Averting Disaster: How We’re Helping Keep Contact Centers Working (Safely) through the COVID-19 Crisis

By Craig Malloy | March 23, 2020
Keep Contact Centers Working

If there is one clear lesson to be learned from COVID-19, it’s the power of adapting—well and quickly—to change. I’ve been reminded of this throughout my career leading technology companies and serving customers. But what we’re experiencing right now is unprecedented.

We are in unchartered territory for how we live and work.

With the effects of the COVID-19 crisis continuing to grow in scale and impact every day, Serenova is committed to helping keep contact centers working, safely. We’re communicating with our customers and other contact center leaders every day to understand your most significant and immediate challenges, and where you need the most help solving them.

Based on your feedback, we created the CxEngage Rapid Response Program. The program addresses the urgent need to accelerate contact center work-from-home (WFH) deployments—in as little as 48 hours—to keep agents safe, without complexity or compromise.

We know contact centers and their agents are on the front lines responding to the coronavirus, and you’re stretched thin in every way. We understand the strain you’re experiencing operationally, while trying to maintain positive customer experiences. We know, for large organizations, you may employ hundreds or even thousands of agents working at close proximity, and ensuring their health and safety requires a major—and quick—operational reboot.

We also know the cloud is the only viable solution.

From Testing the Waters of Cloud Solutions, to Straight into the Deep End

Despite the clear benefits of the cloud—and much interest and talk about making the move—many contact centers have been slow to adopt. In fact, according to Gartner, 90 percent of global organizations still use on-premises contact center technology.

As a result, the unexpected magnitude of this global emergency has left most contact centers woefully unprepared to handle the volume surge and the need to immediately transition agents to safely work from home. Simply put, if you don’t empower your agents to work from home, you are endangering them every day of this pandemic.

But you can make the shift, and make it quickly.

It takes a cloud solution to burst to scale and move agents to WFH at the rate necessary to keep people healthy and keep your contact center working—while still addressing your customers’ needs.

Contact centers that were slowly testing the waters of the cloud have found themselves quickly in the deep end of the pool. To help them stay afloat, CxEngage Rapid Response equips contact centers to immediately scale with the cloud. That means implementing flexible remote work policies while maintaining business continuity—for agents and customers—during this crisis.

Urgent Circumstances Require Immediate Response

With no indications that the effects of COVID-19 will abate anytime soon, the need to handle continued volume increases and effectively manage a fully functioning WFM contact center workforce is intensifying. This makes the speed of cloud deployment to address these needs critical.

Our rapid deployment is possible through CxEngage’s globally available cloud contact center platform and an experienced professional services organization recognized for its proven processes. Whether a contact center is on-premises, in the cloud or hybrid, access to CxEngage is easy, scales quickly and is always ready to use—from anywhere. Even the biggest contact centers still operating completely on premises can put CxEngage in front of their legacy systems to enable a remote workforce right away.

Built on AWS, CxEngage empowers contact centers to rapidly onboard and enable remote agents with just an internet browser. Agents log into the CxEngage toolbar, access via a CRM or dial in on a mobile phone to begin taking calls immediately. Once enabled, you can designate agents to work from home entirely or on a rotating basis, to complement onsite staff during peak times when necessary.

It’s been gratifying to see the rapid response program already making a difference through deployments such as:

  • A 500-plus remote agent contact center for a large government agency responding to the outbreak with an initial influx of 150,000 calls
  • A 1,000-plus remote agent contact center for a leading healthcare provider currently using legacy, on-premises technology
  • A health insurance provider’s move to 100 percent WFH agents in one day to support hundreds of thousands of customers and members

Proven Solutions and Responsive Support When You Need It Most

While we’re helping new customers leverage the cloud to quickly support a remote workforce, our customer success teams are fielding a flood of customer inquiries about services, best practices and guidance on scaling and transitioning their contact center agents to remote work, covering everything from customer flow and telecom configurations to accessibility and reporting. We have also been providing customer support content to help our customers make this transition, including a webinar to answer critical questions, as well as information for help desks and operational teams.

Serenova’s customer-first approach has always separated us from our competition. And at a time like this, it’s more important than ever. We are prepared to provide this level of care—throughout this crisis and long after it.

This is a difficult and unique time for contact centers, and we see it as a turning point. This moment is forcing many organizations to make difficult decisions, including reevaluating the remote workforce (and workplace). While we have traditionally seen gradual transition over time to distributed contact center teams, the ability to mobilize and still be 100 percent operational is now undeniably necessary to save people and business.

We are at a point when a remote workforce is no longer a nice-to-have alternative. It is now an absolute necessity, and the only way to truly enable and scale it is through the cloud.

We’re ready to help you get there.

Throughout this crisis, we will support you with timely and relevant content from our team of experts on real-world examples of contact centers quickly deploying and supporting WFH workforces amid difficult and uncertain times. To begin, I recommend downloading our Contact Center Cloud Technology Quick Guide.

To learn more about the CxEngage Rapid Response program, click here or contact us now.


Craig Malloy is CEO of Serenova and Lifesize.