OpenScape Covid-19 Response: How We Managed to Help This Call Centre Transition to A Work-From-Home
Our client, a not-for-profit call centre supporting mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and community support programs for disability, housing and employment, was close to having their activities abruptly interrupted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. They sent us an urgent request to transform their traditional on-premise call centre to a work-from-home model for their 40 agents. Given the uncertainty shrouding the early days of the pandemic, we needed a feasible, robust, and cost-effective solution to help us meet our client's needs.
How It All Unfurled
When we received this request, we immediately sprang into action. Within less than nine days, we developed and implemented a solution enabling remote working for our client's core services. Less than two weeks later, we further upgraded our solution to allow our client's receptionists to work remotely as well. Even after delivering the solution to the client, we continued to improve upon it in the coming months, hiring new staff and extending the whole operation to the weekends.
Our solution needed to ensure that callers did not experience any service disruptions, even as the agents began answering calls on mobile phones. Before implementing our solution at our client's location, we prototyped and tested our solution under lab conditions. Only when we were confident that we had a viable solution, did we then proceed with an after-hours implementation on location.
Following the deployment of our new system, we provided each agent with individualised training to ensure that they were familiar with and proficient in using the new system. In addition, we also trained some staff - who used to only have direct contact with customers - on not just how to use the new system, but also the intricacies of being phone agents.
Subsequently, we further upgraded the system for our client, giving their receptionists the ability to work remotely. To achieve this, we had to convert direct landlines to a queue based system with voicemail capabilities.
Making Progress In A Pandemic
Thanks to the new system we developed, our client was able to go about their daily activities with minimal disruption from Covid-19. In addition, they also managed to further branch out into Covid-19 related mental health support and small business support, successfully expanding their business. Our solution also allowed them to expand the scope of their operations - transitioning from a traditional 9 am to 5 pm business to a 7 am to 10 pm business that operated seven days per week and hiring eleven new agents.
A Win-Win Solution
Despite the odds stacked against us in the face of Covid-19, we successfully developed a working solution for our client. Not only did we have to transition to a work-from-home model ourselves, but we also had to help our clients transition as well. In the end, our solution succeeded in bringing in new business for both our client and ourselves and boosted our confidence and belief in our abilities.
Our solution also empowered our client’s multiple receptionists with the ability to pool their workload together. This enabled them to have greater visibility on call loads and statistics, significantly improving customer satisfaction as well. The client was satisfied with our solution and has continued to consult us on various other issues, in addition to their voice requirements.