In the first blog of our ‘Business transformation and the modern workplace’ series, we looked at the many and varied benefits of a cloud-based contact centre for the hybrid office, from increased customer engagement to unified communications stacks that empower teams and support business-critical functions and flexibility. In this post, we suggest ways organisations can accelerate the adoption of new technologies, and empower their teams to harness the full power of a cloud-based contact centre.

The age of the hybrid office

Over the past 12 months, many businesses have come to realise that a remote workforce can play a critical role in improving business continuity, boosting employee engagement and driving cost efficiencies. It’s important to bear in mind, however, that a workforce is only ever as good as the tools at its disposal, and to get those most from your teams you will need to make sure they have the resources they need to perform their roles to the best of their abilities.

Cloud-based contact centre technology for Microsoft Teams or any other already existing collaboration platform makes it easy for teams who work remotely to use familiar tools on any device and from any location. As long as they have a secure and reliable internet connection, that all telephony is integrated into Microsoft Teams, and the right contact centre features are enabled, they can easily connect into role-critical apps like CRM tools and ticketing services. With Microsoft Teams and contact centre technology in one place, employees can have the right visibility across all customer communication channels to see what engagement looks like in real time, from email and phone to social media, web chat and other communication streams.

The right resources and training – tools and techniques

As well as ensuring the right tools are there, managers and leaders will need to arm teams with the knowledge and training they need to use them. When you’re asking teams to work remotely, with new software and apps and no managerial or physical IT support to hand, they need to feel supported to navigate this new environment confidently. Examples of the tools and techniques that can help with this include:

  • Create webinars and videos that guide your teams through the process of using technology they’re not used to.
  • Screen record common operations and functions your teams will be expected to carry out, so they can follow along and build confidence.

Adopting a contact centre solution that easily integrates with your existing collaboration platform, such as Microsoft Teams, is actually an easy way to reduce the time to adoption. If your business uses Skype for Business, or any other collaboration platform, considering a smooth migration to Microsoft Teams could bring numerous business advantages and help you future-proof unified communications as your business scales and grows.

Keeping your teams engaged and connected

Inspiring and empowering teams takes a bit of creativity when everyone’s working from home. Even when teams have all the tools and applications, they need to do their jobs, it’s important to ensure they feel supported, engaged and empowered to perform well. Using Microsoft Teams as a contact centre gives organisations all the tools, they need to make this quick and easy to achieve:

  • Boost performance and inspire engagement by giving remote teams access to real-time metrics so they can see the impact their efforts are having.
  • Tools like wallboards show your teams everything they need to know about their productivity and efficiency, allowing them to see how their own efforts stack up against those of other team members – perfect for making everyone feel like they are working together towards the same goal.
  • Encouraging individual team members to try and beat their own ‘scores’, or letting teams compete against each other for a weekly or monthly prize, not only boosts productivity, it also allows company culture to flourish.

Be creative about how you inspire your teams, building strategies to bolster engagement, make productivity fun and enhance company culture, and watch the engagement levels rise.

Give recognition

One of the major drawbacks of a hybrid contact centre workforce is the lack of visibility for managers. Contact centres are notoriously fast-paced working environments, and the physical boundaries that come with remote working can make it even more difficult for supervisors to check in with individual workers.

Fortunately, cloud-based solutions offer plenty of in-built opportunities for harvesting data that can form the basis of important feedback and conversations with employees.

Analytics can be leveraged to spot patterns in colleague productivity that can not only alert line managers to potential problems, but also allow them to reward those who are performing especially well.

  • Managers will be able to identify which members of the team are resolving the most customer queries.
  • Keyword and sentiment analysis can be used to determine which agents are garnering the best feedback.
  • Data can be mined to identify those with the best rates of first-contact resolution.

Rewarding productivity and performance – even with a simple ‘thank you’ – will go a long way to ensuring teams continue to feel invested in the work they are doing and the team they are a part of.

Collect feedback and evolve

One of the best ways of ensuring continued employee engagement in a remote working environment is to gather feedback and act on what your teams are saying. Because no matter how good the tools you have provided are, and how thorough the training you have delivered is, there will almost certainly be somebody who encounters a problem and needs additional support.

Having an open-door policy for feedback will be instrumental in ensuring workers feel supported while they are performing their roles remotely and are physically isolated. They need to know that, if they hit a stumbling block or encounter a problem, they can still approach a supervisor and have their issue addressed.

  • Set up a system for collecting anonymised tips and suggestions.
  • Listen to what people are saying about the new tools, or the number of meetings scheduled in, and act on their feedback.

Understand the functionality and what may be missing and get tools and applications added to the environment if it will help. Your team is your best asset in terms of making a cloud-based contact centre work for your organisation, so tap into that resource as often and as thoroughly as you can. One of the best things about cloud-based services is the sheer flexibility – use it well and the benefits will be there for your teams, your customers, and your organisation as a whole.

The future looks bright

With a cloud-based contact centre, and teams that are inspired and empowered to get the most from it, organisations can drive real and powerful digital transformation that sets them up for whatever the future may bring. In the next blog in our series, we look at how integrating Microsoft Teams into your communications stack might be the best way to future-proof your business, by streamlining processes, centralising workflows and offering almost limitless customisations, flexibility and scalability.

Read it now: The future of contact centres for Microsoft Teams.

More from this series:

Part 1. Modernising your contact centre technology

Part 3. The future of Contact Centre for Microsoft Teams

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