The fast-moving coronavirus pandemic has forced millions to work remotely and essential business operations to be reimagined to allow for a safe working environment for those who remain in the office. The use of VoIP amongst call centre teams has skyrocketed this year as innovative and imaginative managers turn to the technology to maintain business continuity.
In some parts of the world Covid-19 restrictions are easing. We ask, will businesses return back to their traditional operating processes pre-Covid? Or, will the new call centre management practices and the accelerated use of VoIP remain for the foreseeable future?
We have asked a variety of businesses during the peak of the pandemic, how their working practices have been affected.
Majid F., CEO of James Bond Suits, moved 70% of his staff to work from home. This created more available space to allow for social distancing in the office. As a result, the call centre team moved from sharing one room to being spread out across five spacious rooms.
Similarly, Ali U., CEO Rajput of Decrum introduced alternative working days within the office for all call centre staff. This simple new working practice provided a safe working environment for his call centre office-based team.
Will E., Founder of Privacy Australia and an IT security consultant, commented that many companies have kept their call centres running in the rise of the coronavirus, with many having negative results. CEOs within a variety of businesses have fallen into trouble for trying to force their employees to work. Will also noted that business operators and owners need to better understand the implications of running their call centre with health and business reputation at risk for poor working practices and management. This is where companies need to embrace the option of remote call centre activity made possible by VoIP. Will also made a pertinent point that if you do decide that you want to run your business remotely, that you must ensure high standard security due to the rise in cybercrime.
Chad H., CMO of Hill & Ponton added that not all businesses can flip into complete work from home practices with some employees who still report and need their physical office environment. He went on to explain, “call centres are one of the important industries in the economy”, which is why it is essential they remain in operation and a successful working function during times of crisis. Simple practices have been put in place at Hill & Ponton include:
- Management working from home, creating more office space for call centre staff
- Office equipment has been shipped directly to the employee's door, so not to cause any inconvenience
- Management has offered employees accommodation until the pandemic subsides to allow for limited, safe travel to and from the office
- A focus on team well-being both, physical and mental, with the provision of essentials such as vitamins and regular communication
These comments make it clear large enterprises, SMBs and entrepreneurs are thinking more seriously about business continuity due to the pandemic. This rise of the virus has shown us all first hand just how unprepared we are for operating outside of the office. This is where a shift to the Cloud has been a real game-changer for a variety of businesses.
In times of trouble, it is highly valuable for your call or contact centre workforce to have the option to work remotely, be it down to sickness, office power cut or a global pandemic. A Cloud PBX, ensures your team stays connected and business operations keep moving.
To ensure your remote call centre and remote working policy is successful it is essential you provide the following:
- Select and embed an easy to use VoIP cloud communication infrastructure
- Enforce new policies and clarity around accountability using tools such as call tracking and CRM to support call centre teams.
- Talk to your team to maintain team happiness with regular internal communication
- Ensure adequate training is given and revisited.