Call centers play a pivotal role in serving customers in normal circumstances. Their importance is even doubled in exceptional circumstances such as those faced currently by the Sultanate and the world as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.
Considering the importance of maintaining the expected level of service by customers and since the beginning of the spread of COVID 19, Omantel considered alternative solutions that can help the company deal with the challenges posed by COVID-19, especially those related to social distancing and reducing the number of employees in the various sites of the company as per the directives issued by the Supreme Committee. As a result, Omantel’s call center has been receiving an increasing number of calls since COVID-19 started to impact the country, which exceeded 35,000 calls a day.
Omantel empowered the largest number of its employees to work remotely from home, ensuring their safety while maintaining the services rendered to customers. The new approach included call center employees whose nature of their work requires immediate response to customers’ inquiries and requests, a key function especially after the closure of Omantel outlets. Omantel Call Center has been provided with state-of-the art facilities and devices including computers, mobile phones and required software enabling the Call Centre team to work remotely from home without compromise on the quality of the service provided to customers. Omantel Call Center, the first support line for customers and one of the largest call centers in the Sultanate, receives ten million calls every year enquiring about the company’s various services and products – an average of more than 20,000 calls a day.
The early preparations have enabled the Call Center to handle 1,507,211 calls over the past 42 days, this includes all the calls that have been received through the automated-reply system for self-service and to call centre employees. In addition, the number of hours worked from home exceeded 9684 hours per week. Moreover, within the framework of its social responsibility, Omantel has endeavored to benefit from its accumulated experience and technical capabilities in providing support to a number of government institutions working in the front lines to confront the pandemic, the most important of which are the Ministry of Health and Muscat Municipality. Omantel’s Call Center has been equipped to serve as a parallel call center for the Ministry of Health main call center working hand by hand with the main call centre. In addition, Omantel state-of-the-art solutions enabled Muscat Municipality staff to work remotely from home.
As part of its plans to ensure business continuity, Omantel launched a pilot project to assess “work from Home” opportunities back in 2018. which was expanded in 2019 to cover a larger number of employees and departments. The lessons learned from this pilot project meant that Omantel is ready and well poised to deal with the Corona pandemic and to minimise its impacts on the company’s business continuity.