Business Continuity…it’s all about practise

I don’t know about you, but growing up, the word ‘practise’ filled me with dread.

To me it conjures up visions of hours of repeating the same thing over and over again. It can be dull because it’s not learning something new. It’s not problem solving and it doesn’t deliver the excitement of doing ‘the real thing’. But it is necessary if you want to perform at your best.

The same is true of your Voice Business Continuity plan. Just think what would happen if you picked up the phone right now and found that there was no dial tone. What do you do? What are the instinctive steps you take to resolve the issue and in the meantime, who is talking to your customers: your staff or your competitors?

 

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Suppose you find out that your phones are down, the consequences are significant and everyone is looking at you for instructions… how long will it take to fix? Who do you contact and how do you contact them? What do your customer service agents do in the meantime – put their feet up and have a cup of tea?? Your CEO wants timescales and a summary of what is happening now! Are you now sweating buckets from the pressure, running round like a headless chicken or simply hiding in the stationery cupboard?

Alternatively the phones go down and you get a notification email that your business continuity plan has kicked in. Whilst calls are automatically re-directed to staff mobiles, you calmly identify the issue and work on a solution to get back to business as usual, summarising in a report to the CEO what has happened, how calls are not getting missed and the steps that will be followed to ensure that no customer need know there was ever an issue…

Having a DR plan ready to go on your Inbound service is child’s play. Either have a call divert on network failover set up in your plan for automatic business continuity, or create a separate DR plan that you can activate manually when you need to, from a PC or smartphone. Hold an exercise day with your company and see what happens. I’m sure you’ll find the results quite surprising…

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23 October 2013 | Justin Coombes

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The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.