As more workers in the United States file for unemployment, cancel plane tickets, defer credit card payments, and fix internet connections during the pandemic, the call centers meant to handle these queries have faced their own disruptions, leading to unprecedented delays.
Many call centers are still adjusting to sending their employees to work from home for the first time; others have continued to only a reduced number of employees to come into the office. Further, a growing number of call centers have seen workers get sick with COVID-19.
“The Covid-19 crisis presents a set of challenges that almost no company was prepared for,” says Donna Fluss, president of the contact center market research firm DMG Consulting LLC.
“When there’s a natural disaster, companies typically shift their operations to an overseas outsourcer or a site in another region of the US… There’s no precedent for a business continuity plan where people have to be more than 6 feet away from each other,” Fluss added.