Cloud-hosted phone systems are used by thousands of call centers around the world and continue to grow in popularity. As these systems operate via the internet and a computer or data based system, disruptions and downtimes have been known to transpire. However, there are still many call centers that have little to no process or plan in place should a disruption or major disaster occur. In this guide, you’ll learn how to compile, document and complete a call center disaster recovery plan.
Create a Call Center Disaster Recovery Plan
As with all processes and systems, there are several important steps involved when establishing a practical call center disaster recovery plan. While there are various templates, checklists, and plans freely available on the internet, most are not suited to the demands of a complete call center business continuity plan. To make the process easier and save you time and money we have compiled a step-by-step guide to create an effective call center disaster recovery plan.
Call Center Disaster Recovery Planning Process
When mapping out and planning your disaster recovery plan and process it’s important to remember that even the best thought-out plan will require constant adjustments and improvements. When setting up your disaster recovery plan it is important to identify and list potential risk that a disaster or downtime would have on your call center. This list will aid in the development of your call center disaster recovery plan.
Identify the Risks to your Call Center Business Continuity
- Network outage or other service disruption caused by power outages, storms or broken cables.
- Loss of Internet coverage as a result of clement weather and service provider disturbance
- Power outages caused by storms, cable failure, and general system outages.
- Software failure as a result of network or system problems or power outage.
- Loss of network or database information such as caller ID.
Identify Your Call Centers Backup Options
- Implementation of an automatic cloud failover and call continuity plan with your provider.
- Alternate or backup internet provider or solution.
- An emergency backup power supply system such as a UPS that automatically turns on in the event of a power outage.
- The implementation of a VoIP Monitoring System that notifies your technical or support department should it detect any faults on the network.
Incorporate Your VoIP Provider in Your Call Center Disaster Recovery Solution
Most service providers already have established cloud failover management tools on their network servers, which will automatically manage calls placed over their network in the case of a disaster. But this is not always explained or discussed. We, therefore, recommend you confirm what cloud failover process your VoIP provider offers on their network and how you can incorporate it into your own disaster recovery plan. The most common types of cloud failover include:
- VOIP Redundancy (VoIP to VoIP: Failover). If your IP PBX (hosted phone system) or VoIP endpoints (such as an IP phone) are unable to receive calls, your provider can use VoIP to VoIP failover to reroute the call to the backup VoIP destination of your choice.
- VoIP Redundancy with PSTN Failover: If Internet downtime causes your VoIP device to miss an incoming toll free or local call, your VoIP provider’s network can forward the call to a PSTN phone number of your choice.
- VoIP Failover Redundancy: Having problems receiving calls through the PSTN? Ask your provider to automatically forward those missed calls to alternate PSTN numbers.
- Integrated VoIP Failover: This option is for those who believe that it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you are worried about missing toll free calls, your provider can configure a variety of failover options to both VoIP devices and PSTN phone numbers.
Your Call Center Disaster Recovery Checklist
When creating your call center disaster recovery plan, it is important to understand and include all elements that play a part in the overall operation of your call center. While cloud-failover and your internal or external network are important, other key factors include your agents, phone equipment, vendors and carrier partnerships. Cloud-based PBX system, such as VoIP, require less emergency preparation then older traditional onsite PBX systems. It is, however, still important you determine your call centers disaster preparedness.
To aid in the final development of your call center disaster recovery plan, we have created a quick checklist of important questions to ask yourself.
- Does your call center VoIP system maintenance plan cover disaster situations?
- What cloud-failover or call forwarding abilities does your existing phone system and cloud provider offer?
- What is your outage time frame and under what circumstances is your disaster recovery plan to be activated?
- What recovery solutions are noted in your Service-Level Agreement (SLA) with your existing cloud provider?
- Do you have backup copies of all your call center software and data?
- Have you implemented a critical communication path and responsibility matrix?
- Can you configure your call center network so your agent can access your call center system remotely or from alternate devices or locations
- Is there a relocation plan and designated physical location for your agents in the event of an emergency?
- Will, your agents have access to an internet connection with the required bandwidth should they need to relocate?
- Have you tested your disaster recovery plan and if so how often have you scheduled plan updates.
Interested in Setting Up a Call Center Disaster Recovery Solution?
AVOXI is a leading cloud communication, business VoIP service and contact center software provider. Our customizable, cloud-based call center solution, Smart Queue offers advanced features to meet the individual needs of a call center. The benefits of purchasing a VoIP system with AVOXI includes:
- Hosted data centers on three continents provide global redundancy and ensure reliable call quality in any region.
- Office locations all over the world allow AVOXI to provide 24/7 technical support (English and Spanish support available).
- You can activate new channels and lines instantly from within the AVOXI Core User Interface.
- All AVOXI services include 20+ business features like IVR, teleconferencing, and 15 days of free call recording.
- Earn credit and get paid when you port existing phone numbers to AVOXI.
- With AVOXI, there are no startup fees or minimum contracts. Test our VoIP trunk solutions risk-free.
- Reliable cloud-failover methods with forwarding options to multiple locations, numbers or devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can my agents work remotely with Smart Queue?
Smart Queue is a web-based contact center solution, that allows your agent the freedom to work from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and a reliable Internet connection.
Can I see call queue activity in real time with Smart Queue?
Yes. Smart Queue’s live call monitoring view lets you see incoming calls in progress. You can even use Call Whisper to coach your agents during live calls. Smart Queue also offers real-time reporting, so you always know what’s happening in your contact center.
What phone numbers does AVOXI support?
AVOXI offers toll free phone numbers from 120+ countries worldwide and local phone numbers from 2500+ countries worldwide. There is no limit to how many numbers you can use with Smart Queue contact center software.
Can I keep my current number and still use AVOXI’s?
Yes, in most cases. This is done through a process called resporg, or phone number porting. Most virtual numbers can be ported, although this may vary country based on porting restrictions set out by the relevant regulatory board. For more information visit out Global Number Portability Guide
What other services can AVOXI offer to help my business?
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