The continuous threat of COVID-19 to public health has severely hit business process outsourcing (BPOs) firms and enterprises who rely on agents to provide critical frontline support for customers.
Globe, despite its commitment to delivering good customer experience, is no exception to the constraints and challenges of BPOs. This gave an impetus to accelerate the shift to digital channels.
Relying heavily on outsourced personnel to handle its customer service channels including its 24/7 hotlines and care services on social media, Globe is currently facing severely limited manpower support.
“The temporary closure of some partner BPOs, ongoing social distancing measures which limit the number of personnel in offices, suspension of BPO operations when employees get infected, and the very fear of BPO agents to report for work only to contract the virus has been a challenge for us in sustaining our promise to support our customers. While this is understandable as we go through these very difficult times, these truly had an impact on our after sales service operations,” said Rebecca V. Eclipse, Chief Customer Experience Officer of Globe.
One Globe partner BPO, for instance, had COVID-19 cases during the first two weeks of July alone, giving management no other recourse but to close down one of its sites. The same action was taken by another Globe partner BPO after a substantial number of its agents were placed under quarantine.
The situation caused the manpower support for customer service operations to drop nearly by half. The remaining service complement for back office, social media, and after sales support now stands at only 49%, 66%, and 57%, respectively, of pre-Covid manpower supplement. The reduction prompted the company to assign the remaining limited number of agents to critical customer transactions and encourage its customers to use self-service applications for basic inquiries and requests.
“We are concerned about the general well-being of our customer service representatives who still report to work despite the health risks. This is why we are doing our best not only to address their needs but also to ease their workload so they can focus on things that need their personal attention,” added Eclipse.
While working from home is being explored by Globe for the customer service agents, it is not a readily available option due to the increasing number of online scams, fraud and social engineering which may put customers’ privacy and security at risk.
To respond to the needs of customers while operating with limited personnel, Globe has introduced several apps which can easily be. downloaded on mobile devices, via Google Play for Android and iOS for Apple.
Globe Postpaid and Prepaid customers, for instance, can use the GlobeOne app to fulfill the most frequent inquiries, allowing customers to track real-time data usage, subscribe to the latest promos and content offers, pay and manage bills, buy regular load and reload retailer wallet, check and avail roaming promos, and get help with account and service-related concerns.
For Globe At Home prepaid WiFi users, Globe At Home app can help them check their prepaid balance, track data usage, and top-up or Share-A-Promo to another prepaid WiFi account. Globe At Home postpaid customers can use the same app to view and pay bills online, track data usage, upgrade plans, and get tech support and help with other account-related concerns. There is also a TM app for TM customers to check their load history, balance, and expiry as well as monitor their load transactions, track promo usage, register to favorite TM promos, unsubscribe to promos, redeem TM rewards, and chat with a customer service representative.
Sustaining good customer experience while maintaining people’s safety is crucial during these times and digital experiences is key.