Driving forward the post-COVID contact centre

Content Guru

Content Guru explains why unified communications will lead the way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on public sector organisations around the globe. The public sector has had to adapt day-to-day operations as priority. This has been especially true within citizen engagement departments, with enormous changes in both citizen behaviour, and the national demands placed on operations and employees.

Public sector organisations should be asking themselves the following question: how can they ensure all levels of their contact centre can continue to work together effectively from anywhere, on any device, and what does implementing the necessary Unified Communications (UC) technology actually look like?

A balancing act to keep plates spinning

With so much choice when it comes to collaboration tools, it can be incredibly challenging to keep plates spinning seamlessly, as various citizen conversations occur across different channels.

Implementing a cloud-based contact centre, coupled with UC tools, is a great option for organisations tackling this challenge. By fully integrating channels and applications into a single, easy-access user interface, effective UC solutions leverage multiple services seamlessly, such as instant messaging (IM), voice calling (fixed, mobile, and softphone support), video conferencing, and more.

Delivering quick, efficient experiences

One of the benefits of a UC solution is efficiency. As the public sector shifts its focus towards transparency and communication with citizens, delivering a quick and connected experience that meets citizen demand and expectation is more important than ever. By improving the information flow between front- and back-office operations, a citizen engagement department can provide a more rapid service, presenting a united front to citizens, even when agents may be physically dispersed.

With a single interface making accessing channels and collaboration tools effortless, call agents are able to obtain the information needed to resolve a citizen enquiry rapidly, and provide exceptional service quality with greater efficiency.

Scaling resiliently

As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic made clear, external and internal communication are key during a crisis. Utilising a provider that can offer integrations with key collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom will be crucial to handling future large-scale disruption seamlessly. If a front-office call agent cannot provide an answer without connecting with their back-office colleagues, these types of integrations enable them to bridge this gap, and quickly access back-office expertise whenever they need it.

During a crisis, contact centres experience huge spikes in demand, which are difficult to handle if all agents are occupied. These can be made worse if key colleagues working remotely are not visible to those who are less experienced and require assistance.

A cloud-based UC solution provides the tools to tackle the challenges of unprecedented demand head-on. Its resiliency and scalability allow business operations to continue by integrating front- and back-office operations. With presence sharing and call forwarding, back-office employees can be mobilised rapidly, acting as call agents if need be, to ease demand and provide subject-matter expertise.

Cost-efficient technology

A cloud-based UC solution can reduce costs and resources by eliminating the need for deploying and maintaining physical equipment and hardware. It is also quicker and more cost-effective to maintain and upgrade cloud solutions over legacy on-premises contact centre infrastructure. With no need to rip and replace existing systems and applications, a cloud-based UC solution is ideal for organisations looking to streamline and reduce costs. It is much simpler to successfully provide a unified experience that won’t break the bank if all customer and business information is integrated into one easily manageable cloud-based UC contact centre solution.

Enabling the modern workforce

Many organisations plan to remain working from home for the foreseeable future, especially in light of recent government advice. However, even before COVID-19, there was a widespread shifting focus to home working across all industries. According to research from the Office of National Statistics published prior to the pandemic, 50 per cent of UK employees were already set to work remotely in 2020.

Cloud contact centre technology is browser-based, so agents can access the system wherever they are. The ability to homework gives employees more flexibility and control over their working hours, making it easier to fit their career around busy schedules in a way that benefits both themselves and the organisation.

COVID-19 has caused upheaval and confusion, so it is understandable that businesses would be hesitant about investing in new technology. But, it is clear to see that moving to a cloud-based UC solution is one transition in an organisations digital transformation that makes the most logical sense right now. It may turn out to be the make-or-break moment in maintaining relationships with citizens, as well as ensuring the long-term satisfaction and wellbeing of employees.

Discover a cloud-based UC solution for the public sector: https://bit.ly/3smNEmZ

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