In just 16 days, Salesforce went from just 216 agents working from home to more than 2,800. And they’re not alone. With the new imperative to social distance, Customer Service leaders needed to act immediately to make sure that their agents were safe and healthy, which meant a newly established remote workforce.

Every customer service organization has had to do the same – and contact centers are now developing strategies to help them adapt to the pains of being remote for the first time. Here are 3 ways leading organizations are adapting to challenges caused by the new remote work reality.

For an in-depth look at how organizations are adapting to remote contact centers, download the latest report from Contact Babel.

Challenge #1 Call volumes are increasing beyond what the contact center can handle.

In certain industries, such as telecommunications where parents and children now need to leverage their wifi for remote learning and working, call volumes are surging and customer service is becoming more critical than ever. Customers need help – and hiring additional staff may not be an option.

However, there is a solution and one that some of the world’s leading brands are using to adapt to the new remote work reality: self-service. In fact, one study found that 20 to 40 percent of live call volumes could be replaced with self-service. By using self-service, customers become empowered by receiving the information they need, right when they need it. AI is used to proactively provide the best content to customers while also helping customer service organizations with insights into changing customer needs in real-time.

Since implementing Coveo, RingCentral has seen a 15 percent drop in call volume. Find out how other deal leaders are adapting to our new reality and the urgent need for self-service in our webinar with the Technology Services Industry Association. 

Challenge #2 Too many siloed and disconnected ways for customers to engage 

Why do your customers give up on finding answers online? Too many channels. According to Gartner, while most organizations view more self-service channels as a sign of “comprehensive support,” customers tend to be overwhelmed by the information without an understanding of what to do next.

Leading organizations adapt to customer needs and complexity by simplifying the customer journey. Customers want to self-serve, but they don’t want to be an expert in your digital properties to do so. Reduce the effort for customers by connecting all sources of content – whether that is knowledge base articles, training guides, or even technical documentation. By connecting your siloed systems, you are helping to reduce customer effort and ensuring that no matter where or how your customers engage, they get trusted and accurate information.

Your Guide to Building a Connected Workplace for Your Remote Workforce

Informatica, for example, needed to bring together 40 support moderated customer forums, and roughly 100,000 articles from 20 different content sources. After implementing Coveo to connect their content and data, case deflection went up by 120 percent. Download the case study for the full story.

Challenge #3 Agents are struggling to confidently respond to a broad range of customer questions. 

With agents now working remotely, they can no longer count on in-person knowledge from their more experienced colleagues. This makes responding to new or complex customer inquiries more difficult.

Leading organizations are adapting to this challenge by strengthening their knowledge management practices, increasing digital documentation, and powering content with AI so that agents get proactive and guided recommendations on the cases they are working on. This reduces waiting time and boosts agents’ confidence levels so they can seamlessly work through customer cases without needing to search numerous systems or interrupt colleagues to find answers.

Discover how one of the fastest growing SaaS companies, Xero, was able to improve the experience for customers and agents alike with Coveo.

Want to learn more? Download the latest report from Contact Babel.