Can you give us some tactical actions that we can take to jumpstart our post-pandemic planning while keeping the continuation of our digital transformation in mind?
The pandemic has accelerated many transformations that needed to happen in enterprises and their front-office servicing departments by as much as 2 – 4 years. Some of the most impactful changes that have been made are:
- Migration of employees out of the office to work-at-home
- Adoption of video as a primary communication channel
- Adoption of digital channels and a digital-first servicing mindset
- Mass acceptance of self-service solutions to the point where they are the preferred servicing channel
- Transition of contact center technology to the cloud
DMG encourages companies to use this time to build plans and start making essential changes to prepare for a better future. The five major changes listed above are all activities that need to happen and should become phases in most organizations’ digital transformations. If these changes have not been accomplished or are not part of your enterprise digital transformation plans, please add them, as all are necessary for every organization. DMG believes that innovative contact centers will take the following actions, once the pandemic is past and they have a good idea of what will be expected of them during the following 2 – 3 years; all 11 of these items should be part of the enterprise and contact center digital transformation:
- Interview a large number of your employees – agents, supervisors, managers, QM specialists, WFM administrators, operations, etc., and document what worked and what was not as effective as it should have been during the time they worked from home
- Develop a plan for staffing your contact center. This should include decisions about the percentage of employees who will be allowed or required to work from home, by category (agents, supervisors, managers, QM specialists, WFM administrators, operations). It should also address the use of part-timers and how hiring, training and onboarding will be addressed in the future.
- Review and update all training programs to make them effective for both at-home and on-site employees.
- Build a disaster recovery (DR)/business continuity (BC) plan that takes into consideration the need for employees to work from home for an extended period of time.
- Create a WAH program (or enhance an existing one) that addresses all of the issues and opportunities identified when contact center employees were required to work from their homes.
- Review all operational aspects of the contact center and identify activities that can be fully or partially automated with appropriate applications. This should include automating the QM process with an AQM system.
- Review all policies and procedures and update them. Once the systems and applications are updated, replaced, or new ones implemented, review and update the policies and procedures that are associated with each of the systems to enable the department to fully realize all benefits.
- Evaluate existing self-service solutions to determine if they are as effective as they should be and if they are meeting the needs of your customers. If not, add this to the technology roadmap.
- Review all forecasting and scheduling policies and applications to determine if they were as effective as they should have been during the pandemic and digital transformation. If not, add the need for a new WFM application to the technology roadmap.
- Conduct an assessment of all contact center technology and systems and identify those that need to be updated or replaced, as well as new applications that will enhance the performance of the department.
- Create a technology/system roadmap that lays out the system and application changes – updates, replacements and new technology – for the next five years. This plan should include migrating systems to the cloud, as long as this is allowed by IT.