In light of the recent events that took place with Hurricane Sandy, many companies are struggling to have their operations back up and running. However, by planning ahead and ensuring that there is a disaster recovery plan in place, businesses can feel less vulnerable and more prepared when the unexpected happens.
Disasters that can affect or damage your call center can present themselves in many different ways, and disaster-proofing your call center should be a priority in all business plans. There are two types of disasters that can occur, semi-predictable and unpredictable. A semi-predictable disaster can include power outages, hardware failure, and weather-related damage. Unpredictable disasters can range from anything from a hurricane to a terrorist attack. However, no matter what the disaster may be, your customers expect you to be indestructible and prepared for any and all situations. By expecting the unexpected and having a disaster recovery plan in place, your call center will have better odds of bouncing back from any disaster that may occur.
- Call and customer types: The most important thing you can do in your disaster recovery plan is to prioritize. You must figure out what the most crucial functions of your call center, as it will not be possible to keep every aspect of every service up and running during the recovery phase. Identify the critical calls and services that cannot be stopped, those that can be recovered within a day, and those that can wait until the call center is back to normal. By comparing the costs of low customer satisfaction to the costs of recovery options, these types of calls should be easier to pick out.
- Redundancy and Backup: Once the most important calls are identified, it will be easy to determine which components of the call center should have redundancy built in. Of course, backup power in the form of a generator is also a necessity.
- Call Agents: Have a few call center agents who will be available to work from home and handle your calls if your call center location is affected by the disaster.
- Management: You should have a disaster recovery team in place and trained on what to expect and how to act if a disaster should occur. The roles and duties of each person on the team should be well mapped out.
After the disaster is over, and immediate steps have been taken, your next focus should be on getting back to normal. Again, duties, roles, and activities should be in place and already assigned to get completely back to normal as quickly as possible.