How can contact centres respond positively to COVID-19

Emma Frame 26th March 2020

COVID-19 has and will continue to impact us all worldwide. The entirety of the impact is not yet known, and potentially will not be known for some time to come.

In uncertain times we all seek clarity, and this is very much manifesting itself in the customer contact centre world. The contact centre is the human front-door to many companies and their services and are typically a complementary channel to online and digital services too.

Accessing the latest information and getting answers to very specific, and in many cases never seen before issues, the default human condition is not to troll through webpage after webpage looking for answers. No. The default human condition is to reach out to a human, to talk to the various companies that provide services to us. We opt for the path of less resistance, and we do this more when the answer we seek falls into anyone of the following buckets: health, welfare, travel, insurance, mortgages, banking, credit cards etc…

COVID-19 has unsettled every facet of daily life, and this is having a massive impact on the contact centres who provide the above services. Call volumes have increased beyond any predictions and as a result, call wait times have grown and continue to do so.

Having the ability to cope with this sudden burst of activity is extremely challenging, and in many cases, companies are unable to meet the demand. Technology plays a big role in this. Whether that be tools no longer fit for purpose, or technology that lacks the elasticity required to meet these peaks and then return to their normal level.

What’s more, individuals are being asked to follow good advice from the government to maintain social distancing and self-isolation – and they are not sure how long for. This is extremely difficult for Contact Centre Managers to comply with as the current Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans do not cater for this scenario. There will be an increasing pressure to have a solution in place to follow governmental instructions, all whilst continuing business as usual, delivering the same experience and securing the wellbeing of your agents where they can. And with many now faced with an entire remote workforce, scores of businesses are finding the current position untenable.

Fortunately, there is a solution that is affordable, can be deployed rapidly, and enables your agents to continue their great work from their makeshift desks at home.

ECS has been helping organisations transform their contact centres by leveraging Amazon Connect for some time. With this accumulation of experience and knowledge, we felt it only natural that we should be able to help companies quickly stand-up the capability to have agents work from home and manage their customer needs. Whilst the bells and whistle will take longer, we can offer a templated solution to complete set-up of a basic cloud-based contact centre in 48hrs. And you’ll only ever pay for the customer-connected minutes you use.

If you are interested in finding out how you can leverage Amazon Connect to navigate your contact centre through COVID-19, please reach out to a member of the team who will be happy to listen to your challenges and offer advice where we can.

Contact us here.

If you have more specific questions about how your contact centre can deliver the same customer experience whilst your agents have been asked to self-isolate, you might find this 10min Q&A session helpful.

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