By Kathy Sisk
In my forty years in the call center industry, I have gone through many challenges, but none as distressing as in the past year. We can feel sorry for ourselves, or we can be intentional to make wise use of our time. Yes, we should relax and have fun when we can, but it doesn’t pay our bills. Therefore, balance is essential to move forward.
Here are some items for call center owners and clients to consider during lockdown:
- Get your house in order. Not your living quarters, but your business. Organize your office, your desk, your laptop, and your thoughts.
- Consider relocating staff to work from home. Sure, it’s a hassle, but when you are not able to pay your overhead, the hassle is a moot point.
- If required, get permission to go to the office and grab those PCs, headsets, and anything else you need. None of us knows what to expect, so it is best to think about the worst-case scenario and plan for it.
- If your infrastructure is not already in the cloud, work with a vender who can get you there. If you have an outbound operation, there are reliable resources that can get you up and running in less than an hour.
- Relocate staff in an area they can work from. Several centers I work with rented a house where their employees live and work from.
- If your staff is unable to process calls remotely, use the downtime to create curriculum and train your employees to learn as they wait to return to work.
- Spend time to generate additional campaign opportunities and set up the campaigns now in preparation for when restrictions ease.
These are some of the ideas I have incorporated into my company, and fortunately we have not been affected financially as others have. In fact, I have hired additional employees to cover the growth my company experienced during the lockdowns. Proudly, my staff is working full-time, generating sales, setting up campaigns, and onboarding centers with mostly at-home agents.
Taking these steps will help us now and prepare us for whatever the future may hold.
[Due to increased business demands, this is Kathy’s final column for Connections Magazine. Please thank her for the scores of articles she’s written for us over the years.]
Kathy Sisk, founder and president of Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc., is a trainer and consultant, contributing thirty-five years of expertise to the telemarketing, sales, and customer service industries.