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by Nick Pauli | May 4, 2020
For almost two decades, 5CA has been perfecting our work from home customer service model. The latest version, where we only ever hire agents to work from home, has been around since 2015, so it is clear that for us this is very much business as usual.
This is not the case across the wider Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry. Most companies in this sector build large contact centers and then restrict their hiring to only those who live within commuting distance of the contact centers.
This isn’t really smart. When we hire people we can choose from anyone, anywhere, using any language, and with any domain skills. If we need to support a gaming company then we go out looking for people who love the games our client produces. We hire fans that are full of passion, not the same people who might work inside a bank contact center.
This approach has suddenly become very important, because the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to work from home – even all those thousands of people usually in contact centers.
They can manage in the short term, but one they realize that managing remotely is all about trust, not managerial hierarchies, then they will hit a wall. Their entire corporate culture is going to have to change to succeed. Most of them will be trying to move back into contact centers as fast as possible, but I suspect that our “new normal” is going to last several years. Until there is a vaccine for this virus, every company needs to focus on social distancing and that makes the traditional contact center model uneconomic.
It’s no surprise that people are contacting 5CA and asking for help because they are more interested in WFH 5.0 than companies with 5 weeks of experience. This means that we are scaling up rapidly now and there are several approaches we are using to ensure that we can grow quickly and maintain the quality of our team:
To scale up faster we have been focusing on boosting the number of people we have working on onboarding and training and we are now onboarding hundreds of new team members every week. Everyone has passed through the same aptitude checks, interviews, and training so even though we have dramatically scaled up our recruitment, the quality of people has remained consistent. This is how WFH 5.0 works. Our culture of trust and empowerment means that our remote teams can deliver more and scale up faster.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen licensed under Creative Commons.
I started working for 5CA back in October 2019. Currently, I’m working as a Gaming Technology Support Agent in Spain. My job as an expert on the products of the company I'm supporting is to offer support to customers and get them up, running and happy in no time.
2020 is set to be a blockbuster year for gaming. In particular, mobile games that don’t need the player to invest in a console or any other equipment. One of the effects of the stay-at-home and quarantine orders during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been that people have needed to find things to keep them occupied.
The white paint lines on the road crept passed ever so slowly, like my life tricking away.
I tapped the steering wheel with my nails, trying to release the pent up stress and irritation while the radio mindlessly droned on. Then the tears came, right on time, same as usual.
When you look at how many people searched for ‘work from home’ in the past year, you see the chart soars in March 2020 just as many national governments were applying stay-at-home orders and quarantines to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. This is no surprise. Every company that could possibly keep functioning with remote workers asked their people to go home.
It’s often said, ‘people are the weakest link in cybersecurity’. I get that and I agree that we must seek to minimize human-related threat vectors. But I believe that if we view our people, our teammates, as our greatest security asset, then we start from a position of strength.
Have you noticed how many companies and senior executives are now experts in building a work from home strategy? According to Malcolm Gladwell it takes 10.000 hours of individual practice to become an expert at anything. Have those 320 business hours since the 1st of March really made everybody an expert?
Across the world, business journals have been endlessly reporting of the heroic efforts of companies with large numbers of office-based employees managing to switch to a work-from-home strategy. This has particularly impacted the contact centers because they have a large number of people in a small area and this is no longer acceptable because of the social distancing required to keep us all safe.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Lead QA Analyst, Sylvia Mattl, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
A few days ago I participated in a webinar titled ‘pioneering contact center quality working remotely.’ The title makes it clear what the focus was, but I was pleased to be joined by our Chief Customer Officer Rob van Herpen, and Derek Corcoran, CEO of Scorebuddy.
My experience with starting to work remotely has certainly been one of the very best opportunities I’ve had so far. It changed my life, for the better. I’ll gladly tell you the short story of how I went from an in-office agent biking to the station every day, to exchanging my bike for snow boots when I reached my new home.
Companies across the world are racing to get their team all working from home to protect them. During multiple global lockdowns citizens are expected to practice social distancing, therefore it is essential for companies to operate with as many people as possible working from home.
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Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool. It also presents an intriguing challenge: How do we balance flexibility, productivity, and security?
Consumer support over any channel, in any language, at any time: 5CA’s successful contact center as a service is possible because we use technology to make planet Earth our talent pool.