During the Covid-19 pandemic our world has changed dramatically. For call centre’s the change has been a drastic one, with many companies requiring staff to continue manning the phones, but unable to keep the office open to do so. This is where it has been important for quick and effective management to allow for virtual call centres to be set up quickly, where call centre agents can continue to work effectively, but remotely from home. There are a few different ways that this can be achieved, and we’ll take a look at some of them here. With clear thinking and strong leadership, as well as some understanding of different home scenarios, it can be achieved.
Getting the office furniture right at home is a big step towards making sure that employees feel comfortable and in the right frame of mind to perform their tasks to an efficient standard. Call centre staff are used to having a certain type of headphone, connections with the company software that feed them calls and information, comfortable chairs set at a certain height that suits their desk etc. There are many different elements in an office that are carefully planned out and might not be possible at home. There are ways to do so, and even if there is not much space to work, it is important to have a dedicated workspace where you can focus on work. Some companies will also provide access to desks and office chairs if there is a plan to have a working virtual office for a long period of time.
A virtual call centre works in the exact same way as a physical call centre, except that the call centre agents are working remotely from different locations to each other. During the pandemic and lockdown this has meant that customer service support can remain in place for many businesses without diminishing the quality. It is important that the company software is accessible through a secure VPN and that management is on-hand throughout the working day and in constant touch with all team members via messaging software and the like.
Looking at the different ways in which companies have transitioned to a flexible working routine for staff has been very interesting. An industry such as the call centre sector, might seem like it would be impossible to work remotely, with individuals working from home, but the last few months have shown us that anything is possible. All we have to do is believe in the process and have access to the right software and furniture to make working from home as appealing as possible. It also helps that the vast majority of people are in the same boat, so if a customer hears a crying child in the background or someone boiling a kettle, when talking to a customer service agent, they know that they are likely to be at home and will give them some leeway, in the same way they are likely being given leeway to work from home in their line of work.