As business leaders, it’s our job to take care of our employees and our customers. We may not be able to control most natural disasters and emergencies, but we can control how we support employees and customers during these times. A recent article in Harvard Business Review, “What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?”, highlights the importance of business flexibility in times of crisis, noting the increase in remote working, establishing communications protocols and identifying technology needs as steps to respond to potential disruption.
Having a business continuity plan and investing in the right technology before disaster strikes can be a game-changer in maintaining standard operations, ensuring the welfare of employees and creating a sense of normalcy for customers. One of the most important decisions a company can make is to move its contact center off-premises to the cloud. Imagine customers not being able to reach a company in a time of need or employees immediately facing the loss of wages because a natural disaster wiped out the contact center or offices closed indefinitely due to the threat of infection spread.
Today, approximately 85 percent of contact centers are on-premise and unable to allow support agents to work remotely. Deploying a cloud-based contact center can be a first line of defense for companies of all sizes and geographic reach. Doing so allows companies to keep contact centers agile and easily adapt to agents’ and customers’ needs in any situation. Agents can work remotely in secure locations—from home or even on their mobile phones, allowing customers to get the support they need. As hard as the impact of an emergency can be on a business, the impact of maintaining some sense of normalcy and calm for employees and customers can be greater.
According to IBM, the global mobile workforce is expected to reach nearly 2 billion workers by 2022. Unexpected emergencies and natural disasters can cause sudden, unplanned surges in that number. Preparing now allows businesses to quickly adapt to needs like after-hours support, remote agents and unexpected call volumes.
It’s time for companies to get serious about moving their contact centers to the cloud. It’s about keeping the business running, ensuring the safety of everyone and moving forward in a positive way. It’s about being there for your customers and employees—any time, anywhere, in any channel, using any device—when they need you most.