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Emergency Preparedness

As business normalizes again, take the necessary steps now to prevent your business from being caught
in similar circumstances should another emergency arise comparable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You may not see another business impacting event comparable to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you need to prepare for the likelihood as a worst case scenario. While you were working through the unprecedented challenges the pandemic caused to your business, Contact Center 411 was working with clients and assisting them in addressing the issues you were also facing. Our Partners and Associates have hundreds of years of cumulative experience as Contact Center Operational Executives and Consultants and are well qualified to better position your business should we face a similar situation in the future.

Operational and Technology Environments

Many organizations have dealt with on-going technical challenges that hindered efforts to modernize or shift to cloud computing for instance. The firms with challenging production environments often have the greatest struggle when planning for how to recover and or continue to operate during catastrophic events or disasters. The following questions represent just a brief example of the extensive planning and decisions required to solidify your organization’s future with a robust BCM strategy and plan.
  • Dire circumstances dictate you will likely be operating in a degraded mode.
  • What services or activities can you off-load to the IVR during such times?
  • These capabilities should be developed and sitting on the shelf ready to activate.
  • IVRs can be utilized for large scale “outbound” functions such as pro-active communication to a
    customer community or your internal resources.
  • Yes, you can get access to your own premise systems, but the proliferation of cloud computing
    has simplified the process of shifting staff and client interactions when business disrupting
    events occur.
  • Maintaining “standby” connectivity for the entirety of your workforce to switch to remote
    operations may be cost prohibitive with your own premise systems.
  • Telephony solutions typically sit in the “carrier cloud” which minimizes the issue of extra circuits
    and bandwidth when you most need it.
  • Are you utilizing cloud telephony to simplify routing and handling of this traffic?

  • Have you previously discussed plans and methods for ramping up volume significantly?

  • Does it make sense to have an on-going mix of internally handled volume and outsourced
    volume? This can be quite beneficial during times of emergency, or even “global pandemic.”

  • Is it fully leveraged in terms of capacity?
  • What would it take to have additional capacity on stand-by
  • Is more investment in technology required over time to establish and sustain business continuity
  • Can you continue these campaigns during the business disrupting event?
  • Should you continue with outbound campaigns even if you still have the capability?
  • Aside from telephone calls, do you have other technology in place that allows you to communicate with your client community on a mass scale?
  • Plan for BCM capabilities each time you make decisions about altering your current production
  • Ask the hard questions about the impact to your sustainability and recovery capability with each
    technology change you are planning to undertake.
    • Does it fundamentally change your capability and continuity plan?
    • Does the new technology enhance the current continuity plan, or does it create new
      gaps that must be addressed?
    • Are any negative impacts sufficient enough to warrant the need for different
      approaches to your production environment?
  • Develop pre-determined messaging (along with how it will be delivered) that can be invoked
  • What do you need your constituency to know about how they can do business with you during
    the significant outage or event?
  • Is your staff informed and up to speed on how you will operate during another significant event
    or pandemic?

Business Continuity Management – It’s All About The Plan

The above is just a microcosm of the factors that must be considered when developing a comprehensive and successful plan. There is a logical sequence on how to approach this planning that will maximize your efforts and prevent needless waste of time, finances, and resources. Investing valuable resources should be limited until senior executives have agreed on an overall strategy.
Pre-determined decisions that have been thoroughly vetted during calmer times can make the difference between “surviving (or not) and thriving” during an industry or business impacting event. You hope that you never have to invoke these plans, but your clients, staff, stakeholders and perhaps the global community at large, will undoubtedly reap the benefits of your company’s preparedness!
We lead our clients through all of the difficult questions and discussion topics necessary to arrive at a sound BCM strategy that can be documented, implemented, tested………….and executed if needed.

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