The CX Workplace of the Future

From early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic impacted day-to-day operations for practically every department of every business in every sector, across the globe. Customer experience (CX) was no exception, with agents working from home at any organisation that wanted to minimise disruption through lockdowns and social distancing restrictions.

In the UK, approximately 60% of the workforce was operating remotely, while the US saw the proportion of workers at home rise to almost half. But as time has gone on, and we’ve seen a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s become clear that CX agents – and employees in general – might be making the move to remote working more permanent.

Broadly speaking, less than one in five executives say they want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. Looking specifically at CX, over half of organisations will continue with home working in some capacity.

That begs the question, what does the CX workplace of the future look like?

Adapting to a hybrid working model

First and foremost, the CX workplace of the future won’t be solely in the office. But nor will it be exclusively at home. The most popular option heading into the future appears to be a hybrid model of working, combining the office and home office – and potentially a few other locations.

A 2020 survey by Stanford found that 55% of US workers preferred a mixture of home working and office life. That’s backed by the Great Place to Work Institute, who forecast a 60-40 split between the office and remote work in ten years’ time. To achieve this balance, businesses need to tackle two key challenges when it comes to technology – namely, empowering agents and equipping managers.

Empowering agents with the right technology

Working from home gained a mixed response from employees across the globe. Some preferred the remote environment, becoming more productive without the office environment distracting them from their work. Others struggled to adapt, with 17% of workers citing collaboration and communication as their biggest struggle.

Technology is the key to solving this, giving CX agents the right tools to communicate with customers and collaborate with colleagues. That includes making the most of collaboration software like Microsoft Teams, but also facilitating omnichannel communication – including voice, video, email and web chat.

On a more fundamental level, employers considering a move to flexible working should also look to ensure staff are equipped with the basics. This includes noise-cancelling headsets, suitable desks, monitors and keyboards, which are all now made more affordable with subscription-based offerings. Of course, a fast, reliable internet connection is a must too.

Equipping managers to monitor staff

The other side of the picture relates to the technology managers require to manage agents remotely. In the office, there’s no issue in speaking to staff one-to-one, holding team meetings, assisting agents with queries or even monitoring calls. But how do you do all of this when team members could be in the office, at home, or (most likely) a mixture of the two?

Again, the answer comes from technology. With the right collaboration software, you can hold one-to-one calls and team meetings with ease. Choose from voice calls, video calls or just instant messaging to share ideas, report on progress or just stay in the loop with your team.

The same software can facilitate screen sharing at the touch of a button, making it much easier to assist with any issues. A tailored agent analytics solution will also enable you to monitor staff performance and customer engagement data, regardless of where those agents are based.

What about automation?

It’s impossible to discuss the CX workplace of the future without mentioning automation. Pre-covid, this was easily the number one point of interest for CX. Despite the focus on remote and hybrid working, it remains a hot topic which can improve productivity and cut costs.

Whether it’s routing calls to the right department or using ‘virtual assistant’ chatbots to complete basic functions, there are a number of agent functions which can be automated to free up their time and even improve the customer experience. That extends to management responsibilities too, with various systems available to automate analytics and provide the real-time information you need at your fingertips.

Creating your CX workplace of the future

At Aura, we’re dedicated to providing the technology you need for the CX workplace of the future, today. Our cloud contact centre solutions make it easier to provide an omnichannel experience for customers and agents, while seamlessly integrating interactions with existing applications.

That’s complemented by a bespoke transformation approach, helping your organisation change at a pace that suits you and make the most of existing investments. Arrange a consultation with our expert team to talk more about your CX requirements.

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