It is that time of year. There have already been hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast. Plus, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) predicts that the 2020 hurricane season will be above-normal. Disaster management plans are necessary for your business.
According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen after events like a hurricane. On top of that, another 25% fail within one year. What should business owners do to survive? Phase 1: plan and prepare for emergencies. Phase 2: utilize business process outsourcing to support protocols. Organization and planning will help your business stay afloat during a disaster or unprecedented event.
Do you have a business continuity plan for disaster management?
51% of global companies answered no, they do not have business continuity plans (BCPs). And instead, during emergencies, they rely on:
- Information from government entities, local news, and community sharing tools. (Facebook, Twitter, Local Blogs, etc.)
- Colleagues and other members of the workforce.
- Friends and Family.
Keeping team members informed and safe is vital. But, your business must stay open with as little revenue stoppage as possible. It’s imperative to have organized systems that maintain secure communications and ensure continuous output for your organization.
Your business continuity plan should cover more than just the customer experience.
How you communicate with your employees during a disaster is extremely important! With our mass SMS and email messaging tools, we can quickly and easily share important information with your entire workforce. With our AI-powered phone lines, your employees can quickly record their absences through a dedicated phone-line. Then, you can easily pull disaster-related absence data directly from your dedicated portal.
To learn more about our AI-powered employee call-out lines, head to this blog post.
But, what do you do when your business MUST close down due to a storm?
Utilize business process outsourcing (BPO) and forward your phones to a contact center like Call Experts. By choosing this route, you’ll support your customers and employees even when your office loses power.
At Call Experts, we have over 40 years of experience implementing tools and protocols related to customer support, appointment management, overflow, and on-call scheduling. With these services, we can support your customers and your business through anything.
Are you interested in reading more about our emergency response lines and how they can help your business during a disaster? Head over to this blog post!
What else should you consider when you’re planning for emergencies?
Focus on clear messaging; it’s essential to be transparent and direct during a time when everyone is in “panic mode.”
The most crucial phase of a business continuity plan is understanding the roles everyone will play within your organization if an emergency occurs. Having a clear, concise, unified front during a time of uncertainty will comfort your employees, partners, and customers.
Where do you begin when it comes to defining roles? Here are a few questions that will get you started:
- Who is responsible for contacting emergency and city services?
- What will the website and social media channels message say, and who is responsible for contacting customers and updating these platforms?
- Who approves the messaging for customers, social media channels, and the website?
- Who is responsible for notifying employees of the business’ response? And, who approves this message?
- Who will speak to the media if required?
- Who will assess the physical damage to your office building?
- How will you communicate with employees if the internet and phones are down?
- Who is managing remote data and servers?
- Who will be in charge if your designated leader is unreachable? Aka, what is your backup plan if the BCP owner is out of contact?
- Who is in charge of getting technology to employees to active remote working?
- Who will test all of these processes throughout the year to ensure it’s ready if an emergency occurs?
Once you know who is responsible for what, it is essential to outline “recovery plans.”
So, you created a list of owners within your organization in the previous step. What are their tasks if an emergency were to occur?
Let’s outline your recovery plan. Start by answering these questions:
- What is the recovery time back to normal operations for your customers and team members?
- What message should be on your phone lines, and what answers should you provide?
- If you provide essential services, what tools will you use to deal with the surge?
- What are your needs related to power outages and potential service provider gaps in service?
- How will you handle power loss and physical damage to your property?
Set a stage to offer seamless service during an emergency: create a plan, inform your team of the program, and routinely test your protocols.
Get started on your disaster management plans with our simple, scalable checklist!
Click here to email us for your free copy.
Contact Center support offers efficient, affordable solutions. The right partner can help make disaster management easier.
Virtual tools ensure that you and your team are risk-free during a hurricane and after it passes. Here are a few scenarios to consider:
- Your technicians need to get into the field to repair properties damaged in the storm. Your office is closed with no power; you only have your phone and cell service. Our Mobile On-call App handles scheduling, assigning, alerting, and managing your team. With live agent support, our team can support hotline and appointment requests from your customers.
- Your employees need to call in because of outages, and your management team needs to focus on the disaster. Utilize our Employee Call-Out lines to support absence tracking and workplace reporting. This service creates time for your management to focus on vital operations while employees can report the reason for their call-out. Receive timestamped records of your employee absenteeism information in custom reports through a portal.
- You operate an emergency service — the storm hits. You lose power at 2 am. Your customers need 24/7/365 support. Having a partner who can keep your phone lines up and answered during an emergency can be invaluable for your staff and customers.
- You own an eCommerce business that has customers all over the world. Your office and team are out because of a disaster on the East Coast of the United States. Forward your phone lines for order support, processing, and management, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Your customers on the West Coast and abroad shouldn’t feel a decline in customer support due to the hurricane on the East Coast.
Disaster management starts with organization, planning, and the right contact center partner to support your needs. Call Experts has over 40 years of experience supporting businesses through natural disasters, pandemics, and other emergencies. With experienced protocols tested through real-life situations, we are confident that we can help keep your business afloat!