We take for granted day-to-day activities like going to work, the store, the bank, or just about any public gathering. But beyond the justifiable health concerns, the recent worldwide COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has taught us how fragile our personal and business ecosystems are, and how profound large-scale disruptions can be to service continuity.
When pandemics, extreme weather events, and natural or human-made disasters occur on a localized or global level, addressing safety is a primary concern. However, our interconnected world must continue to function—albeit in an altered state—including doing business as unusual.
Business continuity and the distributed workforce
In times of quarantine or blocked physical infrastructure, businesses still have services to perform, employees that need to work, and customers that need help, even if it means shifting from premise-based to virtual work models where possible.
Fortunately, many cloud-based and mobile technologies support a work-from-home model for individuals that are not location-bound like manufacturing or essential health and emergency services workers (who we are very grateful for).
Thankfully, cloud-based business/collaboration applications and remote meeting solutions facilitate contingency work-from-home scenarios. They do a pretty good job of approximating in-person office experiences and productivity levels while keeping employees safe.
But what about customer service?
When businesses temporarily shutter brick-and-mortar businesses, customers still require support as they turn to online alternatives. In fact, this virtual shift creates an even greater need for customer service and support as many consumers who have never done business online are forced to do so for the first time.
Answering that call can be a significant challenge for organizations, especially for companies without a continuity plan for unexpectedly distributed support staff and disruptions to contact center operations.
Digital Customer Service can help
Fortunately, Digital Customer Service platforms, like Glia’s, are designed to facilitate location-independent, multichannel communications between enterprises and their consumers (including chat, phone, online voice, and video). Many of our Banking, Insurance and Credit Union customers are happy to find that they can quickly configure Glia to provide business continuity for displaced service workers and virtual contact center staff to keep the lines of communication open when the unthinkable happens.
Hopefully, you and your loved ones are well as you read this, and the current situation quickly passes so we can return to our [new] normal lives. If this pandemic underscores one thing, it is that unexpected disruptions to our lives and businesses can happen at any time. We must all be prepared for contingencies. Digital Customer Service is one way to ensure that businesses can support customers in times of need.
We wrote this article to share the guidance that came out of recent conversations with Glia’s customers who continually inspire us. Hopefully, it inspired you too. Stay well and please be our guest for a timely on-demand webinar: Enabling Customer Service in Today’s Work From Home Environment.