Today two million public sector workers are expected to strike and Britain is bracing itself for mayhem as public services grind to a halt. Many office workers may work from home, but is that a genuine possibility for contact centre agents? Will today be a customer service blackout?
The majority of contact centre staff are unable to operate from home due to tired premise based technology and archaic business policies. This legacy technology has always been physically in the office, so that is where agents have had to be as well. It’s the lucky staff in the roles that involve less call handling that get the option of working from home.
But it doesn't have to be like that anymore. Now the availability of true cloud contact centres means that all an agent needs is a phone line and an internet connection to be part of the contact centre.
Unfortunately it’s not just the technology, many managers still view homeworking with suspicion and associate it with lower productivity, even unofficial time off in some cases. But this is nonsense. Give a worker the technology they need from home and productivity can actually improve.
Feeling happier is key for staff in intensive call handling roles. Happier staff means happier customers, it’s hardly rocket science. So savvy businesses looking to deliver superb customer service no matter what the unions, weather or any other unavoidable challenge throws up will be enabling their customer service staff to work from wherever they choose.
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About Jonathan Gale
Jonathan is the Chief Executive Officer at NewVoiceMedia. He has previously held senior roles at Mimecast, MessageLabs and BT. In his blog Jonathan will give his own perspective on the use of cloud-based technology for businesses and call centres. Outside of work Jonathan is an accomplished triathlete and competes in the MSA National Historic Rally Championship.Read more from Jonathan Gale