NobelBiz® Blog 6 Difficulties Companies Face When Transitioning from Brick and Mortar to Virtual https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/output-onlinepngtools.pngContent wizard, marketing specialist, research pro. We’ve all seen countless of articles enumerating the numerous advantages of leaving brick and mortar behind and adopting the new and improved virtual setting. Heck, even I am guilty of writing a piece or two on the virtual prospects of the Contact Center market. And I still stand by what I said and I’m sure a large majority of the people prophesizing the uprise of the virtual Call Center still firmly believe in the advantages of making the switch. However, nobody really talks about the difficulties companies face when transitioning from a brick and mortar system that they developed and perfected over years, even decades, to a totally new, virtually unmapped environment where the rules of the game change just enough to make life difficult if you don’t have a well-designed plan. In some cases, even if you have a well-designed plan. In this article we will be looking at the difficulties companies face when making the transition to a remote business model. You can listen to a remote work pioneer, Jake Bush of Infocu5, on our podcast - First Contact: Stories of the Call Center. PGlmcmFtZSB0aXRsZT0iRW50cmVwcmVuZXVyc2hpcCBhcyBhbiBBZHZlbnR1cmUgU3BvcnQ6IEpha2UgQnVzaCIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy5wb2RiZWFuLmNvbS9tZWRpYS9wbGF5ZXIvOWFmeWctZDQxZDdjP2Zyb209dXNlcnNpdGUmdmpzPTEmc2tpbj0xJmZvbnRzPUhlbHZldGljYSZhdXRvPTAmZG93bmxvYWQ9MSIgaGVpZ2h0PSIzMTUiIHdpZHRoPSIxMDAlIiBzdHlsZT0iYm9yZGVyOiBub25lOyIgc2Nyb2xsaW5nPSJubyIgZGF0YS1uYW1lPSJwYi1pZnJhbWUtcGxheWVyIj48L2lmcmFtZT4 Editor’s note: The information presented in this article is based on the first-hand experience of three companies: NobelBiz, Infocu5, and Incept. https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Templates-Banners.png Not all A-players Keep Their Performance Levels in New Environments It’s not uncommon for people to manifest a decrease, or an increase, in productivity after their work environment is altered. Some people shine when working next to their colleagues in a competitive atmosphere and under direct supervision, while others are more comfortable and productive at home, in a more intimate, familiar environment. This is one of the main things to keep in mind and monitor once you decide to make the switch. Never blindly trust your A-players when changing their setting. The opposite applies, as well. What you thought were above-average employees might get a chance to shine once the company’s reality shifts. Please keep in mind that the rule applies to both supervisors and agents. Unfortunately, managers that do a wonderful job in a brick and mortar setting might struggle in a virtual space if they rely heavily on in person interactions with their team. You Need Different Hiring and Training Protocols Keeping our fist point in mind, let’s move on to the second unpredictable change that occurs when you switch business models – hiring and training protocols. Now I’m not necessarily talking about the hiring process itself, because it’s obvious that when opting for a remote setting, interviews will also move to the virtual space instead of a physical office. No, I’m talking about what you usually look for when adding a new member to your team. As mentioned above, a completely different environment can alter the general performance of an existing employee. However, do keep in mind that your team was hired according to a profile that no longer applies. You’re now looking for people that can squeeze in more flexibility in their schedules, people that are comfortable working remote, and that have a proper setup (a quiet place in the house where they can perform their duties undisturbed). https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Asset-1_4168x2530.png Find out more about NobelBiz OMNI+ The best software to help you move your Contact Center remote in 72 hours. Most Agents Will Require More Flexibility Most people have working spouses and children that are currently in need of full parental attention. When at home, parents need to squeeze in some math lessons in between calls. And it’s hard to ignore a child for 8 hours. If both parents are working, then a system needs to be put in place where at least one parent is available at all times. Why is this a concern for you, as an employer? Because it’s not an isolated situation. And flexibility is slowly becoming a prerequisite in remote work conditions. To make things work into your favor and invest in the prosperity of your company, consider arranging schedules in such a way that there are fewer available agents at “dead hours” and more agents on stand-by for any call surges. Every company’s scheduling is as different as their clients’ businesses. However, there is always room for some flexibility and granting this perk to your employees can go a long way in term of loyalty and performance. You Need to Invest More in the Mental Health of Your Employees The current unstable climate is not only stressful for company leaders that are trying to keep their businesses afloat. It also has a huge impact on the employees. Picture this: a change is necessary. Employees are significantly less stressed while at home in a safe environment than having to commute and work in a crowded space. However, remote work comes with new challenges. Isolation can affect some people more than others. Blending work life with personal life can also lead to burnout if the change is not managed correctly. It’s also worth to take into account the fact that the pandemic is affecting everyone, making calls more difficult as there are more angry, inpatient customers now than ever before. That is why companies that are choosing to make the transition should keep in mind the fact that employees may need support to adapt their new reality for a healthy transition. You Need to Find New Ways of Preserving Company Culture and Identity Some companies had years, even decades, to build a brand identity in a brick and mortar setting. New employee trainings, promotions, overall operations, everything was carefully built and perfected in a brick and mortar business model. Moving to the virtual space means, for some, giving up on managers that were chosen specifically for their in-person management skills. For others it means that the weekly company lunch will either become a chore to organize or get canceled. There are hundreds of examples of things (from small to significant) that companies slowly added into their culture and are obligated to either change or replace when making the switch to remote work. https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Asset-3_2893x3354-883x1024.png Some Customers Prefer a Brick and Mortar Provider Before making your decision, you need to always check with customers first. Even though you can find secure remote solutions to help you keep customer data safe, some businesses handling delicate information may prefer a brick and mortar partner.Update 2022: Research from Nasdaq shows that 95% of customers' purchases will be made online by 2040. With that in mind it iss advisable to opt for a hybrid approach. This way you can satisfy customer needs and tend to employee health.In the end is it worth it? Yes. And there is nobody better to explain why than our webinar guests, Jake Bush and Sam Falletta. Register now for our webinar and find out how to overcome any and all difficulties that come with transitioning from virtual to brick and mortar. https://nobelbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/webinar-the-new-normal-banner.png Work Remotely with our True Omnichannel Solution: NobelBiz OMNI+ Brings Your Contact Center into the Present You need a solution that lets you do everything remotely, from a single platform with as little effort as possible. That’s where NobelBiz OMNI+ comes in!