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Article : Ensuring Nonstop Customer Service in Any Season

#contactcenterworld, @WorkingSol

Ensuring Nonstop Customer Service In Any Season

Author: April Wiita, VP of Program Success, Working Solutions

Climate change—and the ensuing disasters it brings—is transforming business operations in every industry and geography, from storm surges along the Texas shoreline to wildfires in Tasmania.

Climate change has, in fact, become climactic, building up to bigger events and worse outcomes, with news coverage that no one wants to watch.

Be it hurricanes or bomb cyclones, this challenge is addressed in the industry analyst report by Forrester titled "Adapt to Climate Change or Face Extinction."

Nowhere is the immediate response to climate change more evident than in customer service. Hurricanes, blizzards and flooding disrupt business continuity and hamper, if not shut down, service in every sector. The headlines hammer home the realty of what’s occurring—again and again.

Caught in harm’s way, traditional call centers of brick and mortar are evacuated while virtual, on-demand contact centers shift operations away from the path of storms. For out-in-front businesses, the choice is to be mobile and modern—and not mired and mashed.

Nonstop customer service requires predictive planning and performance. To pull it off, several crucial pieces need to be in place to get ready, ride out any disaster and then recover from its aftermath. With distributed networks and fast-flex workforces, on-demand contact centers can outmaneuver any storm.\

Planning for the Pain

Responsive operations track storms as they develop, anticipating when and where they will disrupt customer service. They sense and see what’s coming. Visualization, with FlightAware MiseryMaps, can be used to identify airports and flights where storms will cause the most delays and cancellations.

Tapped into such tools, on-demand service agents can anticipate slowdowns and backups, and not merely react to them. With information in hand, they can figure out alternate routes for travelers in advance, minimalizing delays.

Scaling as Needed

With a full-time equivalent ratio of up to 3-to-1, an on-demand contact center is a force multiplier compared to butts-in-seats service reps stuck in a physical call center. Immobility is a poor strategy as a storm changes course, intensifies and lays waste to everything in its path. Evacuation is often necessary.

On-demand service, however, can shift resources, operating outside of harm’s way. Spread out across states and even countries, remote agents can move work from place to place, ramping up 200% within a few hours’ notice—and scaling down afterward once the danger passes.

Preparing for "But When"

As climate change accelerates, from bad to worse seems to be the norm. For instance, consider the prolonged intensity of Hurricane Irma in 2017. As NPR reported, it was "the longest-lasting powerful hurricane or typhoon ever recorded, worldwide. It kept 185-mph winds for 37 hours—longer than any storm on record." Hurricanes Harvey and Maria added to the devastation that year. Talk about a pile-on.

In the face of such ferocity, ensuring continuous customer service takes even more forethought and resilience. That’s because "what-if" scenarios can turn into "but-then" realities fast. Business continuity requires real-time communications, mobile and online, as operations course-correct to maintain steady service. On-demand service again turns to tools such as STAR (strategic talent ample resources) maps. They pinpoint agent locations, calculate their numbers and availability, and schedule shifts based on a storm’s path and duration. They also learn to be glued to maps and predictive information to help a mobile, modern workforce outrun the wind.

Operating Afterward

As often happens, the dig-out after a disaster can be tougher to handle than the storm itself. At the very least, aftermath preparations should in the works as a storm rages. Best-case measures call for things being in place well before an event occurs.

That takes having a solid gasp and command of current client operations. Backed by contingencies for reserve agents to bridge any breaks or gaps till normal service is restored. This means anticipating "how many for how long" and planning accordingly.

When "Wicked" Comes

During historic nor’easters, we found the following actions were critical:

  • Conferring with clients days in advance, determining where and when the most support was needed.
  • Alerting agents beforehand, adding numbers and shifts as necessary—anticipating trouble spots.
  • Evaluating risks as the storms struck, shifting resources to hard hit areas to ensure nonstop service.

Against the backdrop of climate change, business continuity requires operating in harm’s way. And while the storm names and their intensities vary, predictive preparation remains the one constant whenever "something wicked this way comes." And most assuredly, it will come.

#contactcenterworld, @WorkingSol



About Working Solutions:
Company LogoWorking Solutions is a consultative business process outsourcer providing customer service, sales, support, and flexible business continuity. Tapping into a vast network of enthusiastic brand associates across the United States and Canada, our flexible business model enables us to provide customer service on several levels–from steady state for everyday business to ready state for unexpected events to future state for long-range projects.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Call-backs

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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2023 Buyers Guide Automation

1.) Agara

Agara is an autonomous virtual voice agent powered by Real-time Voice AI. It is designed to have intelligent conversations with your customers, vendors, and partners without any assistance from human agents. It can handle a wide variety of calls including inbound customer care calls, outbound lead generation calls, appointment scheduling calls, and overdue payment recovery calls.

Agara is available for several industries including banking, insurance, retail, e-commerce, airlines, and telecom. Powered by advanced Real-time Voice AI that understands speech in real-time, automatically determines the right process to follow and guides the caller along in the process with natural conversation.


EVA Voice Biometrics
Powered by Auraya's patented ArmorVox engine, EVA is a voice biometric extension that provides secure and seamless identification & verification capabilities for Amazon Connect. EVA provides delightful customer experience by removing the friction of providing PINs, passwords or secret information in order to prove caller identity. EVA comes standard with active and passive modes and a simple yet powerful agent interface. This allows for personalised self-service and a more friendly and efficient experience when interacting with an agent.

Outdated security methods such as PINs, passwords and security questions have become insecure and unreliable. Forgetting passwords and security answers o...
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Call Adapt

Soundboard Software
Call Adapt is a cloud-based digital soundboard application designed for contact centers. It works with any type of call and integrates with your existing dialer system. Powered by smart audio technology, Call Adapt gives your agents the ability to converse with customers in real time using programmed keyboard shortcuts. The result is perfect pitch delivery and less time spent on repetitive tasks.


Cognigy is a global leader in Conversational AI Automation. Its platform, Cognigy.AI, enables enterprises to automate customer and employee communications using intelligent voice and chatbots

Consilium Software

Consilium UniCloud™
UniCloud™ is an intuitive platform that allows Enterprises to deploy and manage their Unified Communication (UC) and Contact Center (CC) services with ease and entire provisioning can be completed in seconds using this comprehensive tool supporting digital transformation. The latest release 7.0 of UniCloud™ is a multi-tenant platform that transforms the delivery, management, and integration of collaboration and contact center solutions, for both Cloud and On-Premise deployment models.
With its single-pane-of-glass views and quick provisioning tool, UniCloud™ is instrumental in reducing the time to provision an entire multi-cluster Cisco collaboration platform, including contact centers (C...
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eGain Corporation

eGain Solve
Proven, Easy, and Guided Journey to Automate Customer Engagement in a Digital+AI World


Automated Language Testing
Emmersion offers automated assessments to quickly and accurately test speaking, writing, and grammar fluency in 9 languages and counting. We help contact centers improve CSAT scores by screening for top talent and retaining top performers.

OpsTel Services

The SPEED solution solves for service level issues while cost optimizing the environment with automation.

Provides an enhanced way to speed up & optimize invoking temporary agent skills configuration changes into the contact center environment.

Speed allows you to schedule both future changes & temporary changes that auto-revert back to the original state when scheduled time expires.

Speed features:

*Automated / Scheduled Temporary Agent Skills Configuration Management
*Immediate Temporary or Reoccurring Schedule Skills Configuration Changes
*Easy to Use/Operations Administration Focused
*Descriptive Monitoring Activity Dashboard
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