Great Disaster Recovery Strategies Use Call Centers

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Disasters happen. What would you do if your company was disabled because of down phone lines or a product recall? Are you prepared? With a disaster recovery call center, you can prepare yourself for whatever the future may throw at you. Before we write too much here, I suppose it would be helpful to define what disaster recovery is from the call centers perspective. From this point of view, it refers to the ability to keep your business running (even in a limited capacity) if your telecommunications infrastructure goes offline or a monumental product / service failure leads to an influx of calls that your office can't effectively manage to maintain great customer service. In case of any emergencies, no matter what they may entail, you want your company to be prepared with a proper backup plan.

Great Disaster Recovery Is Quick Recovery

Your main goal when formulating a call center disaster recovery strategy is to be able to respond and recover from the disaster no matter how serious it may be. Let's take a look at the possibility of a storm knocking out your telephone lines. Although technology is constantly advancing, when it comes to a call center, the most important thing is the telephone lines. Much of a call centerís business takes place over the telephone and call center telephones are usually built on multiple redundancies with bottom layer fall-over to a system of analog lines. Although e-mail and text messages have been becoming popular, many businesses still consider the telephone the most important part of a business in terms of communicating with their customers and if a storm takes your telephone lines down, your business does not need to close. Having a phone line down will negatively affect the success of a business. Faulty phone lines are a big fear when it comes to business owners. There are a number of situations in which phone lines could be negatively affected due to natural disasters and if you are using a call center as a default rollover in case of down lines, you will never need to miss a call.


The Case of the Tree Trimmer

For a real world application, let's look at a tree trimming business. A storm rolls in and takes down trees as well as all of the telephone lines and cell towers in the area. Your customers are trying to call the local tree trimmers after the storm to get them over to clean up the mess. Imagine if all other local landscaping type businesses phone lines were down, who would the residents call? If your lines rolled over to a call center, you would reign supreme.

The Case of the Meat Processing Plant

Let's look at another disastrous situation; a product recall. Recalls can happen in any industry. For the purposes of this article, we are going to examine food recalls. Imagine you are a meat producer and there are growing reports of tainted meat from your plant. If you are not getting hit by an overwhelming rush of calls now, you will be soon. Is your internal call center equipped to handle the calls? If they are not all answered promptly, how does this make you look to the consumer? In short, it makes you look ill prepared and like a business that doesn't care about their customers. This is a great example of how an answering service can help whether the disaster is natural or manmade. Either "disaster" variety, a company can be negatively affected. In the tree trimmer case, they are affected because they are losing business. In the meat recall case, they are affected because they look ill prepared and unprofessional. Either case is a loss to customer service, to sales, and to the company.


Train Your Call Center

To ensure a prompt recovery, you must work with the call center to prepare an effective backup plan. For proper implementation, you should have a script archived at your answering service plus backup contact methods. For the tree trimmer, if your phone lines are down, the call center obviously can't call you with messages but they may be able to email you or text you. If either method won't work, let the call center operators follow a script where they assure a phone call shortly and operate in a lead capture functionality. It is also critical for the service to educate its staff on what this backup plan is so they can be prepared and implement it quickly. It will be difficult for a company to make a quick, effective recovery if the staff is improperly trained on the new procedures. Having a well-informed staff will make the default script run much more smoothly in the time of a disaster, and will avoid confusion and wasted time. It is even a good idea to test the call center out to see how they handle the calls and if they stick to your recovery plan. Go ahead and call your recall hotline and see if you get the message and if the operators are properly representing your business.

The main focus of a disaster recovery plan is to either keep your business open or properly manage unexpected customer service. It is important to gain control of the situation in a timely matter and to have your call center functioning properly and efficiently. Having the power of quickly recovering your business is outstanding!

For more information about the contact centre industry, we encourage you to visit the answering service review which discusses call center disaster recovery. This is great reading for what call center owners can do if their own center goes down.

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