How to Support Customers Virtually

April 1, 2020

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In a changing world that’s forever transformed how we work, you may be worried about how you’ll continue to provide support without a physical contact center. The good news is that technology and contact center software offer you the ability to support customers virtually. For an inside scoop on how to successfully support customers virtually, we’ve gathered some tips from our own customer support leads.

The Virtual Contact Center

At Intermedia, we have many support team members who have been working from home for years. Many times, our customers are connecting with a technical support employee from home. It is possible to have a high functioning call center that’s not a cubical farm with a supervisor looming above watching the call queue ticker. It’s all about having the right team, tools, and culture to support it.

Standard desktops deliver tools and reduce risk

We send our remote agents VMware that offers them a standard desktop, allowing them to login 24/7/365. By doing this, you don’t have to support anyone’s personal devices, which could be a security risk. Instead, with this set-up, you’ll have the same cybersecurity components that any computer in the network has.

Team communications stay consistent

To support customers virtually, your team needs to stay connected. We recommend using video conferencing tools like AnyMeeting so you can easily hold regular meetings to discuss challenges, opportunities, and metrics. You can also share documents during these virtual meetings to highlight performance. These conversations help agents build their skills and learn about new support trends. In between formal meetings, virtual support teams should leverage IM platforms for quick questions.

Finding help and rerouting challenging calls

Most contact center software allows for smart queuing, which means that, based on a customer’s needs, they are routed to an appropriate agent. Still, some calls can be more challenging than others. Your agent may need help, and with the right technology, he or she can quickly identify who is available via the presence indicator on your chat. Agents can attempt to work out the issue by chatting with peers who may have handled a similar concern.

Alternatively, if the agent can’t resolve it this way, contact center software with real-time escalation is a must. With this capability, agents can instantly get more resources to support the client. If you think about it, this is a much more efficient process than what happens in a physical call center, where agents may be moving about and trying to find help. This allows to deliver great customer experience and higher level of customer satisfaction.

Contact center dashboards replace call flash boards

Any physical call center is typically outfitted in call flash boards or digital signage with metrics. These are meant to inform agents in real-time of the current queue and call times. But you can still have easy access to all those metrics with a contact center dashboard.

By leveraging dashboards, agents can view who is holding and how long queues are. Not just for calls but also for other channels of communication, including chat and email. By monitoring volume and other metrics in real-time, supervisors can manage resources appropriately from anywhere.

Further, you’ll have access to contact center analytics and reporting to track a variety of metrics, including agent performance, queue performance, missed or abandoned calls, and more. You can easily set your Service Level targets and measure it on hourly, weekly or monthly basis. With these reports, your contact center can find actionable insights to make changes to processes, training, or staffing levels.

Recruitment and training for a remote workforce

Another critical aspect of our remote contact center and its success is that we have a recruiting and training program focused on remote work. As a technology company, we’ve fully embraced working from home because we understand the value of this model.

First, we have a larger pool of candidates to hire because we aren’t confined by geography. Second, it reduces overhead costs so that we can invest more in our workers. Third, it provides greater flexibility. We’re a 24/7/365 support company, so having agents in different time zones helps us serve our customers better.

Having training focused on remote work is also essential to ensuring success. Tailoring training based on how agents will communicate and use technology from their home enables them to be ready for the work environment.

Upgrade to a 21st Century Contact Center

The workforce dynamic may never be the same again. You need to build a contact center that works now and in the future. You can find all the tools you need to support customers virtually and do it well with our solutions. Download the product overview today to see how we can help.

Josh Bryden

Josh Bryden is Director of Technical Support Operations at Intermedia

April 1, 2020

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