Make sure your contact center has a viable backup plan so that your business functions are not at risk
By definition, a contact center is an operation at one centralized location. However, advances in technology make it possible for two or more contact centers to be interconnected – a boon to efficiency. But even more important, it provides critical redundancy, and dramatically increases the potential for them to provide continuous operation, without interruption, 24/7/365.
Several significant events can cripple a single-location answering serivce. When two contact centers share the work, these issues are smartly avoided.
Threats to business continuity come from many sources. Consider these concerns.
Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, and hurricanes can all threaten an answering service operation. It seems no geographic location is immune to every type of natural disaster. Some natural disasters may have a short-term impact on answering service operations. But others could halt all functions for several days or weeks.
Severe Weather: Closely related to natural disasters is weather-related problems. These include snowstorms, freezing rain, hail, and heavy rainfall. Although these forms of extreme weather may not affect the contact center facility, they can significantly impact their staff’s ability to make it into the office work. This can cause an answering service to have inadequate staffing. The result is a reduced level of service given to you and your customers.
Local Service Interruptions: Other events could occur near the contact center facility and affect its operation. These include fire, gas explosion, or power outage. Errant construction work could sever internet or telephone cables. An answering service without phone and internet service can’t serve its customers.
Terrorist Attacks: Though once unthinkable, a more recent concern is business interruption due to terror attacks and domestic violence, threatening the answering service facility and hampering its employees’ ability to make it in for work. Either way, your customers will not receive the service they deserve, and you expect.
Epidemic Outbreaks: Health concerns could also affect an answering service workforce, either directly limiting employees’ ability to work or producing fear that might keep them away from work. These concerns can keep staff out of their office and unavailable to serve your customers.
In all these instances, the cause of the interruption is outside the control of the contact center. Will your customers understand if your answering service is understaffed or unavailable for several days? How long could your business function without your contact center to support it?
However, smart contact center leaders take steps to mitigate the impact should one of these events occur. The most thorough and resilient way is to tie two contact centers together.
With two interconnected contact centers, activity can be rerouted from one to the other, either in part or total, for as long as needed, providing uninterrupted service to your customers.
Though every contact center manager hopes never to encounter any of these extreme situations, the wise ones are ready should it occur, and you will benefit from their planning.
Ansafone Contact Centers, a 24/7 live contact center service provider, uses a multi-channel communication approach to help clients communicate via phone and live chat, with email management and social media monitoring. Ansafone’s business process outsourcing (BPO) services specialize in customer service, help desk, tier-1 tech support, sales conversion, and enrollment. Click here to learn more.