In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, call centers suddenly became remote call centers. Around the world, call center managers scrambled to find tech solutions to help workers keep answering calls from home. In many cases, call center managers implemented stop-gap tech solutions quickly. But many of those immediate measures had to compromise certain capabilities that would have existed in a pre-COVID environment which doesn’t make them the best long-term solutions for employees or clients. It’s time to reexamine those decisions to ensure that your call center is best positioned to take advantage of future trends. Subspace can help you optimize your remote call center with no compromises.
Estimated read time: 5 minutes
In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, all call centers suddenly became remote call centers. Around the world, call center managers scrambled to find tech solutions to help workers keep answering calls from home.
In many cases, call centers quickly implemented temporary tech solutions. But many of those immediate options had to compromise certain capabilities that would have existed in a pre-COVID environment which doesn’t make them the best long-term solutions for employees or clients. It's time to reexamine those decisions to ensure that your call center is best positioned to take advantage of future trends. Subspace can help you optimize your remote call center by offering a better network without any compromises.
All call center managers know that satisfied customers are essential to the success of the company. To ensure satisfaction, call centers need a better and more reliable network that can guarantee clear communications. When the agent and customer can hear each other clearly and understand each other quickly, the call center can get to a resolution faster, minimize call time, which translates to greater call center efficiency and happier customers.
Call Center Demands for Today and the Future
Remote and hybrid workforces are here to stay. In fact, across all industries, a Statista report shows that 44% of all workers are now remote at least five days each week, compared to only 17% before COVID-19. Working remotely has been a positive move for call center employees, who report increased productivity when they have a flexible work arrangement. Since 90% of consumers say that customer service is essential to their brand loyalty, call centers need to be prepared to thrive in a future of remote work. In order for these businesses to maintain benefits from this new normal, with reduced overhead facility costs and happier employees, the need for a reliable and quality at-home experience is becoming increasingly necessary.
Call centers face the challenges of managing remote workers, but call volume is also at an all-time high, and that trend is likely to remain in the future. Zendesk found that support tickets increased by 30% during the pandemic period of February 2020 to February 2021 compared to the previous year. They estimate that demand will stabilize at about 20% higher than the pre-pandemic average.
Challenges to Consider When Upgrading Your Call Center
With the new emphasis on real-time options such as chatbots, video support, and VoIP, call centers need to find long-term solutions that no longer focus solely on Quality of Service (QoS). Instead, managers must also strive for an exceptional Quality of Experience (QoE) for both clients and employees.
QoS is based on an older set of metrics with origins in telephony performance monitoring, such as MOS and R-Factor. QoS establishes thresholds for each metric. If the score is above the threshold, the performance is acceptable. When scores dip below the threshold, then the performance is not acceptable.
In contrast, QoE focuses on the user's frustration or happiness. By viewing metrics through the lens of the user's satisfaction, QoE provides a more helpful approach to customer service. QoE enables call center managers to avoid the downfall of QoS—acceptable performance but a poor overall user experience.
One of the biggest challenges for remote call centers is the need to communicate in real-time. Today's call centers must deliver on customer service in real-time, through live chats, video chats, and phone calls. In fact, during the pandemic, a Vonage study reported a 67% increase in video chat as the preferred method for communicating with customer service agents.
One key to exceptional QoE during a call center interaction is network speed. While customers now prefer live chats for customer service, they also want an "immediate" response. According to HubSpot, "When they have a service question, 90% of customers rate an 'immediate' response as important or very important." Fortunately, there are strategies for meeting these challenges head-on and ensuring call center success in the future.
Preparing Your Call Center for Success
While quick fixes were common early in the pivot to remote work, reliable long-term solutions are necessary for continued success. To begin this process, you can take steps to prepare both your team and your network for success.
Prepare Your Team for Success
Giving your call center employees the tools they need to complete their jobs is a top priority. As Help Desk Institute reports, delivering on employees' needs is at the forefront of creating the best call center.
Some companies, such as Google, offer stipends to workers to buy the equipment and hardware they need to complete their jobs. The most basic tools include a desk, an ergonomic chair, a computer with a built-in webcam, a headset that provides exceptional call quality, and a reliable internet connection.
Once your team members have the equipment they need to do their jobs, you need to consider network reliability. Innovative technology makes meeting that challenge a reality.
Prepare Your Network for Success
You may have call center employees scattered across the globe. Local internet and connectivity can vary widely, but you need to ensure QoE for both the employees and customers. Subspace is ready to help with its purpose-built network.
Subspace provides a global network for your call center that is far superior to the public internet. Subspace uses software and dedicated hardware in hundreds of cities and actively weather-maps the movement of internet traffic. It’s software uses precision timers and re-routes internet traffic to find the fastest path to ensure high performance and reliability of your network connections, including last-mile enhancements. Importantly, Subspace requires no installation on clients or servers, so there is no additional burden on IT to deploy and use Subspace.
For the unique needs of call centers, Subspace includes patented technology that establishes and maintains exceptionally stable SIP and RTP connections for your VoIP and video calls. Subspace helps you deliver on the exceptional QoE demanded by today's consumers.
Ensure Top-Notch Security
But you can't sacrifice security. Security is a primary concern for all companies, as data breaches reached an all-time high during 2020. You must protect your assets from DDoS attacks, malware, and data theft. Subspace can help with security without adding latency.
Security is built into Subspace from the ground up. Inline DDoS protection is native to Subspace and attacks are thwarted without any reduction in performance. The network includes line rate scrubbing to identify and eliminate malicious data packets with no impact on performance. When the network identifies the source of an attack, it eliminates malicious packets as close as possible to the source.
The network also natively masks IP addresses to prevent attackers from targeting specific machines. At a time when 90% of consumers say that a positive customer service experience leads to repeat purchases—yet 52% no longer trust how companies handle data protection—you need an optimized, secure network.
How Subspace Can Help Your Remote Call Centers Succeed Securely
Call centers, perhaps more than most industries, had to adapt and grow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Centralized call centers went dark as employees began to work from home. Call center managers made quick decisions to accommodate the shift in workforce and customers. Now is the time to re-evaluate your operation and adopt technology built for today's real-time interactions. Using a purpose-built network and technology solutions for real-time customer support will ensure that your data center is prepared to meet current needs along with the demands of the future.
You can access the Subspace network via SIPTeleport, a Global SIP Proxy for the lowest latency voice and video calls. This will improve call quality and accelerate connections in a few clicks, no installation required for client or server. Get a drop-in solution with global edge-to-edge acceleration for your remote call center.
Contact Subspace now to see how we can help set up your call center for future success.