Opinion

Preparing for the Unexpected; Ways to keep business continuity

A pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak challenges business continuity for any organisation.  COVID-19 is taking over daily life for people and businesses around the world. Its full impact is not yet known, nor do we know how long it will take to overcome the health and safety challenges it poses to our communities.

It’s a prime example of how an unexpected event can upend business continuity. There’s no standard way to prepare for such events. But in times like these, it’s essential to have a framework in place to face the unexpected, here are 6 ways to minimise disruption;

 

Shift Now

Optimise team operations by shifting to an at-home model, quickly and at needed scale.  Many at home models enable seamless transition from contact centres to your agents at home, while maintaining the quality management, best-in-class operational processes and security of brick-and-mortar operations. They can also diversify your workforce geographically and
equip your workforce with secure tools and technology to address GDPR and security issues.

 

Add Now

Broaden customer support by adding readily available at-home CX agents to your contact centre operations.  There is a huge resource available and it also helps temporarily unemployed workers get back to work during the coronavirus pandemic. Diversify channels and geographies by adding at-home agents to ensure continuity of coverage. Tapping into a virtual workforce allows you to choose from a broader pool of available employees with the right skills for different requirements.  Work at-home models also enables rapid scale to support growth or to meet changing demands.

 

Message Now

Broaden your reach across a variety of touch points, including mobile apps, SMS, web, social and voice and give customers their choice of channels. Messaging can be deployed with minimal IT support and can be configured and implemented quickly, expanding the number of customer conversations an agent can concurrently handle.

Just recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced it has launched an instant messaging service with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people informed and safe during the COVID- 19 crisis.  It’s easy to use, multilingual and works by submitting a link to the instant messaging app, which when opened, reveals a series of numbers or emojis controlled by an automated bot that keeps you up-to-date with COVID-19 related news in real time. Users simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, which then prompts a menu of options that help answer any questions you might have about the coronavirus.

There is no doubt messaging can play a big part in a crisis by relieving capacity and optimising interactions by rapidly deploying new channel capabilities of Web Messaging and chat based services which allows customers to be informed and get support anytime, anywhere on any device.

 

Deflect Now

Drive down your call volumes with IVR deflection to messaging and automate simpler enquiries and requests with AI.  Further reduce call volumes with IVR to Messaging, enabling agents to go from 1:1 to 1:4. Deflecting lets you easily add deflection and intelligent automation.

For example, automate simpler enquiries and requests with AI to create efficiencies
and better customer experiences. In addition, deflecting minimises disruption
with seamless tech implementation and efficient agent training. This is something that can be put in place quickly and cost effectively.

 

Manage Now

Look at outsourced solutions that deliver IT infrastructure, design, implementation and ongoing managed services.  This allows you to provide a range of customer experience solutions using a mix of in house and outsourced agents working from their homes and ensures your customers have a cohesive experience and routes their enquiries appropriately.  This provides new agents in seconds and allows you to scale up or down immediately based on current demands.

 

Secure Now

Use technology that is simple, scalable and secure which will turn your contact bricks and mortar employees into a virtual workforce with confidence. Many technologies provide a turn-key security solution that utilising agent-owned PC (SSD) or an outsourced hardware for remote home-based contact centre workers. Track results, maintain engagement and deliver a valued customer experience.

Any organisation that was hesitant previously to embrace the digital revolution will be moved on. The current crisis inevitably means more businesses and consumers will use technologies that maybe they wouldn’t have done before in a bid to not just survive a crisis like COVID-19, but also thrive in its aftermath.

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