Flexible working is in huge demand across a variety of industries. Recent research from the UK’s professional body, the CIPD shows that although the proportion of UK workers with flexible hours has risen to 54% over the last two decades, two-thirds of professionals would still like to work flexibly in a way that’s not yet available. Yet, flexible working should be a no-brainer for most businesses. Employees with greater flexibility and autonomy over their own work will be more happy, loyal and motivated — and, this can only have a positive effect on the experience they create for customers.
The contact center industry is no different. Thanks to the recent advances in technology, we’ve seen many employers recruiting remote workers and running virtual contact centers.
Flexible Workforce — Flexible Business Decisions
The fact that customer service can now be delivered from anywhere enables contact centers to create a highly adaptable workforce to seamlessly manage the peaks and troughs commonplace within the industry. Furthermore, this also allows businesses to attract and retain talent from all over the world. No longer limited by geography, the hiring pool gets a whole lot deeper – making it easier to find people with the right language capabilities or expertise.
There are also clear cost advantages to not having to operate a physical contact center and instead, opting for a cloud-based infrastructure. Plus, home-working allows businesses to be agile and cost-effectively ramp up and down, in line with customer demand and high or low call volumes.
Work that Fits Your Lifestyle
Like the idea of setting your own schedule? Of course you do. Aside from choosing where they work, flexible working also means that associates have the freedom to select what hours they want to work so that they can achieve the work-life balance they crave. Rather than committing to a full day, they can pick the three or four hours that work best for them – without having to factor in commuting time.
Flexible Work is Inclusive Work
Flexible working also plays an important role in bringing equality to the customer service industry. People with disabilities or caring responsibilities, for example, are often unable to commute to an office or work conventional hours. Because the demand for customer service reps runs around the clock, contact centers often offer the option to work part-time, compressed hours, or remotely.
Managing Quality Across Virtual Teams
There are clear benefits to bringing flexibility to the contact center, but also challenges. One of the biggest concerns when operating virtual teams is how to ensure the same, high quality of service to customers while also preserving the wellbeing of the workforce at the same time.
At Poly, we have decades of experience of innovation in audio and a special understanding of what the modern contact center needs. We know that your calls can make or break your relationships with customers. That’s why our technology has been designed to empower every contact center worker to deliver the best customer experiences. Our headsets give the clearest sound based on the best acoustic signature for voice, meaning you can create the same high level of customer service whether your agents are in your office or in their kitchen.
Agents can personalize their comfort through our range of EncorePro 500 Digital Series headsets and create the calm environment they need to focus on meaningful connections with your customers.
From a governance and control perspective, one of Poly’s cloud management tools, Plantronics Manager Pro gives you the data to make smart decisions and create a highly productive, virtual contact center.
For example, our conversational analysis tool monitors calls in action to give insights into who is doing most of the talking, identify long pauses of silence and listen for instances of “overtalk,” where both sides of the call are speaking at once. Patterns of behavior can indicate important training opportunities, while providing data to hone your agents’ customer experience skills.
Through innovative technology solutions that enable the delivery of customer service from anywhere, you can build a happier, more productive workforce, boost diversity and inclusion and enhance your talent pool. With such compelling benefits to the employee and the business, it’s definitely time to embrace the future of flexible working in the contact center.