Are you prepared for business disruptions?
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Prepare for business disruptions with a contact center

Coming from a background in customer service and client management, you quickly learn the importance of putting the customer first. Regardless of the issue – customer care, acquisition, sales, or collections. Regardless of the channel – phone, web, app, text, email or chat. Our most important job is taking care of our customers.

Day-to-day, most customer operations in contact centers run smoothly. Representatives respond to inquiries, all systems are functional, service levels are met, and everyone is happy.

But what happens when things don’t run smoothly? When some snafu wreaks havoc in your contact center or collection operations? Wait times go up. Customers are upset. Executives are not happy. Employees are burned out.

You can’t prevent disrupting events. But you can have plans in place to assure continuity of service to your customers.


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What are some of the common disrupting events?

  • Workforce Interruption or Suspension: Weather events often cause unsafe travel conditions for employees creating staffing shortages. The ‘bug of the month’ especially during flu season can cause high absenteeism for weeks. remaining employees quickly get burned out with back-to-back calls and potential overtime requirements.
  • Self-Service Glitches: When self-service channels such as AI chatbots, websites, and apps fail, agents often take on the excessive volume. This causes customer response times to increase.
  • System Conversions: System conversions require your staff to learn new systems while still servicing customers. After a conversion, handle times are higher thus reducing the number of calls, emails, or chats a representative can handle.


Contingency plans for business disruptions:

  • Internal Resources: Identifying a group of internal resources to handle contact center duties for a short term can be an effective contingency plan. Prepare your internal teams by training them for all applicable work processes. Be sure to set aside times for them to refresh and perform their contingency responsibilities.
  • Self-Service Support (for Workforce Interruptions): When staffing is low or call volumes are high, encourage customers to complete inquiries without representative intervention. Even alerting customers to high volume and long waits for representatives can help direct customers toward your self-service solutions.
  • Outsourcing Partners: Whether for short-term, known issues such as a system conversion or a long-term permanent plan to support workforce interruptions, BPO partners are a great resource. Short-term outsourcing partners can often ramp up staffing in 30-60 days with full servicing including training, quality, operations leadership, and reporting. Long-term solutions help you to stay prepared for unforeseen events such as illness, spikes in turnover or volume.

There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone. Your solution may be a mix and match of these suggestions. If adding a BPO partner is an option you’re considering, Radius Global Solutions can help! Contact us today to get started.

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