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Inclement weather is a great equalizer – no one is immune and there is no controlling the outcome. You can be hit with a major nor’easter or flooding and mudslides or even iced in for days. Hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, monsoons – regardless of the type of harsh weather that hits your part of the country, one thing remains the same – customers still want and expect help.
Last year during Hurricane Sandy, which you may remember was followed by a nor’easter that blanketed the northeast in snow, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) closed due to weather. The FEMA teams are expected to fly into disaster torn areas to render aid. Yet in this instance, the offices closed due to bad weather. This angered many New York residences who were counting on the agency to step in and provide aid. Fortunately the Red Cross was there to provide some relief, but FEMA had the bulk of the mobile centers, making it difficult for some to find shelter until they returned.
For agencies and rescue organizations who must be on the ground, providing assistance can be a dicey proposition. It requires weighing the safety of rescue and aid workers with the work that is required. However, for the majority, there is a simple explanation to handle customer needs during inclement weather events – remote contact center agents.
Remote Agents “Outrun” Bad Weather
There are many benefits to a virtual contact center model, including cost savings and access to premier agents through a larger talent pool. One of the major benefits is the ability to quickly allocate resources to handle transactions regardless of the circumstance, inclement weather being one of them.
Inclement weather can cause all sorts of challenges, not the least of which is power outages. Just this last weekend, approximately 250,000 people were without power in the Dallas Fort Worth area. There is very little to be done until the power company can restore it, so most are simply out of luck. If you have a contact center that is without power, you are out of business for that time.
With a remote agent model, it is simply a matter of rerouting transactions to agents outside the storm area. As many of your customers are not impacted by inclement weather in your area, they expect to have customer service for their issues. In fact, customers are quite savvy regarding the remote agent model and expect organizations offering world-class serve to offer it. They expect contact centers to be on top of the technology and use that technology to serve them more effectively.
From a business perspective, however, investing in developing a remote agent center may not be efficient. Therefore, it is prudent to find an outsourcing partner that provides the same level of service as your agents, but can also ensure that your contact center is up and running, regardless of the weather.
Remote agents bring a level of assurance to your existing contact center by simply always being there. Customers are happy because their service is not interrupted, your team is happy because they are able to stay safe, and the bottom line is happy because there is no interruption. Remote agents are the inclement weather solution.