Essential Service: How Contact Centers Maintain Business Continuity During COVID

If you’re a business owner in Canada right now, it’s likely you’ve been asked, are you still open? If your answer is yes, then your business has been deemed essential to preserving life, health, and basic societal functioning. When you think of it those terms it’s a pretty big responsibility to take on alone.

 It’s questions like this, and the responsibility that the words ‘open for business’ carry that make contact centers an essential service. 

In addition to improving customer communication, we’ve highlighted a few ways that contact centers are helping businesses maintain continuity during COVID:

Appointment & test booking

It probably comes as no surprise that healthcare workers have been busier than ever as they work on the frontlines. As walk-in visits are being kept to a minimum for the safety of everyone, many community health centers, and medical clinics have been overwhelmed with phone calls for appointment booking

On top of that, many healthcare centers and pharmacies are offering COVID testing right now. In order to maintain consistency, these essential services have enlisted the help of contact centers to minimize wait times and pre-screen via phone call before testing and appointments.

Help desks & IT support

This last year has seen rapid changes in where and how we work. Contact centers have been crucial in helping all types of businesses maintain continuity during the work from home transition. In particular, many essential services that provide IT and tech support have established help desks for their customers. 

Help desks ensure that when technical difficulties arise remotely, the issue is escalated and resolved in a timely manner rather than disrupting your next zoom call.

Work alone check-ins

Service industries such as HVAC, electrical, and construction have turned to contact centers to facilitate work-alone check-ins. This allows business owners to save time and money while maintaining the continuity of their core business.

Most importantly, it gives business owners peace of mind that they’re taking extra precautions to keep their employees safe by minimizing unnecessary face-to-face interactions.

LiveChat & order taking

In order to minimize the need for face-to-face interactions right now, many businesses have shifted online or bolstered their existing online services. E-commerce sales have doubled during the pandemic according to Statistics Canada, and that includes essential services like groceries, and health and personal care. 

This shift has created a greater demand for online continuity. In response, contact centers have been there to provide real people via LiveChat and telephone to take orders and clarify questions around item availability, shipping, and new policies.

Absentee Lines

Workplace absenteeism is incredibly costly, primarily due to the havoc it wreaks on continuity. Absentee lines operate similarly to book-off lines — contact centers provide a designated line for your business that employees can call to notify of a health-related absence. 

The virtual receptionists can also track symptoms and compile summary reports of scheduled and unscheduled absences. This allows essential businesses to maintain continuity across all departments and services.

Reception overflow & after hours

When essential businesses find themselves shorthanded due to absenteeism, contact centers provide reception overflow to ensure no phone call, helpdesk request, or LiveChat message goes unanswered. Reception overflow can also support businesses that are addressing demand proactively through after-hours clinics and customer service. 

Extending your hours can take a toll on the mental and physical well-being of your team, in turn impacting the continuity & quality of your service. Ultimately, contact centers are here to remind you that taking a break and recharging is just as essential as your business right now.

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