Key, Essential Tips to Successfully and Quickly Move Your Business to Homeworking

Coronavirus has made home working an absolute necessity for business across the UK and the rest of the world. With the possibly of homeworking likely to last at least 3 months and with the virus causing a rethink of the culture around social interaction forever, homeworking may become a much more routine part of any business.

Firms have to take into account many things in order to make this successful. They need to ensure that workers have the correct personal equipment to be productive, but, most importantly, they need to ensure the business has the correct communications, customer engagement and collaboration solutions in place to ensure workers are able to service customers and be productive. Read on to learn how to resolve these essential issues.

Customer Service

Whether you are a multi-national with a 500 strong team of contact centre agents with a sophisticated omnichannel customer engagement solution or an SMB relying on your sales or marketing team to pick up calls, the new reality is that you need those customer calls and messages routed to your employees at home. Achieving this with legacy on-premise technology where extensions are determined by physical hardware is much more difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

Moving your telephony and contact centre solutions to the cloud will overcome this. As your software is hosted in the cloud it is more flexible enabling its deployment outside of the traditional centralised office-based environment. In the case of a small office, using a hosted telephony solution means an employee only needs to unplug their VoIP phone off from their desktop and plug it into their home router or download a softphone to their computer or smartphone. Extensions can be quickly reassigned to these devices in a matter of minutes and your IVRs and call routing will function as it did in the office minimizing disruption (This does even include the price savings by using VoIP compared to ISDN lines).

In the case of a large contact centre with a customer engagement solution, hosting it in the cloud means your agents can access it directly from a browser on any computer and seamlessly continue with your customer service or outbound campaigns.

Quick Hybrid Transition Solutions

For those large contact centres with legacy systems who want to keep their on-premise solutions or perhaps feel that it will be expensive or incredibly time-consuming to move to the cloud, cloud-based customer engagement technology can be deployed and fully operational in less than two weeks. And if they want to keep their on-premise solution, it is possible to put a cloud-contact centre in front of their legacy system to enable a remote workforce in a similar time frame. The option of a hybrid transition means the switch can be made without creating dramatic upheaval for staff.

There is no need to close your business, lay off staff or make them come into the office and put them at risk.

Choosing the Right Cloud Solution

Moving to a cloud solution will enable your business to function from your employees’ homes; however, to maximise that smooth transition there are a number of other issues that must be taken into consideration.


Security is of course paramount, and your cloud solution should be behind a powerful firewall. Home workers have dynamic IP addresses which means a surge in requests to change the firewall filters, adding huge admin overhead. The key question is whether your solution provider has the capacity and technical support policies and expertise in place to support your needs. If you have to file a ticket and wait 24 hours to get a reply then you have lost a day’s business and perhaps a number of customers. In these challenging times, this is when you need to be able to pick up the phone and get straight through to an agent.

Similarly, items like organising softphone downloads, VPN clients, anti-virus for hundreds of home workers can be extremely challenging. In the example of softphones look for a provider who has web RTC built in. This will enable you to directly make calls from the browser without any need to download and provision a softphone. As an IT department needing to do this for a large number of employees this will save a lot of time.

Data Security

Home workers could have reduced security in the form of, for example, many different people using the home PC. With this in mind, you can at least mitigate some of the risk by looking at the network environment provided by your supplier. If their network is PCI-DSS certified it will offer an additional level of security compared to most.

Monitoring Performance of Staff

Without the ability to walk the floor and listen to calls, or your agents to quickly pop over to a supervisor’s desk, it is ever more important to have tools in place that give you quick analytics and insight in how your agents are performing. Real-time access to call recording and customer interaction analytics which are able to pick up on sentiment can give managers crucial insights, helping them keep your customer service up to standard.

Omnichannel Customer Record and Analytics

Powerful analytics are a key to manage remotely, but key also is omnichannel insight. If your messaging and agent teams are separate and now not easily able to communicate when an irate customer says they contacted through a different channel and are not happy to repeat themselves, then having a customer journey record that weaves together all customer interactions no matter what channel they used will bolster your agents.

Internal Collaboration

While many people may not have necessarily been sold on the benefits of video when they were in an office, with remote working the ability to make video calls with colleagues is crucial for engagement and morale, as well as the obvious of benefitting productivity. Working at home can be lonely and already experts are recommending the best way to remain motivated is by getting on a video call to feel connected.

With homeworking your whole team now has to communicate and collaborate remotely. And while they may have already been scheduling meeting, messaging, making calls, file sharing and collaborating online, the office environment meant they may have doing this on an ad-hoc basis with different software. Now with your entire business depending on these online tools, it is much more productive for your employees and for supervision to have one platform, where they can find all their colleagues, tools and conversations in one interface. Morale may also be low. It is best therefore to look for a platform that provides a complete office experience, but in a friendly way bringing many of the familiar tools from social networks into the business arena.

Customer Service Field Resolution

It is now an absolute necessity to reduce field visits for customer repairs. This can be achieved through remote visual assistance software. It allows your customers to show their problems in real time through their smartphone camera. Your agents can zoom in, capture details and provide AR onscreen pointers.

About Hostcomm

Hostcomm has more than 15 years’ experience in providing hosted telephony and contact centre services. We have our own PCI-DSS certified data centre, we provide unlimited telephone support through our UK customer service centre and we have a 5 Star rating on Trustpilot.

The solutions we offer below can help your business to quickly transition to home working and make a success of it.

Bitrix24 – Is a complete suite of social collaboration and communication tools in one unified package, trusted by more than 6 million organisations worldwide. It is easy to use, quick to set up, has nothing to download secure (TLS encryption) and enables extension numbers to be copied.

Remote Visual Assistance – Our remote visual assistance software enables your agents to see exactly what your customer is seeing through their smartphone camera and visually guide them to resolve a problem. No app download required.

XCally – This a powerful, award-winning omnichannel contact centre solution with cross channel customer journey analytics and a WebRTC phone meaning no download necessary.

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