How ‘’Bring Your Own Device’’ (BYOD) Technology is a Game Changer in the Contact Center Environment
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the trend of employees using their personal devices to connect to their employer’s network, is having a transformational effect on contact centers and the way they deliver customer experience (CX).
As the business world settles into work-from-home (WFH)/hybrid working models, BYOD policies among contact centers are becoming more prevalent. In fact, contact center operators are adopting BYOD policies in their drive to enhance CX quality, although many are still grappling with the challenges BYOD presents.
How BYOD enhances CX
‘’BYOD enables contact centers to tap into a far larger hiring pool, as the working model is not constrained by geographic limits,’’ says Rasha Ezz El-Din Mohamed, Sales and Marketing Director of Egyptian BPO/ITO outsourcer, Xceed. A BYOD policy allow contact centers to hire agents based solely on skills rather than proximity, enabling a higher potential CX yield.
Moreover, contact centers can meet client requests to scale operations far more rapidly with a BYOD model. Since talent acquisition is broadened, operators can quickly onboard skilled agents. Remote agents can login into the contact center software infrastructure, where calls are recorded and CX quality can be measured instantly. Subsequently, the time to market is shortened significantly.
The flexible nature of BYOD acts as a robust business continuity best practice, enabling a seamless shift to remote working should the need arise. Delays and low staff availability that can lead to customer dissatisfaction are effectively eliminated.
What’s more, BYOD saves on costs, as it eradicates capital and ongoing maintenance costs of devices. It also decreases delivery costs and the downtime incurred when transporting devices to agents. These cost savings allow contact centers to carry value over to their clients, providing a more cost-effective service, without compromising CX quality.
Data protection and compliance challenges with BYOD
Agents working off their own personal devices are exposed to security breaches, due to the lack of firewall or anti-virus software. Security concerns are further compounded by personal devices that have been lost, stolen or employees leaving the company.
As such, stringent data protection and compliance requirements are crucial when implementing a BYOD policy within a contact center environment. Five critical components are required when rolling out a BYOD program:
- A written policy outlining both the agent’s and operator’s responsibilities, including a user agreement.
- Instalment of software to manage devices that are connected to the contact center network.
- Minimum security controls.
- Company provided components, such as SSL certificates for device authentication.
- Company rights for altering the device, including remote wiping of lost or stolen devices.
How Xceed successfully implemented BYOD technology
Xceed had started trailing a WFH structure in the early 2010s, as part of strengthening its business continuity strategy, using BYOD as the core enabler of the remote working model. However, the cost of delivery and security prevented scale.
Xceed’s BYOD catalyst was sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, where it had to shift almost 8,000 employees to a WFH structure, purchasing a laptop for each of them. As stressed by Rasha Ezz El-Din Mohamed, ‘’the continuation of services was Xceed’s priority, and so we could not avoid the expensive exercise of purchasing devices for its agents’’.
To mitigate the enormous cost of supplying employees with laptops, Xceed revolutionized its BYOD program. The first major tweak was comparing other markets’ BYOD policies in terms of cost, technology, security and ease of implementation. These insights assisted Xceed to produce a BYOD model specific to the company’s context.
The BYOD model was refined further through a comprehensive feasibility study. Xceed’s technical team studied the model, listing potential technical and security constraints with correlating solutions. The required specs of the devices were then identified.
A pilot was initiated to make sure everything ran smoothly before deploying a BYOD model to a specific account. Samples were selected to check performance, obstacles and recommendations. Once all issues were rectified and the client gave consent, the project management team rolled-out the BYOD model into the account. This process was and still is repeated for all client accounts.
A Contact Center’s Solution to Today’s ‘New Normal’
BYOD solutions create efficiencies in talent acquisition, business continuity and cost. However, they also introduce vulnerabilities in data security on unsecured and unsupported personal devices. Hence, it is imperative that strict BYOD best practices are put in place.
The changing business dynamics faced by the contact center industry strengthens the case for BYOD policies. As Rasha Ezz El-Din Mohamed points out, ‘’BYOD is the only solution for today’s ‘new normal’ or WFH/hybrid model of working, it is simply not practical for traditional device management. BYOD is not just a mitigation tool during a crisis, it is relevant to the industry we are in in terms of delivering quality CX to our customers.’’