More companies will automate to navigate post-COVID CX

COVID-19 has shaken up the Customer Experience (CX) industry creating shifts in priorities and shining a spotlight on potential vulnerabilities.  In its recent report, COVID-19: THE AFTERMATH: Finding Growth Opportunities in the Heavily Impacted Customer Experience World, Frost & Sullivan acknowledges that as COVID-19 has hit fast and furious, it has revealed a general lack of preparedness in customer care.

Specifically, Frost & Sullivan notes four key implications for customer experience as a result of COVID-19:

  1. Accelerated growth in self-service solution installations
  2. A more rapid move to the cloud than initially planned
  3. Additional investments in workforce management to handle remote workers 
  4. An increased need for Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation and Virtual Agents 

According to Michael DeSalles, Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan, while he expects more enterprises to explore adoption of automation such as Virtual Assistants, Chatbots and self-service options including online community forums to address customer experience needs, they will also need to focus on fundamentals. 

“What most companies are dealing with is the uncertainty that comes with this pandemic,” DeSalles said. “Companies are asking, ‘How Michael-DeSalles-Frost-Sullivancan my BPO and tech partners help me during this crisis to keep employees safe and healthy, maintain existing business operations with a minimum of disruption, adapt training and coaching processes to engage a remote workforce, provide best-in-class operational and security processes and deploy specific technical solutions that commits the same levels of control and security for remote and on-brand ambassadors.”

The COVID-19 crisis, particularly in the US, has triggered key challenges for work-at-home teams, according to DeSalles.  These include:

  • Enterprise and BPO client acceptance of the work-at-home model which will require
    more education and case studies to demonstrate why the model works so well across verticals
  • Recruiting and hiring qualified remote agents
  • Deployment of equipment and advanced security controls
  • Training and onboarding
  • Remote management, coaching and supervision along with quality control

Addressing these challenges will be critical for today’s organizations as it is likely many will transition their workforce back to brick-and-mortar facilities slowly or only partially.  Andrew Kokes, HGS SVP, Global Marketing, suggested that many businesses will maintain between 10% and 40% of their employees in a remote working capacity.

HGS was able to quickly ramp up their operations to a work-at-home model, globally scaling work-at-home operations from 1,200 frontline agents to more than 21,000 employees in just four weeks.

Kokes explained, “Part of our success in quickly transitioning staff to working remotely is having a mature platform for managing remote workers and having previously made the necessary investments in multiple IT options.”

He added that HGS also established a Work@Home™ Center of Excellence (CoE), staffed by senior Business Excellence team members across the US, Canada, Philippines, India, UK, MENA and Jamaica.  In addition to continuously improving the work-at-home model and localize the program platform, policy and governance to comply with local labor regulations, the CoE also monitors employees’ home working environments and access to high-speed connectivity that impact the success of the work-at-home model.


Learn more about HGS Work@Home solutions. Visit or contact our HGS Work@Home Go To Market Lead at Explore our COVID-19 resources and learn more about our HGS COVID-19 Client Kit.  


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