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During times of crisis, contact centers are crucial. People prefer live interaction when they need answers to urgent, complex issues.

The sudden emergence of COVID-19 is requiring that companies move at unprecedented speed to serve their customers with quality while caring for their employees with compassion. Organizations are required to re-evaluate how contact centers are leveraged, how contact center employees deliver quality customer experiences, where contact center employees work and how digital channels can be used to support the increase in contact center volume.

Our report, Responsive customer service in times of change, part of our COVID-19 thought leadership series, Managing the human and business impact of coronavirus, offers a guide for businesses to help manage the impact on their contact centers and keep their customer workforce safe.

Managing the impact

Companies are urgently asking how to best manage the impact.  They want to know:

  • How can I reduce customer wait times and manage customer frustration?
  • How to deflect or redistribute contact volumes to control average wait times?
  • What can I quickly automate?
  • How should I enhance my digital channels?
  • How do I manage my workforce if physical work locations are no longer viable?
  • How can I offer the same level of customer support and workforce productivity when agents work from home?
  • Can I extend access to the necessary tools and secure networks for remote workers?
  • How can I maintain the trust of both my workforce and my customers?

While actions should be taken at different variations based on a company’s unique situation, when done correctly, they can effectively respond to the immediate needs created by COVID-19 and realize a longer-term benefit from increased customer brand perception and loyalty.

Taking action, quickly and effectively

The impact from COVID-19 is evolving daily, and this changing landscape means that guidance, restrictions and policies are also continuously being updated or adjusted.

Every deferred decision has real consequences for customers, the workforce and the business. Time is of the essence.

We are helping clients quickly and effectively create remote contact center operations as they:

  1. Adopt new ways of working through contact centers and remote access.
  2. Improve contact center management through data, workflow and analytics.
  3. Augment and automate service with virtual agents.

The response to this crisis is likely to accelerate the future of customer experience in categories such as agent agility, channel choice, real-time workforce management and prevalence of AI virtual agents.

We’re helping the world’s leading organizations navigate these uncertain times as they evolve to an elastic digital workplace; adjust to changing human attitudes and behaviors; prioritize digital commerce and supply chain resilience; focus on responsible leadership—and more.

While experts don’t know how long it will take to contain the virus, leaders must prepare for the short-term, while developing new capabilities and ways of working that could seamlessly enable longer-term operational changes.

Help guide businesses into their “new normal.” Find your fit with Accenture.

 

Copyright © 2020 Accenture. All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and New Applied Now are trademarks of Accenture.

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