Just before Thanksgiving, as we were winding down for turkey day, I flipped by the Weather Channel and thought – oh, wow, looks like a significant weather pattern is forecasted to sweep the US.
Thanksgiving into Black Friday and over the weekend, national news outlets highlighted snow accumulations, cancelled flights, stranded cars, etc, etc. Today, as I again glance at the Weather Channel the headlines read: “Parts of Northeast Slammed with 20 inches of Snow, More to Come” and “Yep, 2 More Storms to Come, California in Store for Rain & Snow”- weatherchannel.com.
For many, seeing and hearing the forecast is informational, and if you live here in FL, it makes for validation on why the Sunshine State is perfect this time of year. If you work in the US-based Customer Care Outsourcing industry, weather events of this magnitude are horrific in that they cripple an outsourcers ability to support their clients, and their client’s customers.
Most business processing outsourcers operate Brick and Mortar facilities and weather events mean that valued employees are unable to commute to work, creating a service gap that has broad reaching brand implications. For the customer calling in on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, their mission is often to obtain information or request support which ultimately leads to a sale. When long wait times or poor quality resulting from tired call center employees (who have been on back to back calls because of short staffing), impacts a Customer Experience, everyone losses.
No Brand Ever Has to Be Impacted by Weather Again!
Understandably, we are biased, but the reality is that there is no reason for a Brand to be impacted by weather events, staffing challenges or more importantly by the reputational damage that occurs when a valued customer doesn’t receive the level of support they expect.
For the few contact center organizations that understand the value of a remote-based labor pool, and whom have invested in the proper infrastructure (people, process and technology) – this week’s weather events likely had NO impact to the brands they represent (kudos to our industry colleagues). Everyone else went into contingency planning mode and is still, likely, in contingency execution mode. Valued employees have likely spent days huddled on conference calls, personally calling absent agents, begging for overtime and likely doing the equivalent of a rain dance but this time, to get the bad weather to stop.
Remote-agent solutions, what at Activus Connect we refer to as “SmartVirtual” and what legacy BPOs refer to as work-from-home, is the ultimate solution for superior Customer Experience. Geographically disbursed teams that mitigate the chances of a “single point of failure”, teams unimpacted by weather events and who have the ability and inclination to provide authentic brand experiences, all the time.