As the grip of COVID intensifies on an increasingly splintering world and more and more people shelter themselves indoors for work, life, and everything in between, businesses large and small are finding themselves struggling with an overbearing demand for answers.
The customer is unravelling. People are looking for a semblance of clarity amid the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.
Getting unemployment? Watch out for a new scam to steal your money, Pa. officials warn
And service managers are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate the surging demand as support agents turn as panicked, anxious, and unsure as customers themselves. Businesses spanning restaurants, food delivery, meal kits, healthcare, gaming, education, technology, streaming, e-commerce, and online subscription services are registering alarmingly high volumes of support tickets.
Where the support reps are finding themselves overwhelmed by the burgeoning numbers, frustrated customers are experiencing hours-long wait times and turning more distraught.
Even as these companies have latched on to a hiring spree to add up to the numbers, the customer service leaders are facing fresh challenges from training and monitoring new hires remotely to outfitting teams for remote work to ensuring smooth coordination and productivity. And despite the hiring frenzy, teams cannot scale indefinitely and as immediately to keep up with business for want of a good ROI. Top 5 Music Bots for Discord and Telegram.
In these strained circumstances, it can be difficult for your business to maintain trust and transparency, keep resolution times down, and ensure high CSAT. With limited resources, the task can as well feel Sisyphean. AI-powered, collaborative solutions like chatbots, email bots, and voice bots are wellsprings of invaluable customer data and agility.
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From maintaining CSAT to boosting team productivity to crafting experiences that build long-term loyalty, AI tools can serve as the perfect aides to customer support agents and help your teams veer back to the path of the customer and employee happiness.
It functions continuously without any need for breaks or sleep or sick leaves. In collaboration with your support teams, it can lead to a quick resolution of customer woes by immediately attending to all predictable and repetitive requests by itself and transferring the remaining more pressing and critical queries to support agents. For your agents working remotely, this can translate into a significant reduction in workload and stress.
For your customers, the response times go down substantially. As customer request numbers rise precipitously, AI can scale indefinitely to immediately adapt to the evolving uptick. On the other hand, hiring new agents is a costly affair. It can take days, even weeks or sometimes, months, to hire a new employee and then some more for their on-boarding and training.
In remote conditions, this process can only be more overwhelming. AI can handle variegated requests, and thousands of them, at a single point in time. And it can be trained and deployed from anywhere — whether your teams are working from homes or the office.
Once deployed, it constantly improves, one customer interaction at a time. It can be a fundamentally reassuring helping hand for your support agents in these precarious times when looming volumes of requests can make them feel stretched to their brink. AI is always collecting vast amounts of user data which makes it capable of drawing insights and mapping customer trends. For instance, it will be able to alert customer service managers if there is a swell in tickets related to a specific issue, or within a specific geographic region.
This can help the teams monitor the situation, immediately craft an appropriate response plan, and proactively respond to customers in the wake of it. AI can monitor and measure employee wellbeing and productivity metrics in-depth. This study holds true in the normal world. The customer support reps too, individuals and families, confined at homes, are struggling with multiple jobs like parenting, teaching, household chores, keeping physically and mentally well, taking care of the elderly, etc.
It can also leverage sentiment analysis to direct frustrated or anxious customers to the right agents. For instance, this could be an agent who has not had a difficult customer in the last hour, sparing the agent who just got down with one on the call. AI can scale across email, chat, and voice. It can strengthen the capabilities of your customer support network and ensure superior customer service notwithstanding if the customer phones in, sends in a chat request, or pings on Twitter.
A century later, as a comet carrying disease and social unrest has upended the world, Afrofuturism may be more relevant than ever. Its vision can help guide us out of the rubble, and help us to consider universes of better alternatives.Do those conversations actually serve the cause of equality?
Robin DiAngelo at home in Seattle. By Daniel Bergner. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, gave introductory remarks, and soon DiAngelo began.
