Maintaining customer service levels whilst working remotely

If anyone had said that the majority of 2020 would be spent working from home, we probably wouldn’t have believed them. Although working from home is the ‘norm’ these days, it was something the CNG Customer Experience team had never needed to do before.

Managing a remote contact centre seemed like a daunting task and concerns were around the impact it would have on servicing our customers.

Businesses want their queries answered as quickly and easily as possible and service levels are a key factor in deciding which supplier to use. As a team we aim to achieve a call answer rate of under 60 seconds and a 1% call abandoned rate. Prior to the pandemic, we were averaging an answer rate of 15 seconds and an abandoned rate of under 1%, so when the lockdown was announced in March 2020 we wanted to ensure the level of service was not disrupted when transitioning to homeworking.

As we enter a third lockdown almost a year later – the Customer Experience team has implemented many practices and procedures to help ensure business as usual.

Team connectivity

Connectivity was crucial to ensure a smooth customer experience as well as generating positivity within the team. Using a messaging app created 24/7 access in a more social environment for the team to feel supported. Reasons varied from health and wellbeing, keeping abreast of latest business developments, team updates and simply a general togetherness that created a more joined up approach when working remotely. The informal platform, familiar by many for personal use, provided an easy way to ask questions, that usually would have been answered by their neighbouring team member in the office.

Customer processes

Unprecedented times called for a new way of doing things. The team needed to adapt to new processes to accommodate businesses navigating new restrictions and in some cases closures. With many businesses advising us they were temporarily closed, we needed to apply different ways of working and communication to handle this change of circumstance.

Managing expectations

One of our values at CNG is Honest and this has been an integral part of servicing the customer whilst being at home. It is important that we are transparent about delays and teams SLAs so customers know what to expect.


Remote working made us revisit our customer traffic workflows and following analysis on the types of queries customers contacted CNG about, we introduced a new IVR system to enable customers to self-serve simple queries. This not only streamlined the experience for customers but also meant that it enabled more time to be dedicated to those customers needing to speak to a member of the team for more complex queries.


Since working remotely we have seen an increase in online chats, making up 6% of our inbound traffic. Customers use multiple methods for communication and as such we are continuing to improve the digital experience of these channels to enable greater machine learning and analysis to answer customer queries.

Change of tenancy

Due to the unfortunate events this year we have seen an increase in businesses advising change of tenancy so we wanted to ensure this process was as easy as possible for the customer to cause minimal disruption.  We have added our Business Mover Form to our website, which has enabled a swifter, smoother process for the customer.

2020 was a challenging year with many hurdles to overcome, however challenge presented opportunity and served as a catalyst for change to address new ways of working and evolve our customer service experience.