Author: Steve Murray, IPI
Here are IPI’s top tips on how to best manage your contact centre during the pandemic:
1. Workforce management optimisation
It is likely that most, if not all, of your workers are required to work from home. With remote working already set up, an additional useful tool to implement could be a workforce management solution. This will enable you to effectively manage your workforce, even at a distance, ensuring that you know which staff are working on what and if resources can be allocated elsewhere to deal with peaks in activity.
2. Strengthen your main communication channels
Given the present uncertainty, it is likely that more tenants will choose to speak to their housing provider rather than self-serve. As such, prepare your call centre for increased call volumes and longer average call-handling times. Technology can help here to manage call volumes, such as enabling call-backs to tenants within set time parameters after a period on hold. Furthermore, the system can manage re-tries, and allocate resources to the right customers at the right time, all while managing overall call traffic.
3. Prepare your staff
In times of crisis, emotions tend to run high. Ensure your staff are prepared about how to handle difficult conversations with tenants who may be concerned and distressed around uncertain conditions. Agents should use emotive language to connect to the caller and sympathise with them at this difficult time.
4. Make sure your website is up to date
Despite an anticipated peak in call volumes, make sure that your website – the first portal tenants may try to access – is up to date and contains all the relevant contact information for enquiries. It can also be helpful to provide regularly-updated FAQs, removing the need for people to speak to a contact centre agent.