The invitation to speak to the caucus was just one in a deluge for DiAngelo. Corporate desperation was matched by unrestrained media enthusiasm. But to be faced with blank looks from fellow whites. The surge of attention, DiAngelo told me, made her at once leery and hopeful. She felt a similar mix about the ASAP emails from corporations. Demand has recently spiked throughout the field, though the clamor had already been building, particularly since the election of Donald Trump.
Glenn E. Singleton, a Black trainer whose firm, Courageous Conversation, has been giving workshops for over two decades, saw a percent rise in business between November and February Darnisa Amante-Jackson, another important Black voice in the sector, started the Disruptive Equity Education Project four years ago and was hired by school districts and charter-school networks in 15 states.
The place was sold out. She gestured crisply with her hands. Then she specified the predominant demographic in the packed house: white progressives.
Oh, white progressives are my specialty. Because I am a white progressive. Soon she projected facts and photographs onto the screen behind her. Periodically, as DiAngelo made the concept of systemic racism palpable, she asked everyone to team up with seatmates to answer a question. Woods, who is Black, had booked DiAngelo to lecture to his staff two months earlier, as a way to make the office feel safer for Black staff members and better able to wage its legal battles.
It might be good policy, mostly, for white people to do more listening than talking, but, she said with knowing humor, it could also be a subtle way to avoid blunders, maintain a mask of sensitivity and stay comfortable.
She wanted the white audience members to feel as uncomfortable as possible. In our group of three, Southern, who is white, went first. I went next. I, too, was ready for everything I heard from DiAngelo.
In fact, I knew this very question was coming. But I had failed to speak about my whiteness as formative. That is, I noted that my color gave me infinite advantages, but the words, while sincere, were passionless. I winced. And today, after a quick disclaimer acknowledging the problem with what I was about to do, I heard myself offering up, again, these same nonracist bona fides and neglecting to speak about the effects of having been soaked, all my life, by racist rain.
But was I being fragile? She taught, throughout the afternoon, that the impulse to individualize is in itself a white trait, a way to play down the societal racism all white people have thoroughly absorbed.
She cut everyone off just as Woods was about to speak. As soon as our focus returned to the stage, she returned to white supremacy and how she had been imbued with it since birth. And who came in that night and mopped the floor? DiAngelo grew up around the Bay Area in California, one of three girls raised by a single mother who was, toward the end of her short life, battling cancer, barely employed and prone to violent outbursts with her daughters.TNS — Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers said they want to know why some people have waited weeks, even months, for unemployment assistance.
State Reps. As of Monday, more than 2. Thousands of businesses were shut down under Gov. The labor department struggled to deal with the overwhelming numbers of people seeking aid. At the same time, lawmakers have hammered the department for delays in filing some claims. The department has hired more than employees to help handle the number of claims and more than state workers from other agencies have been tapped to help as well.
Customer service staff have loggedhours in overtime since March 15, Oleksiak said Monday. In their letter to Cutler, the lawmakers note the General Assembly has directed funds to improve the unemployment compensation system. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon, and Jerry Knowles, R-Schuylkill, have sent a memo to fellow lawmakers saying they plan to introduce a bill that would allow legislative staff to help process unemployment claims. Authorities say scammers have used stolen identities of people to file claims for unemployment benefits.
Then, scammers direct the money to be sent to their own bank accounts. Victims of identity theft find out their personal information was stolen when they receive an unemployment compensation check, or a direct deposit of unemployment aid, for which they never applied. The vast majority of reports of fraudulent claims had proven to be valid claims, Oleksiak said in a news conference Monday. Coordination and consistency are key in getting the message out to citizens in times of crisis.
Teacher strikes in brought higher wages and improved working conditions for teachers in such locations as West Virginia, Oklahoma and North Carolina — long considered unpromising grounds for labor activism. On the whole, however, things are not looking up. Column: Employers will do almost anything to find workers to fill jobs — except pay them more.
