By Susie Buffam
Every year, business continuity planning (BCP) is increasingly more vital for protecting the customer experience.
Brands face significant challenges from natural disasters, geopolitical events, and now pandemics, requiring agile CX partners with resilient operations strategically designed to mitigate these risks. Unfortunately, most BCP plans only lower risk; instead of developing service delivery solutions that eliminate customer-impacting service outages altogether.
At Activus Connect, we know that work-at-home CX delivery is the best way to eliminate the risks that businesses must consider when planning for business continuity. Here’s why we’re so confident.
Removes Single Point of Failure
Contact centers and BPO facilities represent a single point of failure for CX operations. When brands entrust their entire CX delivery programs to limited brick and mortar locations, the risk of disruption is incredibly high.
When a physical facility experiences an event, service disruption will likely occur, negatively impacting the brand’s reputation. While contingency plans like backup generators and latent systems can help, these failover mechanisms are temporary stopgaps not long-term solutions.
Location plays another major part in these challenges. The risk becomes far more significant in countries with unstable climates, governments, or infrastructure—earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, and political upheavals are relatively common occurrences in many near and offshore geographies.
With a work-at-home CX workforce, people are dispersed throughout many cities, states, and even countries, removing the single point of failure that comes with physical geography. Of course, when a disaster strikes, a handful of workers may lose internet connectivity in their homes, but by design, it doesn’t shut down an entire operation with adequately dispersed teams.
Readiness and Agility
As we’ve seen with the pandemic, a singular yet global event can overturn an entire industry.
When COVID-19 shut-downs began, most BPO and CX providers were entirely unprepared to move their entire operations to a work-at-home setting for a prolonged period. In some cases, it took months to make the transition, leaving customers under-served and very frustrated at a time when they needed their trusted brand to deliver on their promises. This failure to live up to a brand promise causes permanent reputational damage.
Companies made the mistake of trying to apply in-center processes and tools to a work-at-home environment. It was like hammering a square peg into a round hole—you may be able force it in, but it will never be the right fit. Even big, normally trusted brands were not ready to make the switch, and it brought to light the limited extent of their agility, causing a lot of damage for those that were ill prepared.
A company’s CX campaigns are safe and secure against the next pandemic or world-altering event when dedicated work-at-home operations are a thoughtful component of the overall service delivery strategy. There is no need to pivot, migrate, or transition on the fly because the tools, people, and processes are already in place. It is as simple as that.
High Call Volumes
In a traditional call center environment, if one contact center shuts down, resources in other centers must shoulder the burden. During a crisis, companies need to redirect massive call volumes efficiently and seamlessly to an area not experiencing the same event. Often, this leads to extended customer wait times and exhausted employees, both of which are detrimental to CX.
Work-at-home CX delivery prevents these avalanche moments by again removing the single point of failure—if one agent goes offline, their calls are easily sent to other agents. Plus, work-at-home gives you access to a nearly limitless pool of talent, meaning you can scale rapidly and securely when warranted by business needs.
Emergency Response Training
Every contact center needs to spend adequate time training its employees about emergency response. For example, if the center has a fire or another emergency, agents need the skills and the knowledge to evacuate the building safely, quickly, and calmly.
Centers need to perform regular drills, taking people out of work to test their emergency evacuation strategies. Plus, with a pandemic on the list of potential threats, employees need further training in healthcare management, preventative measures, first-aid, emergency supply storage, and distribution. Unfortunately, this type of disaster management training takes valuable time and resources to perform adequately, often costing companies a small fortune to plan, practice and deploy well.
Work-at-home not only reduces the need to invest in this type of planning and training, but it also eliminates the danger that employees face when working in-center. Win-win.
Pandemics, natural disasters, and other unforeseen challenges are genuine concerns when managing the customer experience. To be prepared, brands are forced to prioritize solid business continuity planning, often at the expense of other initiatives and efforts.
Choosing a work-at-home CX solution makes business continuity planning a breeze, as it eliminates all the risks associated with a physical contact center. Get in touch with Activus Connect at https://activusconnect.com/lets-connect to learn more about the benefits of work-at-home and our SmartVirtual™ platform.