People Who Need People
Sometimes life comes at you hard. Sometimes life comes at everyone at the same time hard. In the end, we have to go through this all together. Here is one opinion, written by our Support Services Manager.
We are all in the same boat
It feels like its been forever. It may actually be forever. Long term memory isn’t a forte of today's times. I’m sure you are as fed up of reading “Pandemic” or “Coronavirus” messages, emails, Facebook posts, updates from politicians, etc, etc. Now I was trying to think of how I could write something that ties the latest worldwide affecting crisis into something job-related. And then it hit me… I’m AN OLD PERSON!!! Yes.. well, not that old. 44 isn’t old, depending on the days you ask me. What I mean is, I like stuff that peaked during my time. Hard Rock music, adventure movies, sitcoms (the good ones, like Cheers and Golden Girls), and the ability to talk to people. Remember that? No really, remember that? Texting doesn’t count.
Here is the work crossover, I think.
We have advanced so much as a society with technology. Our “Call Centers” have become “Contact Centers”. We can call, email, chat, text, post on social media, predict interactions through forecasting, run analytics on data, etc, etc. We haven’t been able to figure out how and when this pandemic would hit.
We haven’t been able to figure out how long it will last. We haven’t figured out the surge in requirements to stock up on toilet paper. We HAVE figured out that we need to self-quarantine. Why yes, that will be an entry into the Websters Dictionary in the coming year. With this self-imposed isolation, the one thing that we have figured out is that in a time of crisis, we want to talk to people about it. Talk to our family, our friends, our support staff, our health consultants, etc.
In the province of Quebec, we have a toll-free health line that allows the citizens of our fine province to interact with a health care professional. Very quickly, those lines were inundated with calls. Wait times of 4 hours were common. By no fault of the call cen…contact center either. You can’t predict that you would need 50 agents more all of a sudden. All this to say, that when things go wrong, sometimes, technology can help, but more often than not, that basic need for human interaction is paramount.
We will come out stronger
What I am trying to say is, don’t give up on the basic need to have agents available to answer your customers' needs. It seems easy to look at technology to eliminate basic needs for business, like optimizing your business to implement tools that remove that human interaction (Yes, I am pointing at you, businesses who remove cashiers and replace them with self serve terminals), but in the end, when a pandemic like this hits, no one wants to really touch those terminals that have been touched by potentially infected hands.
When pandemics hit, people want to talk. People need reassurance. People need people.
People matter. Keep safe everyone.