A local university had a problem. The air conditioning system in one of its buildings had broken down to the point of a key element needing to be replaced. While fall had already set in, the midwestern town in which the university was situated was known to carry summer temperatures well past the end of summer, and the building in question was not designed to be comfortable if the air conditioning was out of order. What should have been a simple fix turned into several weeks of uncomfortable classes simply because the part needed to come from Houston.
As thousands of homes and businesses remained underwater in the lone star state, it was difficult to fault the part provider. Hurricane Harvey had done too much damage. Getting products from point A to point B is a logistical nightmare when too many channels are unavailable. When you’re dealing with technology, however, options are a little broader. In the contact center space especially, there are ways you can prepare for disasters like Harvey and ensure you stay in business.
Business continuity plans: Every business should have a plan in place for when a disaster occurs. The contact center has the best opportunity to remain in operation with a strategic disaster plan. Cloud technology ensures your agents don’t have to be in the same physical location to man the phones, and solid providers won’t leave you on a network that isn’t functioning. Outline the elements that must be in place to keep the phones on and the steps you’ll take when a disaster strikes.
Enhanced communication tools: Look for the right communication tools that enable call targeting, instant callback, remote access, and deployment and real-time reporting, to name a few. These capabilities will streamline operations and better equip you to keep the lines open if something should happen.
Proactive communication: Should a disaster strike, your customers need to hear from you right away. Make sure you have detailed customer profiles and have already built communication strategies for reaching out when a disaster occurs. And it won’t be time wasted – the next time you want to notify customers of a special they want to take advantage of, you’ve already programmed preferences into the system.
Embrace the omnichannel: Customers still tend to prefer the phone as the primary source of communication, but they also know it may not be an option if disaster strikes. If they’re already accustomed to interacting with you via chat, email, social media, and other channels, it will seem like business as usual if the phones in the physical contact center aren’t available.
One thing we know for certain is that disasters will continue to strike, and sometimes without warning. It may be as simple as delaying a part to fix an air conditioning unit, or as complex as putting major freeways under water. Whatever is on the horizon, your contact center must be prepared. At Cory Communications, we make it our job to help clients prepare for the best and the worst. If you’re ready to put your plan together, we’re ready to help. Contact us today.