How Work from Anywhere Gives CX Organizations a Competitive Edge
Work from home solutions have become a permanent part of many companies’ operations. Today, a “work from anywhere” approach may be the competitive differentiator that CX organizations need to succeed.
At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of employees left their office buildings and worked from home for the first time. For some, this switch was temporary, though for others, this marked the beginning of a new benefit that allowed for greater flexibility in their careers.
The heavy adoption of work from home was no different for customer experience (CX) organizations, with many agents moving from contact center locations to home offices in early 2020. Other agents were already accustomed to working from home, giving CX organizations an advantage when remote work needed to be quickly scaled across their teams.
While the initial benefits of working from home during the pandemic remain, today’s employees have unlocked a wealth of new opportunity from remote work. With scheduling made easier, commutes eliminated, and costs associated with in-office work reduced, many employees are seeking positions that will allow them to stay remote indefinitely. CX organizations that adopt a remote-friendly approach are poised to succeed in recruiting and retaining talent in today’s market, while also unlocking crucial benefits to the business’ bottom line. Here, we’ll explore the top five benefits of taking a work from anywhere approach in the world of CX, while discussing more about what “work from anywhere” can entail.
Top 5 Benefits of a Work from Anywhere Approach
At Sitel Group®, “work from anywhere” is led by cutting-edge technology that allows us to recruit and retain high-quality talent without the restrictions of geography. This approach encompasses a hybrid approach, where an agent has the flexibility to work from home or from one of our MAXhub locations when needed or preferred. The key is providing options, which empowers customer service agents to do their best work, wherever that work may take place.
For customer service organizations, taking this approach can make all the difference in a candidate’s decision to accept an offer of employment. With Upwork estimating that 22% of the U.S. workforce will be fully remote by 2025, it’s clear that adopting a work from anywhere strategy will be a crucial advantage for companies around the world.
To better understand the direct benefits of adopting a work from home model, we’ve broken down the top advantages that remote-flexible customer service organizations can expect.
- Greater Talent Pool with More Qualified Candidates
As remote work becomes a driver of candidate applications, customer service organizations unlock further opportunities to attract, train and retain higher-quality talent. With geographical boundaries removed, companies can find talent all over the world and build customer service teams to fit their unique needs. Remote options give the capability to screen for certain skills, languages, levels of experience, time zone preferences and more — regardless of the candidate’s location. With the talent pool expanded, companies are able to better identify and secure talent, and the potential for greater employee retention expands as well. Continued, flexible work from home options will be a deciding factor for many employees as they chart their careers in this new landscape, with many realizing they would prefer to continue remote work even beyond the pandemic.
2. Greater Employee Satisfaction = Greater Customer Satisfaction
When employees have access to flexible working options, they can build the experience they want to have in the workplace. Whether that means working full-time from home, full-time from an office or a mixture of both, the power of choice plays a meaningful and valuable role in the employee’s experience with a company. When customer service employees are engaged with their work and with the company they work for, they are in a position to create better customer experiences. Employee satisfaction can positively influence customer satisfaction, and it’s this correlation that should drive customer service organizations to make flexible work an enduring part of their strategy.
3. Security Solutions Are Equipped for State-of-the-Art Operations
Maintaining security in a work from home customer service setting is understandably a chief priority for all organizations, though especially for those who work in highly sensitive industries such as healthcare and finance. Today, modern securities and technologies allow for total compliance in remote customer service, giving companies —and their customers — peace of mind.
Maintaining data security for contact center agents working from home can include everything from antivirus scanning, to encrypted file systems, to multifactor authentication and password protection. Agents in remote settings should be trained specifically on how to maintain security best practices from home, so data is kept secure during customer service interactions.
4. Ensures Continuity of Operations
Flexible working arrangements lead to more flexible operations in general, with time zones and geographies unlocked. If a global customer service organization requires coverage in multiple time zones, remote work allows multiple teams in different countries to be dedicated to the same account. This allows for continuous coverage —even 24/7, if necessary — meaning customers can find access to assistance when they need it and on the platform that is most convenient to them.
Contact center agents can be trained to provide traditional voice support, email support and chat support, and can also use AI technologies to support them and improve outcomes across these different channels. With the technologies, tools and training they need to succeed, agents are able to ensure continuity of customer service organizations without missing a beat.
5. Provides for Increased Scalability
The beauty of flexible working arrangements lies in the scalability, which gives companies a distinctive edge when dealing with periods of high or seasonal demand. Whether a holiday season, product launch or other upcoming event, brands with remote work options can better prepare for increased call and chat volumes. With proven training and onboarding processes in place, brands can expect remote call center agents to ramp up quickly to meet increased service needs.
As HubSpot research states, 60% of customers define “immediate” service as a 10-minute-or-less response time, showing the significant value of having access to additional talent when call volumes are higher than normal.
Adapting to the Flexible Future of Work
As we move forward in the era of multiexperiences, customer service organizations have a great deal to consider in planning their customer care strategy. Though there are many components to making an organization successful in this changing landscape, maintaining flexibility will remain a key differentiator in attracting customer service talent, and employee satisfaction will build a solid foundation for the customer experience to thrive. It’s clear that offering flexible, work from anywhere options can benefit both companies and employees alike and provide a competitive edge.
Learn more about the Sitel Group® approach to Work from Anywhere and how to connect your CX strategy to a delivery model built for the future of work.