How to future-proof your contact centre workforce

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay at home, many people called on their service providers or favourite brands to help them navigate the rapidly changing environment. The number of people seeking assistance from contact centre staff has more than doubled since March 2020. However, not everyone wants to talk.

A survey by Freshworks has found most people (91%) would rather use self-service to find the answer to their question if that is an option available to them. In addition, they want to be able to choose whether to call, text, live chat, or contact the relevant organisation via social media, depending on the electronic device they are using at the time.

That is good news for the operators of contact centres. It makes sense to utilise emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, and omni-channel communication, to encourage self-service. They will help reduce the number of transactional calls, minimise customers’ waiting time, and enable agents to focus their time and energy on resolving more complicated enquiries. As a blog from Freshworks explains, it does not mean customers have to settle for poorer service – instead, it is about helping people find the information they need and answering common questions efficiently.

However, organisations will need to reconsider the skills their team needs to manage the shift in approach. If contact centre agents must respond to more complex enquiries that are being received through more channels, they will need the right combination of soft skills and practice knowledge. A successful team will compliment customer service experience with empathy, confidence and problem-solving abilities.

In fact, research by ManpowerGroup highlights how important these soft skills are becoming as companies in all sectors try to attract top talent, and manage more remote or hybrid working and increasing automation. Recent changes in the market caused by the pandemic mean you can look outside the contact centre industry to find candidates with the skills you need to position your organisation for the future. As a leading contact centre specialist, Brook Street understands how the workplace is evolving and we will work with you to ensure your people have the skills they need to solve your customers’ challenges, now and in the years to come. We can also work with you to navigate the technological developments, and help you adapt your processes to maximise the benefits for you and your team.

Get in touch with us today if you would like to know more. Our team will be happy to discuss your requirements and explain how we can help.