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Almost eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape of businesses and organizations, with the likelihood that some changes will remain permanent in the new normal.

Concerns over maintaining health measures and responding to stark changes in consumer behavior have dominated businesses and organizations. In the reshuffling, need for contact centers has remained high, with the Contact Center Association of the Philippines reporting an unprecedented out-of-season surge in client needs during the period.

It is clear why – outsourcing is an essential component of organizations’ continuity plans, allowing support and services to continue even given the limitations of having to shelter in place. As before the pandemic, outsourcing also allows companies to better manage their costs, by providing a third party arm to take care of otherwise more expensive or resource-heavy operations.

Outsourcing also allows companies to extend their global market reach, by putting the effort of reaching out on a third party so that the organization can focus on perfecting its core services.

But like everyone else, contact center groups have had to pivot to make it in the new normal. The ability to do so can make or break third party service providers. Following this, it helps to follow what other companies have done to adapt with the new normal.

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Resilience in the face of change

What enables businesses to not just succeed, but thrive during the pandemic period? McKinsey & Company have found that embracing technology and being agile are key.

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Embracing technology

If there was ever a time for a company to leverage their online presence, it is now.

As found in a global survey, the companies that have thrived the best during the pandemic are the ones who have embraced the use of more advanced technologies and digital products.

70% of buyers have also responded well to businesses shifting towards online platforms, preferring digital interactions to the traditional set-up.

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Be flexible

Companies that are agile have responded best to the crisis. Agility defines companies that were able to roll out timely responses to the pandemic, pulling together around a common purpose and quickly making decisions.

The changes that have had to be made are considerable, requiring companies to rethink delivery systems and employee deployment.

 Among the solutions many contact center groups have opted for to face these changes has been to combine the use of technology with flexibility in their work arrangements, resulting

Working from home

Moving from office to home presents its own unique set of challenges, but contact center companies have been able to do so by setting up systems to seamlessly support both clients and the agents who will serve them.

 This has primarily required setting up digital architecture so that employees could do the same work at home without compromising ease of transactions. Systems are also set up to track issues and provide feedback.

As work from home has continued over the last few months, maintaining morale despite rapid and sometimes challenging changes in how work is done, is essential. Best practice has included creating an environment of cooperation and optimism in teams via online management tools and videoconferencing. 

Working from home has proven to be an effective measure for continuing contact center services. One group reported 43% improvement in employee attrition compared to the same time in the previous year. During the same period, there was a reported 74% of clients being stable or showing improved customer satisfaction.

Thriving in the new normal

In Visaya, we crested the wave of the changes brought about by the pandemic, establishing continued services despite the challenges in doing so. In putting together and enacting our work from home plans, we ensured the following:

  • That customer information remains secure even if our staff are working offsite.
  • That the systems in place are scalable, to be able to take on larger amounts of work as demand for contact center services surge.
  • That our employees continue to experience a good work life balance despite having to work from home. 

Majority of our clients recognized that the unique situation brought about by the pandemic required us to pivot, but this has not stopped excellent delivery of services

“I think Visaya did a great job with what they had to work with. You don’t get too many choices when a pandemic happens.”

We acted with speed and deliberation in creating new work arrangements, whether it was by providing laptops for agents to be able to work from home, arranging for them to be able to stay in hotels when commuting back home was impossible, or arranging for COVID-19 testing to ensure employee health and safety.

“[Visaya showed] consistency and reliability so minimal impact to operations.”

We communicated with clients consistently about our processes and plans, even given

the uncertainty that the industry faces. Do we continue to work form home, or do we return to our offices? How will client experience be affected? These are considerations we continue to be upfront to our clients with. 

We have remained available to client needs, in recognition of the enormous logistical upheavals on both sides. In fact, we were able to take on more work during the pandemic period, with some clients having to shift the workload of other service providers who were unable to keep up with the changes in the environment, on to us. 

“We have not felt any effects of the Pandemic when it comes to our involvement with Visaya.”

The challenges wrought by the pandemic are likely to create more long-lasting changes down the line. Depending on a partner like Visaya, which was tried and tested during the pandemic, ensures that operations remain smooth despite sudden changes and needs to pivot.

We at Visaya are happy to support you, whether you’re a company that has previously partnered with contact centers, or an organization that has just now found its operations disrupted by the pandemic and are in need of outsourced aid. We look forward to helping you navigate the new normal. Connect with Visaya today at sales@visayakpo.com.