The onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic has significantly impacted business priorities. Organisations have been forced to urgently focus on finding solutions to address immediate customer needs, whilst protecting and supporting their people, and rapidly adapting their operating model.

Technology has played a pivotal role in the current crisis with digital engagement centres enabling organisations to rapidly stand up environments to support a transition to remote working.  In addition, the recent advances in cloud based customer engagement platforms have reduced the reliance on physical assets and are likely to be a prominent feature in accelerating future digital operating models.  

Customer engagement teams have historically been supported by peer networks, frontline managers and internal networks who are often in close physical proximity. Office layouts are constructed to enable teams to be co-located to deliver effective engagement through direct and immediate contact. However, with the recent switch to remote working and dependency on digitalisation, human customer engagement is becoming increasingly more complex, demanding and varied. 

Frontline managers play a key role in dealing with the crisis;

supporting remote teams and adopting increases in digital technologies. Equipping managers with the right skills, tools and capabilities to manage their teams effectively and ensure a successful transition to new ways of working will pay significant dividends. They will need to rapidly adapt their operating rhythm and increase their focus on planning, communication, and their approach to prioritisation. The ability of managers to remain resilient, maintain team performance, engagement and motivation, to sustain operational oversight and to work with agility will be critical over the coming months.

Organisations that have a mature digital footprint are already seeing the benefits that automation and digitalisation provide in supporting customer journeys. This, now more than ever, has become a competitive advantage, but in turn, relies on managers to change the way in which they support and manage their frontline teams. Those who have previously adopted remote working and digital technologies are benefiting from increases in customer satisfaction, resilience and operational efficiency with improvements in absence and attrition.

With the impact of the current pandemic, could this operating model become increasingly the norm and if so, how do we ensure our managers are best equipped to support their customers, people and the organisation.

Our portal provides the tools and approaches to help you manage remote working teams, please use the link below to visit and explore the material available.

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  • Tony Farnfield
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