By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff
Hurricane season may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean we are in the clear. Winter will be here soon for much of the U.S., and with it another long season of unpredictable weather patterns and dangerous storms.
This year, it should be noted, the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting an especially active winter season with several storms occurring late into March. We could be in for a long winter full of snow, ice and wind.
Winter weather is great when you are huddled inside around a fireplace, but not when you are trying to run a business. Severe storms can knock businesses offline and prevent transactions and issue resolutions from taking place in a timely manner. With this in mind, contact centers are typically one of the most vulnerable parts of an enterprise for downtime.
Keep in mind, too, that when consumers are snowed in it gives them time to make purchases online, and handle personal issues. So it’s vital to have a contact center up and running, and ready to assist them.
For this reason, businesses are strongly encouraged to outsource contact center operations to third party solutions providers offering premium, hosted infrastructure. Third party contact centers are stored offsite, meaning they can stay in operation even during extreme weather events.
This is especially beneficial for companies that can afford no losses in connectivity with the people that they are serving (like law enforcement agencies, utility companies and emergency response teams).
Of course, downtime doesn’t always stem from foul weather. Oftentimes, it can occur from things like human error in the data center, power or equipment failure. Third party contact center solutions providers typically safeguard against these problems by utilizing things like backup services and failover. Plus, if a contact center provider fails to stay up and running when it promises to, that company will typically be responsible for downtime.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the cost of downtime keeps increasing every year, as consumers become more and more connected and expectations continue to increase. What used to be a forgivable offense in the past is now a huge issue for customers, who are quick to seek out competitors when they cannot obtain the services that they expect.
So as you plan ahead for 2018, remember that business continuity is a year-round necessity. Every season brings unique challenges that need to be overcome in order to maintain uptime. Outsourcing your contact center is the most cost-effective and reliable way to ensure that your company’s customer-facing operations remain up and running no matter what nature throws at it.