In the contact centre industry, prior to the incredible impact of COVID-19, we were already adapting to, and adopting, new ways of working using technology to empower a workforce both in the office and at home. As has been proven by the past two months, Australian businesses can adapt beyond expectations.
But what does the future look like in the post COVID era?
It starts with taking an optimistic view of how things can be, according to communications strategist Fiona Forbes of WPP AUNZ. She tells us at Citrus Group that the future is still one of continuing change. A positive mind-set will help us maintain the focus on consistent service delivery and relevant communication to keep our customers at the centre of all that we do.
“There is no going back to how things were,” says Fiona. “We’ve moved on, and that’s the good news because it has opened up so much more opportunity to think differently. It has been a steep learning experience for everyone, but the benefit curve is very rich.”
Fiona says many leaders will be challenged by a new rhythm as people gradually return to work. She suggests that it is a 12 to 18 month proposition – until we get a vaccine – before we can really feel we have settled into a rhythm.
Her check-list of considerations starts with communication, because more than ever before we need to keep in touch with a workforce which is a mix of office-based and remote.
As we’ve discussed in previous articles here at Citrus Group, the new opportunity for our workforce of the future is likely to be beyond our CBDs. No longer will some businesses need the big city office space, as they can relocate a workforce conveniently to a regional or outer suburban hub. The advantage is a shorter commute time, more time with family and other personal activities and interests – and cost savings for the business.
Says Fiona Forbes: “We are in a sweet spot right now, to manage our way out of COVID-19 where people can make a choice that works for them. It’s been tested and proven in these past weeks. If we have happier people because their environment and new way of working has given their life more balance and more time, what’s the bottom line? Better customer service, of course!”
For contact centre recruitment solutions, support, deployment we’re here to help at Citrus Group.