Break Free from Business Lockdown with an AI Virtual Agent

As we all struggle to adjust to the new normal under worldwide COVID-19 lockdowns, digital transformation has never been more critical. Staying home under quarantine with countless hours on Wi-Fi means more consumers than ever are shopping online, outside of traditional working hours. The pressure is now on businesses to boost their level of online support to readily supply information, services or goods. Moreso, with supply shortages and extended delivery times challenging many households, the business that can respond in real time has a clear advantage.

Whether you’re seeing a massive shift to online orders and queries or are seeking ways to adjust your business model to stay relevant during the quarantine, consider how AI technology can help your business cope. You can quickly build and implement a customized Contact Center AI Virtual Agent to handle any new territory.

Before COVID-19, North Yorkshire County Council had implemented a Mitel chatbot solution to offset the volume of calls and web chat requests coming into their internal IT service desk. Mitel’s Google AI-powered Virtual Agent provided digital self-service with intelligent handoff to a human agent—a capability that greatly curbed the volume of routine calls and liberated agents so they could respond more thoroughly to service requests.

When the COVID-19 outbreak hit, the council experienced a surge in customer contact center and service desk requests. The chatbots proved invaluable, enabling the council to field the influx of questions from residents and employees so agents could focus on more tangible actions.

As North Yorkshire County Council discovered, contact center AI can allow 24-7 services to be automated so customers (and constituents) can be tended to. Meanwhile, remote-based human agents can be free to handle more complex cases and provide an enhanced customer experience.

Your digital transformation strategy does not have to mean a significant spend—in fact, with today’s cloud-based technology you can maximize your existing investment. Instead focus on streamlining and enhancing operational processes and systems with specific attention paid to the customer and agent journeys. Consider how you can alleviate the pressure on your agents and reduce stress by leveraging technology. By providing up-to-date information on your website using virtual agent and chat, customers get their questions answered and feel seen and heard.

The impact of COVID-19 on people and businesses, while monumental, is not insurmountable. At 4Sight Communications, we’re primed and ready to help you move forward with confidence, even in uncertain times.

Explore 4Sight Communications Remote Working Solutions.

This article was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

Everything You Need to Know to Excel While Working from Home

With limited travel, school closures and whole cities dropping into quarantine to contain the spread of coronavirus, it’s not surprising that many companies have shifted to remote work. Limiting person-to-person interactions, by encouraging employees to work remotely, might help decrease the chances of catching the virus, but it comes with its own challenges and learning curves.

Remote working can be a difficult transition, especially for individuals who are used to an office atmosphere, and productivity can certainly see a dip as they navigate a new setup. However, it also means shorter commutes (or none at all!) and more flexibility. With the right tools in place and knowledge of best practices, telecommuting to work can be made easy and maybe even increase productivity.

Here’s a roundup of remote working best practices, sure to help your team make the most of staying at home.

Coronavirus Remote Work: How to Make Working Remote for the First Time a Success

Working from home means less ability to collaborate in person, but in this article, Christoph Trappe explains how some tasks are easier to complete remotely.

“Many creative tasks – like writing, editing, multimedia, etc. – are much easier to do in a quiet place anyway, in my opinion.” Look at the positives of working from home, like more work hours in your day, improved focus and maybe even more motivation.

The 3 Problems Everyone Has When First Working Remotely (and How to Solve Them)

This is a transition time for nearly everyone, meaning you likely aren’t the only one on the team dealing with the struggle of being the only one in the “office”. Other people on your team are likely having similar issues so it’s important to keep in touch and work through these problems together.

8 Tips to Make Working from Home Work for You

Telecommuting has never been this big before, but coronavirus has millions working from home, some for the first time, meaning some basic tips go a long way. For example, if you’re easily distracted, get ready for work every morning just like you would if you were still physically going into work. Or, if you’re the kind of person to never take a break, consider a change of venue to keep you from getting claustrophobic.

Tips from Experts—Our Co-Workers in Asia—About Working from Home

Given that coronavirus started its spread across Asia in January, many workers in the area have already been working remotely for over six weeks. Bloomberg took the chance to ask their colleagues in Asia for any tips or advice they may have as the US and Europe shift toward their own work from home solutions.

12 Steps to Eliminating Remote Work Distractions

Working in the office versus working from home have completely different distractions and how you should deal with them. The most shocking statistic? “Once you’re distracted, it typically takes 23 minutes and 15 second to get back to work.”

5 Tips for Effectively Working from Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak, When You Have Kids

At least 69,000 schools across the US have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, meaning plenty of parents are having to balance work and home life more than normal. Coworkers can sometimes be a distraction, but working alongside kids can require a whole new learning curve.

How to Boost Your Home’s Wi-Fi

With many of us working from home, and many kids now schooling from home as well, our Wi-Fi is being pushed to its limit. However, there are plenty of tips you can use to ensure you’re getting the most out of your bandwidth.

