How the Modern Contact Center is Made Better with Distributed Working

Work is a process, not a place. This is something that CX leaders have learned to accept and implement in their contact centers following the COVID-19 crisis. While a few organizations have taken a step backwards, requiring all contact center staff to return to the office, a permanent distributed working model has been championed by the vast majority.

Here are the distinct advantages that CX leaders can expect to see by implementing a distributed working model in the contact center.

Distributed working improves the quality of customer experience

As the customer-facing voice of an organization, contact center agents are key to shaping the customer experience. If they are stressed, distracted, or demotivated, this will come across in their interactions, resulting in a poor customer experience. 96% of customers are prepared to go elsewhere if they receive bad customer service from an organization.[1]

Conversely, an agent who feels motivated, focused, and invested in their work will go the extra mile to delight the customer, driving long-term brand loyalty. Therefore it is crucial that CX leaders invest in the agent experience, and one significant way they can do this is by maintaining and improving the distributed working model.

Distributed working reduces agent churn and decreases contact center costs

A contact center’s staff are its most valuable asset, but also its biggest cost. Staffing accounts for up to 75% of a contact center’s operational costs.[2] For this reason, improving agent retention rates, and therefore recruitment costs, is critical. To maximize staff retention, organizations need to enable staff to work in the environment where they actually want to be.

During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, agents experienced the freedom of working remotely. Moving back to the office, organizations that failed to implement a flexible distributed working model faced heavy backlash. Now, 88% of workers would appreciate a more flexible approach to working from home.[3] Keeping agents happy lowers agent turnover, and reduces costs in the long run.

Distributed working increases agent productivity and improves agent availability

Being in a home environment has shown to have positive effects on productivity. 45% of workers believed they were more productive at home, and 78% of employers found equal or increased productivity during the COVID-19 lockdown.[4] What is it about working remotely that helps agents to be more productive?

In addition to improved mental health, distributed working gives agents much-needed flexibility. It also allows agents to work on-the-go, overall increasing the availability of that agent to work. However, to enable agents to work from wherever, CX leaders must support them with the right technology. A browser-based workspace and mobile interface provides complete convenience for maximum availability.

How CX leaders can facilitate a distributed working model

The contact center agent interface plays a pivotal role in the agent experience. It dictates how and where agents work. To maximize availability, productivity, customer and employee satisfaction, while also reducing costs, giving agents the option of using both their PC and mobile device interchangeably is essential.

A mobile app answers the challenge of new hybrid working practices. Enabling organizations’ contact center workers to make and receive customer calls and access information through their mobile devices will drastically improve the agent experience and reduce costly staff churn. Working over WiFi or mobile data, rather than mobile voice networks, means agents can be connected and available anytime and anyplace, free of call forwarding charges, even when away from their workstations.

Bring flexibility to your customer engagement hub with storm®

Enable contact center agents to work fully-flexibly with the storm® MTA™ (Mobile Task Assistant). storm MTA allows your agents to make and receive customer calls from their iOS and Android devices, and access other advanced call capabilities, making it perfect for working from home, or off site.

Through their mobile device, agents have full call control, including the ability to hold and resume calls, make warm and cold transfers, initiate and engage in conference calls, and make calls to storm directory-listed contacts. Agents have access to their full call history through the MTA, and the same functionality as through the DTA such as click-to-dial straight from the call history; listen to call recordings; view, listen to, and delete voicemails.

The storm MTA makes working from anywhere effortless and highly convenient. Agents can receive calls in-app even when the phone is locked, and make calls easily using their telephone keypad, as if making a regular call from their device. Once users initially log in, they can re-log in using secure smartphone biometrics (fingerprint or face ID). Wherever your agents are, their real-time presence information is visible in the storm contact list, and agents can set their availability status via their mobile device.

Make the ‘work from wherever’ contact center vision a reality, and discover flexible customer engagement with Content Guru.

[1] Forbes, Ninety-Six Percent Of Customers Will Leave You For Bad Customer Service, 2020

[2] ContactBabel, The US Contact Center Decision-Makers’ Guide, 2021

[3] [4] Robert Walters, Returning to the New World of Work: A Practical Guide for Business Leaders, 2020