Contact Centers & Customer Engagement in a Post-COVID-19 World

Contact Centers & Customer Engagement in a Post-COVID-19 World

The pandemic has shaken up numerous aspects of consumer daily life. From working remotely out of our homes and schooling children in digital classrooms to doing business with companies online, the day-to-day activities of consumers look drastically different than a year ago.

When stay at home orders were issued in March as COVID-19 began to spread across the nation like wildfire, the contact center industry was faced with a unique challenge. Contact centers were inundated with a high volume of calls as consumers were stuck at home and only had the option of calling in to reach a business, yet the centers faced significant logistical obstacles since agents were sent home to work remotely.

An Urgent Need to Digitally Transform

Before the pandemic, contact centers across a variety of industries had long-term plans to digitally transform their communications technology. However, such plans were not viewed as critical to the immediate success of the contact center meeting service level agreements and consequently were typically put on the back burner. Pre-pandemic, on-premise legacy phone systems were sufficient to run a contact center’s operations as agents worked together as one large team in a physical office space. Once COVID-19 arrived and contact centers were no longer able to house all of their agents in a close-knit work environment, the need for cloud-based communication solutions became urgent overnight.

Getting contact center agents set up to work out of their homes proved to be a logistical nightmare since many organizations were less mature in their digital transformations. Contact centers that were using legacy phone technology before the pandemic found themselves almost immediately in search of cloud-based unified communications solutions that would enable their agents to shift quickly and easily to assisting customers remotely.

COVID-19 as a Catalyst for Further Communication Innovation in 2021

An example of an industry that lacked the necessary technology it needed to communicate with their customers in a virtual and secure way when COVID-19 hit is healthcare. The healthcare industry urgently needed technology that would enable doctors to communicate with their patients virtually.

In particular, healthcare providers struggled to virtually care for patients for non-COVID related health concerns as many clinics were shut down completely or were only operating for COVID related care. Organizations turned to using traditional web conferencing solutions to communicate via one-on-one virtual video sessions between a patient and a healthcare professional. While this solved an immediate need, it also exposed sensitive patient data, creating a significant security risk. This challenge born out of the pandemic creates opportunity for innovation in the year ahead.

As the virus continues to spread and businesses deal with the ongoing economic impact, 2021 will see a great deal of innovation in customer engagement and contact center technology, including advancements in video technology. Consumers have grown accustomed to using video to communicate not only with family and friends since the start of the pandemic, but to also communicate with businesses and service providers, while staying at home as much as possible.

Advancements in video technology will shift towards consumer-designed conferencing tools that offer exceptional customer experience while making it easy to meet on-the-fly rather than a pre-scheduled meeting. This type of new video technology will replace third party web conferencing seats at organizations across the nation. Additionally, security standards for video interactions will increase, especially in highly regulated industries, like financial services or healthcare.

Digital Customer Engagement Challenges Moving Forward

Contact centers can also expect a spike in the video communications, especially for use cases where more complex matters are at hand. For example, consider the scenario of a consumer meeting with a loan officer at the local bank branch to discuss mortgage refinancing options. The nature of this type of conversation is vastly more complex than, say, a customer calling into the bank for help logging into their online banking platform. Adding video to an interaction can greatly enhance the customer experience as well as increase customer engagement.

As consumers and businesses continue to adapt to the ‘new normal’ amid the global pandemic, the ability to securely connect humans while they remain physically apart will continue to be a challenge. And, as organizations take action on digital transformation plans and adopt cloud-based technologies to advance their communications strategies, security must remain the primary focus to ensure successful customer engagement.

But with challenges come opportunity. As the world recovers and applies the learnings from the past year, contact centers will make important advancements that will set the course for the future of customer engagement.

How to send money to Zimbabwe from South Africa

Michele Teboul

Since 2009 WorldRemit’s customers have been able to send money quickly, securely and cost-effectively from the developed world to emerging markets. Our online service has just gone from strength to strength in that respect. But we didn’t want to stop there.

We wanted to expand our services by helping customers transfer money from emerging market to an emerging market. And we started by offering our service in South Africa last year.

In the coming months, we’ll be offering a service in Rwanda and then expand into other sub- Saharan countries.

It’s all part of our future plan to offer far better all-round financial services in emerging markets: markets that are badly served at present. We have some exciting and innovative developments planned, so watch this space.

In the meantime, let’s focus on our excellent service from South Africa to Zimbabwe.


How to send money to Zimbabwe from South Africa

We make money transfer fast, simple and secure. And whichever method you choose to send your money online with us, it only takes a few simple steps.

1. Create your account

You can register for free on our website or download our app: 

2. Give us your transfer details

Choose Zimbabwe as your destination country, then choose how you would like to send your money;

Cash pickup

We offer an unrivalled cash pickup service in Zimbabwe as we can guarantee cash pay-outs in USD every time. And we offer our instant cash pickup service at over 250 locations across the country – more than any other remittance provider.

We’re committed to growing our cash collection network by strengthening our partnerships with key banks and cash collection providers. These include Steward Bank, CBZ, Kaah Express, Quest Financial Services, and ZB Bank.

Bank transfer

You can send a bank transfer to your family and friends accounts held at Steward Bank in Zimbabwe. It takes just a few minutes and the funds will be available on the same day.

Mobile money

You can send money to Zimbabwe EcoCash accounts, and your recipient will receive money in their USD EcoCash wallet within minutes.

3. Choose how much you want to transfer

Tap in the amount you’d like your recipient to receive and we’ll show you our low fees and exchange rate upfront.

4. Add your recipient’s details

If you’re sending money to someone for the first time, we’ll need to have their details including full name, address, telephone number, bank details (if you’re sending a bank transfer) or EcoCash account number (if you’re sending mobile money).

If you’ve sent to them before, their details will be held in the system on a list.

5. Pay for your transfer

You can pay in a choice of ways:

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