How to Find Best Hybrid Workforce Contact Center Software in 2024
Contact centers and several other industries’ survival through the first few months of COVID-19 meant swift operational reboots primarily through work from home transitions. Striking a balance between protecting employees from the pandemic and continuity of business is still a major concern for most businesses in 2022. Though many employees continue to work from home, both organizations and employees are exploring the ‘hybrid work model’ for striking the balance.
A Gartner survey suggests 30% of organizations will shift their on-premise contact center operations to remote by 2024. The same report suggests a 60% increase in customer service agents working from home. Taking the hybrid route organizations are not only surviving but beginning to gain the momentum necessary to thrive in the long term. However, hybrid work comes with an added layer of complexity as the workforce is both remote and on-site. A hybrid work environment creates a situation in which managers lack visibility of team members working remotely. A cloud-based contact center software is an ideal choice for a hybrid workforce.
Role of contact center software in managing a ‘hybrid workforce’
As more and more companies make a shift to the hybrid work model, supporting each team member throughout their entire employee lifecycle irrespective of their location is non-negotiable. Investing in hybrid workforce software for seamless team management of your hybrid workforce is no more a choice. However, you must ensure your hybrid workforce software supports alternating between the office and remote working. Ask the most obvious question- Is our contact center software equipped with the right collaboration tools to implement an effective hybrid team?
In the last decade, contact center software has evolved to omnichannel contact center software (enabled to route contacts across multiple channels, such as email, chat, SMS, social media, and more.) The contact center software which was an on-premises service has now moved to the cloud, making it flexible and affordable that can be used by a broader range of organizations. Besides call routing and reporting, today’s sophisticated contact center software has additional capabilities such as recording and monitoring of interactions between customers and agents, performing customer satisfaction surveys, tools to determine and monitor staffing levels required (workforce optimization) for handling customer inquiries and a lot more.
Industry leaders like Hodusoft have one of the best contact center solutions in the industry to help you seamlessly manage your hybrid team. So what features should you be looking for when choosing a contact center software for your hybrid team. Let’s find out.
Also Read our another blog on A Guide to Hybrid Workforce Technology for the Future of Work
Optimizing your hybrid contact center team: Must-have features
● Cloud-based solution
Having cloud-based contact center software is a must-have for a team that has a mix of employees working remotely. Why? Cloud-based software can be deployed over cloud without the need for manual installation. An added bonus is the cost you save on setup and maintenance costs.
● Browser-based access
Choose software that’s browser friendly too. Not all your remote employees may be comfortable in installing software on their machines. Many of them may simply find it too complex. Having software that can be accessed over a browser without the need to install complex software can save the day.
● Call Bridging
Call bridging allows a call recipient to be automatically connected to another number. This is a must-have feature if you have employees working from home as it enables callers in making a connection with customer service agents directly, even when they are working from home.
● Call Recording
Features like call recording enable supervisors to monitor the team’s performance. The recorded calls can be stored on a server or backup server, and managers can retrieve them at their convenience. Recorded calls are a goldmine of data and help identify areas where training is needed, can be handy in settling any customer dispute, and a lot more.
● Advanced IVR
Compared to its predecessors today’s advanced multi-level IVR can effectively filter inbound calls, is equipped with self-help features, guides the caller through a series of self-service prompts, and lot more. This feature helps in optimizing the performance of your remote team.
● Omnichannel support
Today’s consumer values convenience the most and wants to reach out through unconventional communication channels such as social media, chats, etc. A software that can manage your customer communication over multiple channels such as voice, email, social media, video, SMS, and chat is non-negotiable. Choose a contact center software that supports omnichannel communication and integration with WhatsApp for Business, Facebook, Instagram besides conventional voice calls.
● SMS integration
An SMS integration feature helps send out alerts or reminder notifications via SMS making customer connect easy and fast.
● CRM integration
An agent without any access to customer information is like a blindfolded person. The challenge multiplies to a whole new level in a hybrid work setting. As your agent is working in a remote setting, isolated from his team members, he does not have an option to walk up to a colleague to get all the information he needs to resolve a query. Even in a normal office setup no access to your CRM means longer hold time to resolve queries resulting in a bad customer experience. Having a contact center software that seamlessly integrates with your CRM is important. Not only does it ensure smooth resolution of customer queries, but it also enables you as a business to run marketing campaigns cost-effectively and deliver better customer experiences.
● Auto dialer
Auto dialers help boosts the efficiency of inbound contact centers. They are smart enough to detect unanswered calls and busy signals. They ensure only connected calls are diverted to your call center employees, resulting in low call drop rates. By effectively managing call flow, auto-dialers help significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of agents.
● Predictive dialer
An outbound contact center can benefit in a big way using predictive dialers as they automate the dialing process of outbound phone calls based on an algorithm to predict the next agent availability. By predicting the average call answer time and agent availability, predictive dialers can be enabled to modify the dial rate as needed.
● Analytics and reports
Software that can churn out real-time data, live dashboards, and generate reports is extremely important for ‘workforce optimization’ in a hybrid setting.
What does the future hold?
We are living in a world that’s rapidly evolving in unprecedented ways. It is important for businesses to not lose focus, strike a balance, and stay open to new ways and emerging technologies. Enterprises that made a shift to hybrid work culture and omnichannel contact center solutions have survived and thrived. As we step in 2022, we need to embrace and meet challenges thoughtfully, and accept that there is no complete return to how the world operated pre-pandemic.
To know more about Hybrid workforce Contact Center Software and its uses, get in touch with us.