How NICE is helping contact centers connect with customers in difficult times

5 May 2020 | 5884 Shares

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With many customer support functions having completed their redeployment of employees to home, contactcenter managers are discovering a number of new challenges in trying to maintain high levels of standards and end-user care.

Until the current pandemic, contact centers operated in ways with which supervisors and managers are well acquainted. But the sudden and wholesale shift to working from home has left everyone in a new territory.

These are unsettling times in terms of maintaining a business, especially when the nature of your business is to help and support customers who will now have more numerous and more complex requirements due to the pandemic.

In our last article, we looked at the NICE CXone At Home platform and the relative ease by which call center operations can be set up for remote workers in just a few days or less.

The CXone At Home package provides the foundation  to ensure you continue to provided exceptional experiences for both customers and employees.

This is where the NICE Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) platform comes in, helping organizations better manage in this new environment by leveraging key solutions that were used in the office environment. These solutions enable managers to gain visibility into what their agents are doing, drive performance through predicting customer sentiment and promote employee engagement through measuring agent satisfaction and actions that can be taken to improve it.

Behaviors and patterns
In these challenging times, it needs to be recognized that all employees and management are, as a matter of course, having to behave differently from normal. Hopefully without exception, that doesn’t mean that contactcenter operators are not performing to their optimum or taking the opportunity to let their work standards slide.

For example, staff’s proximity to their children and relatives while self-isolating may mean that shift patterns might require some flexibility from the nine-to-five. Those shift patterns, too, might need to change rapidly – after all, the current COVID-19 crisis is creating unexpected demands on the time and commitments of everyone.

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In these circumstances, NICE WEM makes these types of rapid transitions possible through ensuring best practices are being followed by individuals, managers, and supervisors. NICE WEM monitors performance metrics, and provides teams the information they need to continue to help and support their customers.

When the phone rings
The effects of the COVID-19 crisis are very human at the end of the day. Many customers are suffering from the side-effects of having to isolate themselves and their families during these difficult weeks, and in some ways, call centers (in their new forms) are providing a lifeline.

Some end-users are contacting their providers just for the opportunity to talk to someone, where perhaps they usually could resolve issues using a text or a direct message over a social media channel.

The increased need for some form of human contact for many is manifest as a more significant workload placed on individual operators’ time, effort, and patience. In turn, that’s putting considerable strain on the overall operation, but one that will need to be incorporated into key performance indicator expectations and the ways that companies judge staff performance.

Because WEM is adaptable and powerful, customer care facilities can be quick to adapt, making sure that care levels and general customer satisfaction metrics do not slide, despite the pressures placed on customers, contact center agents, and other parts of the business’s infrastructure.

Listening in to the environment
The supervisors and managers in customer care operations, like their staff, have developed professional working practices that are now subject to unforeseen change. Many contact center supervisors can judge how a shift is progressing, for example, just by being on the “shop floor.”

Of course, that type of instinctive approach from many years’ of experience does not work under the present circumstances. But the WEM platform gives managers and team leaders the visibility they need to gauge how business is progressing accurately, and the ability – just like being there in person – to listen in, guide, help and steer their colleagues.

Conclusion
In challenging times, when demands are perhaps at their highest, the best teams are thriving with the help of the NICE technology stack.

With no upfront commitment required on WEM and CXone At Home, and expert advice available regarding any aspect of contact center operations, why not read more about Workforce Engagement Management at home?


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