How AIOps is shaping the success of remote call centers
It’s no secret that the modern contact or call center is transforming from a facility that occupies physical real estate to an almost entirely virtual environment. LL Bean, J.C. Penny and other major retail brands, for instance, are shuttering many of their brick-and-mortar call centers and offering some employees the option to retain their positions, but in a “work-from-home” capacity.
The trend of consolidating offices and embracing remote work is a hallmark of the modern enterprise, as a wealth of new connected technologies allow businesses to run a less headquarters-centric operation. The benefits are plentiful, as teams not only can trim the amount of desk space they need to pay for, but they can also expand their search for talent to virtually anywhere.
But what makes the remote call center worker a unique specimen in the age of enterprise decentralization is just how hyper-dependent their role is on excellent connectivity and network performance. Of course for remote workers at every function of the enterprise, consistent network connectivity is the bedrock of their ability to perform: It ensures the functionality of SaaS workflows and cloud-based communication suites teams use to interact across the miles that separate them, allowing workers to stay in lock step with their managers and the larger goals of their organization.
Call center employees, however, are the individuals who are generally on the front lines of customer interactions. What’s more, these interactions are more often than not in the service of resolving customer issues, often putting call center employees in the line of fire of already fed up or frustrated individuals.
After all, the last thing a disgruntled customer wants from their contact center interaction is a voice or video call awash in interruptions due to a bad connection.
What enables contact center workers to work remotely is their ability to leverage VoIP and UCaaS solutions that rely on the enterprise WAN to perform. These tools require high-throughput traffic protocols (UDP, for instance) that make them among the most sensitive tools to network degradation. So if a remote call center employee doesn’t have a strong connection to the apps they need to complete their calls and the networks supplying voice and video, it’s a direct, customer-facing instance of the brand failing to meet expectations.
AIOps and tomorrow’s contact center
With that in mind, businesses that are transforming their call centers into a fully remote operation need to adopt some new strategies to ensure they’re reaping all the benefits of decentralization. This starts with ensuring that remote workers have strong access to the network in the first place, including the assurance that unexpected performance degradations won’t unexpectedly derail contact center operations.
With comprehensive network performance monitoring in place, enterprise IT teams can validate the connections between their remote workers, the app providers, and the larger WAN prior to turning these users online. Teams can start by establishing an acceptable performance threshold, and then track connectivity between locations, apps, and customers to flag when that threshold isn’t being met.
Eventually, teams can work to start automating these “degradation flags” via AIOps initiatives, so that any time a specific user’s connectivity isn’t delivering acceptable quality voice or video calls, managers can take that user offline and divert call traffic until the issue is resolved.
With the right network monitoring tools in place, centralized IT teams can keep track of their entire remote network footprint from one central location, and leverage this performance data to inform their own AIOps initiatives, ie. automatically halting customer traffic to a location with poor performance and redirecting traffic to a more available user. This way, even as enterprises become more decentralized and IT teams become in charge of more users, apps, and locations, they can still visualize their entire network footprint and put processes in place – AIOps or otherwise – that can actually streamline management.
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Filed Under: industry insights
Tags: Artificial Intelligence, AI Operations, AIOps, AI, WAN, enterprise WAN, enterprise call center, enterprise IT, network performance monitoring, network performance, branch office, remote office, remote employee, remote worker, remote work, remote contact center, remote call center, contact center, call center