Disaster Recovery – Supporting your customers when they need you most

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Posted by: Sue Robinson, General Manager Customer Strategy

Even if you have a DRP in place, being able to deliver a business as usual function is often not enough. During times of crisis more of your customers need to contact you and contact you urgently. Having your usual call answering capacity may not be enough to meet the urgent and sensitive needs of your customers. You may be faced with two challenges – increased demand and reduced capacity.

A key strategy for disaster management is to have a number of external partners ready and able to handle an increase in customer demand. A simple message and redirection of calls from your IVR to your partner can help provide immediate support, preliminary answers and a sense of comfort to your customers when and as they need you. A third party supplier can also assist with proactive contact to affected customers and finally, when things have settled down, can assist with back of house processing of claims, forms or other processing needs. You can focus on getting your business operational while handling increased call volumes and dealing with the challenges a disaster brings.

Some useful tips to consider for your DRP strategy:

  • Have a DRP in place and ensure you practice it at least once a year – just talking about it just doesn’t work
  • Keep your emergency contact details up to date throughout the year
  • Consider working from home as an option to assist during times of crisis, especially if travel to work is a key challenge for your employees during these times
  • Make intelligent use of your technology – messages on your IVR can communicate effectively to large numbers of customers, or you can collect contact numbers for proactive call backs
  • Outbound, proactive customer contact may be an option in some circumstances
  • Consider developing a relationship with a partner for short term, rapid response requirements to manage the increase in call volumes you may expect

Finally, never be surprised by the lengths your team will go to to support your customers – the Aussie spirit really comes to the fore!