Did you know that 73 percent of businesses don’t have a well-tested business continuity plan in place?
Devising a call center business continuity plan (BCP) is a tough task for most managers. These plans need careful design, implementation, and execution to ensure they perform. The rise of COVID-19 further complicates the task. Now, every call center manager needs to make sure to provide the best service during the added pressure of the pandemic. We hope that our blog does justice to your call center management and ensure continuity during the crisis.
7 Tips to Ensure Business Continuity in Call Centers
1. Analyze your Situation
A great business continuity plan begins with a better awareness of the current situation. Managers can ensure disaster-preparedness by identifying various risks and preparing for them in the plan. Analyzing the impact of a pandemic on your infrastructural assets like servers, computers, IVR, and other applications helps you list possible threats and probable recovery costs.
Critical equipment in non-working conditions is a level-1 threat that call centers need to tackle. Ensuring the uninterrupted performance of major communication channels is a foremost priority for managers. So, identify critical engagement channels and ensure they’re always available.
2. Know your Strategy
Every manager wanting to create a great BCP needs to know what it actually is. You might need to read a ton to ensure you don’t lag in the process. Remember that a good BCP helps you avert disasters, diminish costs, reduce the impact of casualties, and continue building the business.
Prevention is always better than a cure. This saying couldn’t be truer in BCP building. Instead, prepare yourself to tackle disasters in a cool and collected way. Only 30 percent of businesses have a well-documented disaster plan. Don’t be one of those and invest in BCPs after knowing your strategy well.
3. Devise a Robust Business Continuity Plan
Now, you can begin creating a complete set of emergency procedures to implement in a potential disaster situation. Here’s what you should ask while making a plan: –
- How threatening is the risk?
- What immediate steps you can take to protect the team?
- How can you reduce the impact on customers?
- How can you effectively communicate with your stakeholders about the situation?
Once you have concrete answers to these queries, set your procedures in motion. If you’re an outsourcer, notify your contact center service provider to tell your clients about the plan. 25.9 percent of recovery efforts used staff time that negatively influenced the business.
4. Don’t Forget to Test your Plan
Your plan isn’t fool-proof if it doesn’t pass vigorous testing. So, communicate your plan to the staff and stakeholders. Then, you can conduct emergency evacuation drills to familiarize them and test the plan in real-time. To have greater confidence in your disaster recovery (DR) plan, you can work with your DR team to create probable scenarios and act them out in a couple of months. By implementing the plan in a make-believe scenario, you can demonstrate how to cope with dire circumstances.
Additionally, it helps you identify any faults or gaps in your strategy to fix them in time. By involving the entire team, you ensure each person knows their responsibility and carries their role with confidence in an emergency.
5. Equip your Agents to Handle High Call Volumes
Even after using various strategies, your employees may still be inundated with calls and unable to attend to all of them. Hence, if your customers are dealing with the same issues that your staff is, they’re not served well. Imagine the exponential growth of calls to emergency services like healthcare, insurance, and charity during a fire.
You can use various services to manage the increased workload and satisfy your customers. Through software tools, you can offer customers relief from queues and wait times by: –
- Providing IVR Avalanche Services – It diverts calls to other IVR to handle calls and escalate them better.
- Holding their Calls Virtually – It allows the customer to maintain their place in the queue without staying on the call.
- Giving them Voicemail and Call-back Services – It ensures customers can reach you at a better time.
6. Calculate Possible Losses
Before a disaster strikes, estimate your probable downtimes and ensure you have a back-up process on your hands. For a call center, its customers constitute its entire existence. Hence, ensure any disruptions are promptly and effectively tackled with proper communication to the clients.
7. Consider Having a Cloud-based Call Backup Solution
Modern customers cannot tolerate service interruptions under any circumstance. Call centers dependent on technology should consider a trustworthy backup solution as an important prerequisite. Traditionally, call centers used to back up their data on an on-premise server that was costly, unsafe, and demanded more space.
When a disaster strikes, storing multiple servers in a confined space can cause major issues for the organization. 18.8 percent of companies lost most or all of their data center functions in an emergency. The boom in cloud computing provides businesses an effective alternative by distributing their data sources in multiple places to avoid data losses.
Every business needs to prepare for future disasters efficiently. However, in the face of an emergency, call centers face the most issues. To be a successful call center, operators need to prepare themselves and their staff. They could do so by conducting drills, backing up systems regularly, and upgrading their infrastructure to deal with heavy workloads. 96 percent of companies with great disaster recovery plans fully come out of disasters without any losses.
Triumph against the disaster by investing in a business continuity plan today!