A recent survey (click here to learn more) shows 72% of companies would be unprepared if a disaster struck. Think of the customer impact when that happens! Everyone, regardless of organizational size, should have a plan. Before we talk about becoming disaster ready, let's look at some of the causes.
What are some of the causes that can substantially impact your business?
- Weather - Especially in Canada! We get rain, hail, snow and we get it often
- Power failure - While sometimes because of weather, it can also happen all on its own
- Heath and Safety - Fire or risk of fire, noxious fumes, illness, threat of violence, etc.
- Technology failure - Critical infrastructure such as facility/computer systems, telephony, etc.
- Strike/Lock out - Very relevant if you are part of a unionized company
What happens when one or more of these things occurs?
It can vary from a difficult couple of hours to being completely out of commission. In these circumstances, your customers are closely evaluating you and within reason, still expect to be serviced. The investment of time, energy and effort to build a disaster readiness plan will pay for itself tenfold.
Earlier in my career, I oversaw the national Contact Centre disaster readiness plan for a major CDN bank during the infamous power outage of 2003. For almost 48 hours, most of Toronto was dark. While it took a huge team effort to execute our plan, we would have been in big trouble had we not had plan to begin with. As a result, we were able to take care of our employees and service our customers.
So, what are some initial steps you can take to get ready for the unexpected?
- Assign someone to own disaster readiness - Single ownership is paramount to success
- Build a plan that is workable and easy to execute - Keep the wording simple and action oriented
- Have a contact list - You need to be able get in touch with your employees!
- Define what situations would be a disaster for your business and plan for them
- Test and rate yourself - Build test case scenarios and measure your performance
Preparing for a disaster isn't exciting stuff - But it can make or break your business so be ready!
We are Customer Service Simplified and being disaster ready is one of our specialties. If we can help, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 647-202-7385. Learn about all our services by clicking here.