Even if the s are a period of less than unalloyed glory for organized labor, we may be entering another golden age of labor historiography. They cover some of the same events, including the Flint sit-down strike against General Motors in the mids and the disastrous PATCO strike of air traffic controllers in The rise was fueled by a worker solidarity born of the atrocious working conditions of garment sweatshops in New York, punctuated by lethal episodes such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire ofwhich took the lives of workers, including women.
Wartime employers negotiated for labor peace in the name of efficient production of materiel, and the economic prosperity that followed the end of World War II gave employees and employers alike an incentive to build on mutual good will.
As Greenhouse observes, the contract became a building block of the postwar American middle class. The dream eventually faded. Since history is written by the victors, the public impression of the striking air traffic controllers is of grasping workers who flouted federal law forbidding government employees to walk off the job while demanding a contract far more generous than other employees could win.
The union never took steps to win fellow aviation unions, much less the public, over to its side. The public was irked by the inconveniences of flight delays and cancellations in the first days of the strike, and treated President Ronald Reagan as a savior when he got air travel back up to speed in short order, using military air controllers, renegade PATCO members and supervisors.
BMW layoffs exemplify the evisceration of the middle class. Most destructively, PATCO misjudged Reagan, who needed to show firmness in the first major crisis of his fledgling administration. He threatened to fire every striker — and did so. The sea change in management treatment of organized labor reverberates to this very day. Things have only gotten worse since then.
Even foreign employers that coexist peacefully with labor at home have been confounded by corporate and political hostility to unions in the U. Volkswagen discovered that inwhen it took a hands-off approach — in fact, even a positive approach — to an effort by the United Auto Workers to organize a VW plant in Chattanooga. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, picked up the slack, even threatening the company with retribution if the unionization vote succeeded.
It failed, narrowly, as did a second vote this past June. The teacher strikes signaled that unions are off their knees and off their backs and are fighting again.
Another piece of the puzzle is politics. The Democratic Party neglected the ties with organized labor that had been forged in the New Deal, which Greenhouse argues contributed to the electoral disaster of In that election, he observes, Hillary Clinton lost three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that had been traditional labor strongholds.
Get our Boiling Point newsletter for the latest on the power sector, water wars and more — and what they mean for California. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.Thank you for signing up. Sorry, it looks like an error occurred. With coronavirus surging in Victoria as well as an uptick in the number of cases in New South Wales, questions are being asked of the government's touted CovidSafe app.
The CovidSafe contact tracing app was much hyped by the federal government and touted as a crucial tool that would keep Australians safe while coronavirus lockdowns were lifted. Now, with a surge in cases in Victoria leading to the lockdown of millions in metropolitan Melbourne, as well as an uptick in the number of cases in New South Wales, questions are being asked of the app. The outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel is now linked to 28 cases, with New South Wales recording another 13 cases on Tuesday.
Victoria has recently recorded a huge spike in the number of cases, with the number of active infections now at over 1, The surge has overwhelmed the state's contact tracing efforts, with Australian Defence Force members deployed to help Victorian authorities and Mr Andrews flagging further tracing help could be on the way. Earlier in July, Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned that the state was battling to stay on top of the contract-tracing effort. Many, many people actually did download and are using the COVID app, and I would encourage them to keep doing that," she told reporters.
And it is a very important mechanism as well. More than 6.Nurses Answer Most Commonly Searched Post-Birth Questions
Thinking Cyber Security chief executive Vanessa Teague said there were initially some bugs in the app, although a number of these had recently been improved. Ms Teague said one issue was that many people were still running older versions of the app on their phone due to issues updating. There has been widespread criticisms of the app. Initial versions of the app failed to work in the background and required users to have the app open to be effective. Ms Teague said it might not be fair to criticise the app for not picking up new contacts of people with COVID due to the fact that many people with limited contacts at the moment would remember who they have seen and been with.
