Although the beginning of 2021 has not seen the world start a move back to normality, most agree that the approval and roll-out of vaccines worldwide does see us at the end of the beginning. This has led to many commentators questioning whether the world of work will return to normal post-crisis.
“people are making new choices about where they want to live and creating new expectations about flexibility, working conditions and life balance that can’t be undone.”
The extra emphasis placed on this balance between the worlds of work, personal life and interests by millennials moving through the corporate hierarchy means that this trend is likely to become embedded by HR and operations professionals wanting to retain their rock stars. It does of course come with problems; especially in the customer service space across all vertical markets.
Pre-COVID; first, second, and third-line customer service was based on the principle of “one big facility”. Large buildings of phone banks housed highly delineated teams of staff concentrating on different parts of the customer experience. A tightly managed first line of handlers sifted through the initial wave to sort enquiries and then escalate. The author himself remembers less than happy days spent in such rooms, hands shooting up for supervisors to help with difficult customers.
A need to cut costs saw companies invest heavily in voice and keypad activated systems to push enquiries online, if at a possible, and even answer enquiries before the customer picked up the phone (see Upstream Thinking by Dan Heath for an example of this concerning travel firm Expedia).
This attrition and information-led approach is great for the bottom line but not for the customer. Those who make it to a human can be exhausted and exasperated in equal measure.
None of this will be a revelation to you, the reader, but are these systems sustainable in the era of the de-centralised atomized workforces thrust on companies by COVID?
Can remotely trained and managed customer service teams take these frazzled customers and react with agility, empathy and creativity?
If you are worried about your outsourced customer service functions ability to add value to your overall client retention strategy the Council for Human Development can help you.
We specialise in helping people forget their limits so they can solve problems quickly and creatively with agile thinking. These are the skill sets that will build your brand in an environment of social media led instant feedback which can have a complaint around the world before your PR department is even aware there is a problem.
Leading the way in training people for the AI revolution, we work with companies and individuals to change their sense of self-identification, and thus increase their creative, communicative, and consciousness levels.
They will become increasingly important as we move past COVID into the new decade. AI will become embedded into systems and processes, changing the nature of work and making increasingly diverse and robust demands on staff.
If you would like to book a free exploratory call with a Partner or Trainer from the Council of Human Development contact Anna Hiltensberger on email@example.com.
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