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UC Roundup: COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Prompt Call Center Evolution

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UC Roundup

The COVID-19 pandemic required a contact center evolution as customer service rose in importance and demand skyrocketed.

With people quarantined at home, the only communication channels were via phone, chat or email. Contact centers, in particular, were put in the spotlight as consumers strived to connect with businesses across the nation.

Contact centers reported a 37% increase in demand during the pandemic.

The old, traditional call center methods of the past gave way to innovation centers. This further revealed the need for investments in technology and solutions to manage workload and the customer’s journey.

So what will 2021 bring in terms of the continuing contact center evolution? How will the role of a contact center agent change post COVID-19?

We spoke with Tim Eyre, CMO of Aceyus, a contact center solution company, about the continuing contact center evolution.

Channel Partners: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the contact center industry and the agent’s role in contact centers?

Acevus' Tim Eyre

Acevus’ Tim Eyre

Tim Eyre: There have been significant changes in the contact center, including increased demand from customers, plus agents and teams being forced to transition to working remotely.

CP: What role has technology played in the contact center evolution to meet changing customers’ needs during the pandemic?

TE: Having the right technology with the ability to quickly adapt to the changing conditions has been more critical than ever. Contact center teams need the right technology stack to enable them to engage with customers through phone, chat and email at a minimum as the world evolves at this rapid pace.

CP: When it comes to contact center, will there ever be a return to the way things were before the pandemic hit? If not, why?

TE: The short answer is no. However, I do believe many contact center teams will have the option to return to an office environment. There will be tighter precautions in place, more cleaning and safety measures executed while many teams and companies will adopt and embrace remote work.

CP: 2020 presented numerous challenges for contact centers, as with all businesses. What can we expect to see in the year ahead?

TE: Digital transformation will take a more active role in contact centers moving forward. The teams that are able to realize how valuable the data collected inside the contact center is will have a leg up on their competition. And we will start to see increased separation from the early adapters from the rest.

CP: How will the contact center agent’s role shift moving forward?

TE: Contact center agents will see the value of their roles increase as there will be more cross-training to enhance their skill set. They will also be able to have added insight into their performance against expectations, how to be more operationally productive and receive more comprehensive coaching as their leaders will be equipped with enhanced data to improve the efficiencies of their teams.

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