Although the shift to remote working was unplanned for many businesses, instead of looking at it as a nuisance, consider the benefits of telecommuting:

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased flexibility
  • Additional work hours (if needed)
  • Reduced office requirements
  • Improved employee retention
  • Maximizing time
  • Improved trust among employees

Take this opportunity to put mobility first and find a communications system that enables you to work from anywhere. With the right system, you can stay productive, even while on quarantine. Our remote working solutions concentrate on ease of use and are built for the mobile work style, empowering users to work more efficiently and productively, no matter their location. Collaborate with others seamlessly by leveraging the power of unified communications.

Explore 4Sight Communications Remote Working Solutions.

This article was first published by Mitel.

Read more...

How to Organise a Home Office for Better Productivity

For many modern professionals, remote working is nothing new, but COVID-19 has changed working from home from novelty to necessity. Remote work can take some adjusting to, and these tips on how to organize a home office for productivity will help you make the most out of your home office.

Tip 1: Select Your Office Space Carefully

When selecting a space in your home for your office setup, be sure you keep in mind the amount of daily foot traffic in that area. You want to minimize distractions, which includes outdoor noise, by selecting a quiet part of your house to work in. Literally being able to shut the door on distractions can be a big help to your overall productivity.

If your space does not allow for an entirely separate room for your home office, you can set up shop in your kitchen, living room or dining room. These areas tend to naturally have more distractions, but you can alleviate some of these issues by purchasing focus-inducing equipment. For example, noise-cancelling headphones can help you hear others clearly during calls. Or, if you need to create a physical barrier to separate yourself from others in shared spaces and maximize your collaboration experience, you can purchase a foldable screen. When the screen is up, it will act as a signal to others in the same room as you that you are working, minimizing interruptions in the process.

Don’t forget—regardless of where you choose to have your home office, you need to ensure the space you select has ample electrical outlets as they will be crucial in keeping your work flow uninterrupted.

Tip 2: Natural Light

Try to set up your workspace in a room that has a few windows. You’ll feel the benefits of keeping your work space bright and airy; since you’re spending the majority of the day sitting at your desk, having access to natural light can have an impact on your overall work performance, mood and wellness.

In fact, the Harvard Business Review states that research showed that workers who worked in offices with daylight environments reported a 63% drop in the incidence of headaches and 56% reduction in drowsiness. You too can feel the health benefits and increase in alertness in your remote work by choosing to have your home office set up in a place that receives plenty of natural light.

Tip 3: Invest In Seating

The type of seating you choose for your home office can impact your productivity levels. Investing in a chair that offers adequate back support may well be worth the initial costs. Since this is where you’ll be spending most of your day, you don’t want to be slouching or have inappropriate back support as these can have health repercussions.  A chair with adjustable heights can allow you to change the positioning of your legs throughout the day, and a footstool can also help with elevation to prevent leg fatigue.

Tip 4: Decluttered Workspace And Storage

As a general rule, you should have all items you need for work within arms’ reach throughout the day. However, keeping those items properly stored is key to productivity. A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind, so it’s important only to have items that pertain to your current task on your desk at any given time.

To minimize distractions, you’ll want to declutter your work area as much as possible. A proper desk with ample storage can play an important part in keeping your home office clutter-free by keeping important items close at hand but not directly on top of your workspace. If your home office space does not allow for a desk with drawers, invest in a rolling filing cabinet to store important documents and other miscellaneous objects that would otherwise clutter your workspace.

Tip 5: Computer Screen Configuration

Many people use multiple screens at their office for daily work. If this is the setup you’re used to, it’s best to mimic it at home. You can purchase monitors and monitor mounts online that are easy to configure. If you don’t want to set up the monitor mounts, you can use monitor stands instead, allowing you to place your screens at eye level so that you do not have to strain your neck or affect your posture while working. If you cannot find a computer screen that fits your needs, you can also use a small television as an extra screen, and connect it using an HDMI cable. Bringing home any docking stations that your workplace provides makes for a seamless office-to-home experience.

Tip 6: Customize Your Space

Just as your specific job tailors the kinds of items you need to be productive, the way you work as an individual will determine some additional needs you may have. For example, if you don’t like the keyboard on your office issued desktop, be sure to purchase an external keyboard. The same goes for using the laptop trackpad vs. an external mouse. There are an endless number of ways you can customize your home office for your personal productivity—choose what’s right for you.

Depending on your work function, there are other items you may want to consider when setting up your home office. These include paper shredders for confidential documents you may be handling and a robust printing or copying machine if your work doesn’t rely solely on digital outputs.

Remember, working from home takes getting used to, but following these tips will set you on the right track to maximum remote working productivity and help you triumph at your new work from home life.

Explore 4Sight Communications Remote Working Solutions.

This article was first published by Mitel.

Read more...