. “It helps you flex with the winds of demand and change so that you and your agents are aligned to exactly where and when you need them,” she said.
Reimagine: Be bold and innovative
Reimagining the customer journey requires you to stretch your minds to envision what contact center operations must look like going forward. King encouraged attendees to devote time now to understand emerging government regulations, the state of the economy, social behaviors, and technology changes in order to figure out how all of these post-COVID forces will coalesce. For example, now’s the time to think about how to employ virtual agents to optimize the customer experience, she added.
Reform: An industry mandate
“It’s vital that our industry use its technology, the insights, and the services to scale whenever there are significant changes to our business environment, no matter how fast and furious they come,” King said, before advising attendees to seek out contact center providers that are progressive and forward-thinking. “We set out over 10 years ago to reform an industry that needed to shake up, and now more than ever realize how very important that is.”
In a business continuity survey conducted earlier this year, Talkdesk asked its customers to share how the company is helping them throughout this crisis. A sampling of responses includes enabling quick IVR changes for more effective inbound call routing and supporting the ability to scale to meet higher call volumes while maintaining call quality and uptime, King said. “There is a higher purpose to serving our customers in these ways, and Talkdesk feels honored to make this type of impact.”
Business is unusual these days, so we must embrace this time as a catalyst for change. “It’s a rallying cry, as well as a unique opportunity,” said King, before leaving attendees with a call to action. “Let’s outmaneuver the pandemics uncertainty … and reframe the CX industry together.”