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How Did Remote Work Revitalize Collaborative CX?

Josh Pikal
Josh Pikal Product Marketing Specialist

Collaborative CX has emerged as a key point of focus for many organizations in 2024. Zendesk reports that 72% of business leaders believe merging teams and responsibilities around CX will increase operational efficiencies, and there’s been a resurgence of businesses investing in more cross-functional methods of providing customer service — most notably by integrating their CCaaS and UCaaS platforms. 
Delivering CX collaboratively sounds obvious, so why is this concept garnering so much attention now? Simply put, collaborative CX was revitalized by the sudden shift to remote work during the pandemic. 
I know. It sounds counterintuitive to suggest that working from home did anything good for collaboration, but moving away from in-person contact centers forced organizations to develop new approaches for agent support which unlocked a higher level of customer experience. 

Disrupting the Convenient

The shift to remote work uncovered a widespread, not-so-good way contact center agents were receiving support. Just a few years ago, contact centers operated predominantly in person. Agents worked in a centralized location where a supervisor could oversee everyone at once. When agents received calls they didn’t know how to handle, most sought help the same way: looking over their shoulder to ask a coworker for help. 

For most, this worked well enough. But even if organizations supplied agents with better resources for assistance, the convenience of being physically close usually outweighed any alternatives — even if the help received was far from a best practice. It’s no small task for supervisors to uproot these bad habits and enforce call resolution best practices; there’s a reason why businesses invest so heavily in agent supervision and QM tools.

However, when the pandemic began in 2020, contact centers everywhere implemented a remote-work model. The convenient “swivel over to a coworker” support strategy had been eliminated, and agents were in desperate need of new systems for receiving support. 

A Unique Opportunity

The abrupt adoption of remote work gave organizations the chance to completely restructure their contact center support networks. This time, the most convenient resource for an agent was not dependent on geographic location, but on individual relevance and availability. Everyone was remote. Organizations began integrating their contact center with their UC solution, and subject-matter experts (SMEs) that were previously not considered available due to location were now involved in customer support.

Contact centers using Five9 could leverage immersive integrations with leading UC solutions such as Microsoft Teams, Nextiva, RingCentral, AT&T Office@Hand, and Zoom Phone. These integrations provide agents with a unified directory that displays the real-time availability of any UC user. Agents could click-to-call, conference, or transfer calls to the best point of contact available in the organization, thereby boosting first-call resolution rates, customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores, and Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Contact centers from a variety of industries unlocked a new level of productivity and profitability by uniting the best of their own to deliver CX collaboratively. Now, rather than receiving less-than-perfect aid from another CC agent, healthcare agents could conference in a clinical care advisor from another branch to help with a unique ailment. Accounting agents could click-to-call an available senior auditor from another state; a product specialist could help with advanced product support; billing and collections, field technicians, logistics… you name it. Organizations discovered that, as Metrigy observes, “agents can improve customer service by leveraging the expertise of non-contact center employees to answer questions or address issues they can’t handle alone.” When organizations can resolve inquiries on the first call, customer satisfaction and loyalty increases, which positively impacts purchasing behavior.

Furthermore, remote work invited international organizations utilizing Five9 to evolve their CX delivery on a global level. Five9 operates across the globe, so integrating with UC solutions provided new opportunities for cross-country agent support. Five9 agents could collaborate with SMEs around the world –– expanding the number of resources available to assist customers.   

Lasting Change

Today, delivering CX collaboratively remains a trending strategic advantage even as the percentage of remote contact centers has reduced. Organizations that integrated their contact centers with UC solutions reconceptualized their CX delivery model for the better, and that’s here to stay. It’s one of the reasons the hybrid workplace model has become so popular. 64% of contact center managers now oversee a hybrid workplace. They trust in the technological bridges they’ve built.

It's always made strategic sense to take full advantage of an organization’s talent pool to deliver the best customer experience possible. But for many organizations, it took an abrupt departure from the status quo to update their thinking. Still, adopting a more collaborative approach to delivering CX should be top of mind for everyone –– regardless of RTO policy. Learn more about Five9’s immersive integrations with leading UC solutions here

Josh Pikal
Josh Pikal Product Marketing Specialist

Call 1-800-553-8159 to learn more about Five9