If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world is unpredictable. Who would have guessed that we would be isolated and living through a pandemic at this time last year? Now more than ever, it is important that your contact centers deliver consistent, high-quality service regardless of the worldly conditions around you.
Although remaining resilient isn’t always easy, it is a critical determining factor of your business’ success. A customer service program that is not responsive, reactive, and flexible is vulnerable to a range of risks that could seriously degrade or impair operations. For tips on mitigating these risks, check out our blog on outsourcing safely.
→ Free Download: Planning for Uncertainty: Use the T.E.A.M. Approach to Make Your Customer Support Operations Resilient [Access Now]
Yet, it is impossible to predict and unwise to prepare for every specific scenario. Instead, organizations should incorporate a general resiliency into their operations so that when something (inevitably) goes wrong, the team can carry on successfully in the face of adversity.
Many factors can cause sudden changes in demand for support:
A promotion or product launch
A sudden change in business strategy
A wave of callouts in a contact center
A natural disaster that blocks access to a center
A contact center lands a new client and loses focus on your business
During the coronavirus pandemic, these threats loom all too vividly. A study cited in the Harvard Business Review showed that, during the first week of the pandemic,
"hold times ballooned by as much as 34 percent and escalations (calls sent up the chain of command) skyrocketed more than 68 percent."
The consequences of being unprepared could be grave: lost margins, lost reputations, lost customers, negative morales, and more.
Although we can’t predict what incident we will be faced with next, we can predict that customer service systems will continue to receive periodic shocks. CX teams must be resilient to withstand these shocks. Your team can develop resiliency by focusing on these three areas:
How would your team fare if your sales were 20% higher than expected next quarter?
Responsiveness means your business is able to adapt quickly to business changes such as strategic imperatives, pivots, seasonal demand, or product launches. A responsive team can easily adjust to continue providing excellent customer service as demand ebbs and flows.
What would your business do if your chatbot went down unexpectedly?
What about if your website experienced a ransomware attack and your website or product went down for 24 hours? A reactive team is able to absorb shocks like pandemics, system failures, product outages, or natural disasters.
How well does your business respond to trends like rising customer expectations or the rise of automation?
A flexible CX team keeps up with and adjusts to macro trends like these. They have an innovative spirit and which makes them eager to adopt new practices and technology like AI.
To learn more about adding resiliency to your support team, download our whitepaper here.
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