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Skip to content Primary Navigation Show menu Hide menu. SBS Home. News Programs. Topics in News. Follow SBS News. Your Email Address Subscribe. A valid email address is required Please provide a valid email address.Being unemployed is stressful, and sometimes the unemployment benefits process can add to that stress. It can be difficult to get through to the unemployment office to get help with your questions or resolve issues with your claims.
During times of high unemployment, the process of filing can be even more difficult. Wait times are often longer and online systems overwhelmed by the volume of applications. In addition, economic crises can strain application systems that were intended for a far simpler process.
For example, during the COVID pandemicthe federal government extended unemployment benefits to self-employed and gig workers. However, many self-employed applicants report problems filing for benefits using online forms designed for W-2 workers. Having a problem getting through to unemployment or an issue with your unemployment claim? The following FAQ will help you navigate the unemployment system and get some answers.
Unemployment insurance provides compensation to workers who lose their job through no fault of their own. Typically, this means being laid off for lack of work, not being fired for cause or quitting. Monetary payments are provided for a specific period of time or until the worker is hired for a new job. Each state has its own eligibility guidelines for unemployment insurance benefits. These usually include an earnings threshold and a time worked requirement.
In most states, workers who were employed for the first four of the last five calendar quarters meet the requirements for time worked. You can find information on collecting unemployment benefits and filing a claim on your state unemployment website.
The U. Pandemic unemployment benefits are available for employees, freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors, those who can't work because of coronavirus, and people with a limited work history. Contact your state department of labor for more information. When you apply for unemployment, you'll need to provide information that identifies you and your last employer.
Depending on how long you worked at your last position, you may also need to submit information about your previous employment. State requirements vary, but typically, unemployment programs will ask for information like:. Here's how to file a claim for unemploymentand information about what you need to file for unemployment online.
Just as each state sets its eligibility guidelines, each state determines its maximum monetary benefit. In many states, benefits equal up to half your weekly earnings up to a certain amount. Typically, these benefits are available for up to 26 weeks.
During times of high unemployment, unemployed workers may be eligible for additional weeks of compensation. Some state unemployment office websites offer benefits calculators. Remember that unemployment benefits are considered taxable income and must be reported on your state and federal tax returns. If you recently lost your full-time job and were only able to find part-time work, or if you held a part-time job and lost it through no fault of your ownyou may be able to receive unemployment benefits.
In addition, partial unemployment benefits may be available to workers who scaled back their schedules due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more information, contact your state unemployment office.Unemployment Benefits Policy Director Susan Dickinson said during an online town hall Thursday that the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is working to identify and halt cases of the fraud.
Officials said in May that only the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed and freelance workers was susceptible to identity fraud. The scheme resulted in thousands of Pennsylvanians getting checks and debit cards they never applied for after the state halted direct deposits. Like many people with questions about unemployment, the woman said she was unable to get through on the phone.
With an unprecedented 2. I tried to call over times. Dickinson told the woman her situation sounded as if it could be a case of fraud. She instructed the woman to check and see whether any payments had been made since the last one she received.
Officials discovered that when scammers tried to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance using the Social Security number of a person already receiving standard unemployment compensation, the account information for direct deposits would be changed, Dickinson said. Also Thursday, Dickinson said the start of a new quarter this month may result in changes for those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or federal and state extended benefits for those who had exhausted their regular unemployment benefits.
At the end of June, the period considered changed to April to March The state is required to determine whether people receiving emergency or extended benefits now qualify for regular unemployment benefits. Those who were previously ineligible because of insufficient earnings may now be eligible and will receive a notification from the state. Morning Call reporter Peter Hall can be reached at or peter.
Skip to content. Latest Pennsylvania News. Pennsylvania lawmakers take first step toward police reform. What comes next? Beachgoers witness sharks attacking dolphin at Jersey Shore. MAP: Pennsylvania coronavirus cases in nursing homes in each county.