A recent survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan on the disaster preparedness in organizations finds that only 31 percent of IT managers are prepared to handle outages and disasters. This shows the importance of adopting a successful business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) strategy in an organization.
Customer contact organizations play vital role in disseminating information during disasters and calamities. They can use the wide array of BC/DR strategies to handle all kinds of events. As customers are empowered with smartphones and social media platforms to garner information, customer contact organizations should be equipped to deliver information and updates in real time.
Customer contact organizations face two challenges when devising and implementing effective BC/DR programs, the agency said. The first is balancing the potential risks and losses from adversity and the investments needed for putting in place effective BC/DR solutions. The second pertains to enterprises’ lack of motivation to deploy these solutions due to the unpredictability of these events.
“While an enterprise should be able to construct an impact model based on potential lost sales and productivity, the case may weaken when it comes to factoring in probabilities,” says Frost analyst. “The investment in the solution is based on acceptable risk, which is hard to determine without solid data about the likelihood of occurrences.”
Effective BC/DR depends on the development and maturity of cloud/hosting to supply and support applications and data. The solution’s success also rides on cloud vendors’ deployment of redundancy, including active-active server backup, geo-redundancy, and onsite generators.
The BC/DR solutions that will find the highest uptake are those that support customers, employees, and operations and yet minimize capital investments and operational costs. For BC/DR to be wholly functional, wireless communication should be prevalent.
While social media has proven to be a useful alerting and interaction tool, it is effective only if the recipients have Internet access. Even with internet, the bandwidth can fluctuate widely during disasters, so there is a need for a multilayered approach, such as inbound and outbound interactive voice response (IVR) and SMS/text.
Contact centers must prepare for other types of threats like violence against women, especially because women account for more than two-thirds of customer service representatives. Contact centers may also consider inducting military veterans into the workforce, as they have proven abilities to assess and respond to sudden and difficult situations, according to Frost.