How the UK UC Channel Can Stay Agile During COVID Lockdown

Guest Blog by Julie Mills, CEO of Support to Win

How the UK UC Channel Can Stay Agile During COVID Lockdown

UC providers are doing a sterling job of keeping the UK economy moving during this unprecedented crisis. As homeworking fast becomes the norm, and people naturally turn to voice and video communications to stay connected, the critical question is this: how do we ensure the UC channel keeps moving too?

Because when you take away the ability for engineers to go onsite, and for endusers to visit training sessions, network operators and channel players alike risk being unable to onboard new accounts or give adequate support to existing customers.

Compounding the issue is the stress being felt by customer organisations and their workers who have suddenly become wholly dependent upon UC services that they have – before now – perhaps never fully understood how to make the most of.

So here are 5 golden rules for telecom channel players to ensure they keep their onboarding and support operations moving during this difficult period:

1 – Seamlessly shift from physical to virtual onboarding

Lots of providers are finding out that the ‘content’ of an engineer visit doesn’t easily convert into a remote, phone-based installation. Rather than experiment on your customers to perfect your approach, there are established virtual onboarding and ‘assisted plug and play’ services available. We are seeing these becoming increasingly popular as UC providers seek rapid and successful deployments with high CSAT scores.

2 – Good engineers are not the same as good trainers

Engineers don’t automatically make good trainers, and vice versa. They are separate disciplines with limited crossover, and it may be asking too much of your customers and staff to compromise and make do. It is very rare to find the sweetspot between desk-based engineers and remote end user trainers, but the right outsourced service can provide this. In normal times, so-called ‘guided installs’ are the standard approach for onboarding customer sites deemed too small to warrant onsite visits, but these are not normal times and we are seeing it being used for sites of all sizes.

3 – Be sensitive to customers’ increased sense of urgency

Many providers are experiencing a spike in demand for new UC services as part of mass homeworking provisions. But this extra new business and customer take-on comes with a significant expectation for fast rollout and excellent in-life support that many find hard to fulfil without additional help.

4 – Respond fast to all cries for help

It isn’t only new customers who demand your attention. Existing customers are relying on you to ensure their employees – many of whom may be homeworking for the first time, or unsure how to use admin functions to reconfigure call flows – get the insight they need. Be proactive in checking with these customers to offer relevant support and be ready to meet additional and bespoke needs where appropriate. Your brand and revenues are on the line!

5 – Maintain high standards

Julie Mills

Julie Mills

These are unprecedented times and people are growing used to cutbacks and restrictions. But there is no reason why a substandard service level should be acceptable. All the major network operators are reporting a stable service, and pretty much all telecom support services can be delivered remotely. If anything, support levels for UC services should be higher during this crisis – certainly not lower, at any rate.

 

Guest Blog by Julie Mills, CEO of Support to Win
When Support to Win first developed our ‘virtual onboarding’ and ‘assisted plug and play’ services, we never imagined their importance to enabling the telecoms industry during a UK-wide lockdown. The need for a proven and flexible set of remotely deployed support services is abundantly clear, and especially so today.

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