Crisis Management and Call Centers
Before the coronavirus pandemic, 69% of surveyed company leaders had experienced some corporate crisis, averaging one a year. Since then, 95% of company leaders can admit that their crisis preparedness needs improvement. Those with a well-thought-out emergency response plan in place can quickly respond to unexpected disruptions and stabilize operations, bouncing back faster than their unprepared competitors. It’s clear more than ever that implementing a thorough, strategic crisis management plan for your call center could be what keeps your business afloat.
What is a Call Center’s Role in a Crisis?
Call centers are your front lines for customer service and satisfaction. With a sudden influx of calls, there are many opportunities for misinformation to spread or calls to be mishandled. It’s enough to de-rail entire operations. The representatives who field these incoming concerns must maintain quality communication while effectively solving your customers.
Among the many services a call center can offer your organization in a major crisis, an effective call center crisis management plan should at the very least be able to provide you with services such as:
- Emergency dispatch methods
- High volume preparedness
- Multilingual agents or translation capabilities
- An established crisis management plan
Responding to a Crisis
There are many right (and wrong) ways to respond to a crisis; it would help if you knew beforehand what you’re up against. Unfortunately, we can never predict what is coming, whether financial, technological, organizational, or a natural crisis. But just because it’s unexpected does not mean your business has to be unprepared. When you develop a call center crisis management plan, you give every employee the awareness, prevention education, and proper protocol to their role and function throughout the crisis.
Crisis Management Plan
If your contracted vendor cannot fulfill a contract, do you have a backup vendor established? Do you have a redirect system in place to handle your operations should a natural disaster arise? Your crisis contingency plan should focus on both customers and employees and should be best practices already in place. This plan would include, but not be limited to:
- Automated callbacks for long call queues
- Limited-time flexible cancellation or credit policies
- A list of pre-authorized exceptions to employee rules to help satisfy customer demands
- An additional place, like a webpage, where customers can locate essential information to help them make informed decisions
Crisis Management Team
Your crisis management team should consist of key players that will lead the charge. The size and titles of each group will vary with each call center, but generally, you will see:
- A crisis manager
- A crisis advisor
- A public relations specialist
- A legal advisor
- A safety advisor
Of course, a call center crisis management plan is only as effective as the employees implementing it. Your call center’s crisis employees must feel empowered and supported to make quick decisions for the happiness of your customers. A human-first approach to that support will reach beyond any award or recognition. Create loyalty by offering crisis employees an adjusted attendance policy, remote opportunities, or templated call center scripts with easy fill-in-the-blanks that help answer sensitive questions.
Prepare for a Crisis with Gold Mountain Communications
How your crisis team and your employees respond when stressors or disasters strike will directly impact your bottom line. Your business should never be unprepared to maintain high levels of customer service, which is why pre-establishing a call center crisis management plan with a quality call center is your most innovative option.
Prepare ahead of a crisis by seeking the best communications service and establishing a foolproof call center crisis management plan. Don’t hesitate– contact Gold Mountain today!