For Red Roof Inn, we have moved to a cloud based system for reservations and are in the process of doing the same for our phone systems. By doing so, we have been able to shift more of our employees from working on premise at the contact center to working at home since access to the systems requires only a good internet connection.
This allows us greater flexibility in the hours agents work as we can more effectively manage spikes in call volumes. If we start seeing a greater number of calls, we can reach out to our agent network and they can quickly log in to the systems and take some calls — no need to hop into the car and head to work for what might only be a one hour additional shift.
Exploring New Ways of Communication
We see the biggest challenge as adapting, incorporating and integrating all of the methods that customers now want to use to interact with us. It is no longer just voice interaction over the phone nor interactive voice response units, it is text, chat, mobile apps and social media interaction via sites like Facebook and Twitter that our customers want to use. These new methods of communication have become a natural extension of themselves and they expect it of us as well. Our challenge involves looking at channels such as chat and text and determining whether we can integrate that efficiently into our overall operations. What pieces can be automated? When does something need to be escalated to a voice agent? How can our customers seamlessly transition between the various communication channels?