Remote call centers numbers increase due to the pandemic

Remote call centers numbers increase due to the pandemic

WFH CX support trend has seen a significant rise due to the widespread implementation of lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 spread

IT leaders have had to come up with innovative ways to achieve the objectives which weren’t considered before. The implementation of workaround has been seen significantly in the call centers industry. The coronavirus pandemic has given a push to the virtual call centers. This trend was previously being boosted by the gig economy, cloud, and crowdsourcing.

As per a study, over 35% of the Customer Experience (CX) professionals will be working from home by 2023. The calculated figures show an increase of 5% as compared to 2017. These updated figures are a result of changed business continuity plans and labor practices, motivating the trend.

When COVID-19 hit, most CX agencies were not ready to mobilize their employees to offer services from home. After the implementation of lockdown, most of the agencies were shuttered down. They had to have their employees attending customer calls from remote locations. The common complaints from the employees included a lack of proper hardware, software, and difficulty in duplicating the CX working environment at home to provide good call support.

AmEx call centers professionals require access to customer service software specially customized for office use. In this process, application data is present near to the data center ensuring better service and resilience. But now, when the professionals are working from home, they depend on their broadband connections. Frequent outages and slow speed of this connectivity can wreak havoc in the services.

To handle these issues, AmEx added network capacity at the initial stages. They depended on telemetry; gather data on crashes and other stats, apps use and performance, processing time, etc. These data gave the IT an idea which areas needed performance improvement. Evan Kotsovinos, Global Head of Infrastructure of AmEx said managing such a complex ecosystem is quite challenging.

As per a survey conducted by AppDynamics, 81% of the IT professionals and organizations reported facing technology pressure due to COVID-19. Regional CTO for AppDynamics Gregg Ostrowski stated that nearly 64% of the professionals were completing tasks that they hadn’t done earlier.

T-Mobile has also adapted well to the pandemic. A team of IT staffers sprang into action and dismantled the required equipment, multi-screen laptops, cables, and skinny servers required for the employees. These were then sanitized and packaged with step-by-step instructions on setting them up at home. Most of the employees took these gadgets home during the last shift or returned later to retrieve the same.

The difference between AmEx and T-Mobiles was that the latter’s employees used softphones installed on the laptops rather than the landline set. These CX representatives are not IT experts. Once the work from home setup was completed the support shifted to the organization’s service desk.

The issues faced by T-Mobile included resiliency and scalability. Their calling structure was not built to support remote connections from distributed demographics. They worked with Cisco Systems and changed the architecture of cloud routing to support the calls attended by its work from home employees. They now funnel calls via representative communities dedicated to customer groups.