An unexpected power outage can present a nightmare scenario to any business that does not have a reliable call center disaster recovery plan in place.
You may not think so, but even a brief outage can cause major operational disruptions to organizations. A survey conducted by TIC has shown that even a single hour of power outage can cost businesses between 100,000 and 5 million dollars. Incredible, right?
As the main task of any call center is to communicate with its customers, if this communication is interrupted for any reason, for instance due to an unexpected power outage, then the call center will start losing revenue and generating costs – it’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately, though, many call centers are still unprepared for business disruptions caused by power outages, and are unaware of the cost and impact such an event can have on their business operations.
That’s why we decided to write an article highlighting what you need to do in order to ensure your call center is prepared for unexpected power outages. Read on and make sure your call center is playing it safe.
Have a reliable call center disaster recovery plan
Remember our story about the power outage that suddenly shut down the business operations at our African partner? If they had a reliable call center disaster recovery plan in place, then perhaps the effect would not have been as great as it was.
Imagine your phone lines (or any other of your communication channels) suddenly go down for hours, days or even weeks. Without doubt, you would lose hundreds or thousands of calls, as well as a potentially high volume of sales and revenue.
And that’s only the beginning. As well as losing revenue, an unexpected power outage could also cause your call center to lose its databases and other supporting information systems that usually contain a huge amount of valuable (and even confidential) data.
As a result of any of the above, your call center’s reputation would likely be badly affected, and there’s no doubt that, overall, your business would be seriously harmed.
This is why having a reliable disaster recovery plan in place is an absolute must for efficiently and effectively handling an unexpected power outage.
A reliable call center disaster recovery plan will help you minimize the impact of network and information system disruptions. Furthermore, a well-planned disaster recovery plan will determine the steps call center employees are required to take in the event of an unexpected power outage.
Think Cloud, not storm
When a large storm causes an unexpected power outage, your call center will need a reliable backup solution to be able to continue handling customer calls.
However, having a physical backup system in place may be risky as there is no guarantee it will function well during an unexpected disaster. For instance, imagine that you choose to set up a costly physical backup solution, and suddenly a huge storm hits the whole region and shuts down both your primary and backup servers.
So, if you consider your business forward-thinking, then you’ll definitely need to have a cloud-based backup solution in your call center disaster recovery plan.
Cloud computing has evolved a lot in recent years, and now cloud-based backup call center solutions allow users to run their applications from virtual servers. By transferring your workload to a backup call center solution you can minimize your call center’s operations downtime and the number of lost calls.
So, if you haven’t already done so, we recommend you move your business to the cloud today, as this is a proven and efficient way to overcome operational disruption caused by power outages.
If you’re still unsure about the call center software solutions available on the market, then make sure to check out our quiz that definitely helps you choose the right the solution for your call center.
Brace yourself, customer queries are coming
As we all know, call center operations have changed considerably in the last decade, with call centers now operating 24/7, and utilizing multiple shifts and personnel.
And as today’s customers are ever-more demanding, they’ll require an instant solution to their issues – regardless of whether your call center is facing a power outage or not.
So, in the event of an unexpected power outage, you can be sure that your call center will receive even more customer queries than it usually does. What call centers often forget in such situations is that outages affect their customers as well, and they also have their own customers waiting for a solution.
Our advice is to always provide your customers with accurate information about the power outage. Always make sure to let them know what is happening, and that the issue is being taken care of.
Furthermore, social media, as we have mentioned before in other articles, is your best friend. By posting information updates via Twitter or Facebook, for example, your customers will be able to see in real-time that you’re taking good care of them and keeping them informed.
Amongst other things, keeping your customers updated via different social media channels will allow your business to maintain customer trust as it recovers after the incident. Also, don’t forget to consult with PR at the company so that they can carry out and implement a proper communication plan in the event of a disaster.
Train, test, repeat
As we all know, sometimes even the best plans can go wrong. Be it an effective call center script, business continuity plan or disaster recovery plan, we can’t emphasize the importance of training and testing enough.
Being prepared for unexpected disasters, such as a power outage, is an absolute must for any call center. However, once you have your call center disaster recovery plan in place, it is equally important to test it systematically. Ongoing testing will provide your call center with the tools to successfully assess a possible disaster and its impact on your services.
Training your agents and supervisors in disaster recovery processes also needs to be a regular part of your call center’s training schedule. By providing your employees with well-written instructions and documentation on disaster recovery, you’ll empower them to be able to act quickly in the event of a power outage.
Furthermore, establishing a dedicated disaster recovery team will help you keep your call center running as smoothly as possible during unexpected events. Making this kind of training a regular practice will make all the difference.
Creating a solid plan in the event of a power outage is no small feat but it’s definitely worth the effort: you’ll not only be able to quickly bring your business operations back up to normal after an incident, but also enhance your customer experience reputation by keeping your customers proactively updated.