July 15, 2020

10 Quotes on How COVID-19 Forever Changed Contact Centers

10 Quotes on How COVID-19 Forever Changed Contact Centers

The pandemic has been a tipping point and catalyst for change touching everyone’s life and every business.  Commonly held beliefs and business practices pre-COVID-19 continue to be challenged as companies find new ways to better serve customers and meet their changing expectations.

We asked some of the world’s leading contact center experts as well as curated quotes from customer experience thought leaders on how the pandemic has and continues to reshape customer service and the role of call center agents.

  1. “COVID-19 has forced many businesses to rethink how they service their customers, and contact centers are no exceptions. With the right communications tools, companies can not only better serve their customers regardless of where their employees work, but they can also leverage them for employee retention and satisfaction.”
    Jeff Singman, VP Kandy Sales, Innovation and Customer Success, Ribbon Communications
  2. “The shift to a virtual workplace could provide increased opportunities for flexible schedules, with potential benefits for both representatives and organizations. Representatives who work from home can log on for shorter shifts mapped to spikes in volume, which can be much more efficient than eight-hour shifts with downtimes.”
    Tim McDougal, Managing Director Contact Center Offering, Deloitte Consulting LLP
  3.  “Best in class contact centers recognized the need to scale. They accelerated their digital options, creating other ways for customers to get their questions answered and their problems resolved. The result is these companies are in an even better position to support their customers as we emerge from the pandemic than they were before it started.
    Shep Hyken, CAO, Shepard Presentations LLC.  (@Hyken)
  4. “COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the fact that many contact centers found a gap in their processes as they pushed thousands of employees to Work from Home. It also highlighted their imperative to take their operational policies and procedures very seriously and develop a best-in-class knowledge Management System to stress test their processes and procedures. Nothing drives a better path during a crisis than the critical information at your fingertips when other survival methods are not there.”
    Stephen Pappas, Chief Marketing Officer and SVP, Panviva   (@CxConnoisseur)
  5. “Contact centers, once the offices reopen, will need to relook at their business continuity plan, which could include wider adoption of cloud based technologies, distribution of key personnels in multiple shifts and sites, re-evaluating the role of offshoring and outsourcing, building more redundancies with suppliers in case of change of local health conditions.”
    Olive Huang, VP Product Strategy, Salesforce (@olive_huanghai)
  6.  “In the age of the novel coronavirus, brands are also likely to look to outsourcers as a source of resiliency for their customer service organizations.”
    Ian Jacobs, Principal Analyst, Forrester  (@iangjacobs)
  7. “Now, more than ever, we are at an inflection point where I hope that more and more leaders understand the value of the connection that their professional service agents create with their customers. In many cases – this is the only human interaction that your brand is having with your customers – and it can cement your relationship.”
    Ingrid Lindberg, Founder and CX, Chief Customer (@iclindberg)
  8. “One thing has been made clear; not being agile - or ready for anything - can be a huge danger. We must learn to move quickly and in understanding the new experience customer mindset, we will continue to have customers.”
    Blake Morgan, Customer Experience Futurist (@BlakeMichelleM)
  9. “Delivery services and online shopping portals are consumers’ new normal—and that’s what they will expect from brands even after the virus is brought under control. Businesses in all types of industries, not just food services and consumer goods, should anticipate a demand in online services from here on out.”
    Sprout Social (@SproutSocial)
  10. “In Europe, we are seeing step-level improvement in contact and service center performance while working remotely.  When leaders entrust, empower and equip their agents, the customer benefits. Companies that protected and cared about their employees first are realizing greater results from their teams.”
    Ricardo Saltz Gulko, Managing Director, Eglobalis Information (@RicardoSGulko)

One lesson learned from the pandemic is that the customer service agent is more important to customer satisfaction, not less as was hypothesized pre-COVID-19.  The agent plays a critical role in establishing human-centered customer relationships. As customers evaluate brands on humanity, compassion, value, and speed, technology's role is to enable the agent, not replace them.  








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