Your Frontline During a Business Crisis
When the Communications Challenge is Great,
Contact Center Outreach Can Make or Break a Brand in Crisis
Having a crisis communications plan in place for unexpected events is essential in today’s business environment. Public relations professionals advise that a company’s response to a crisis during the first 24 hours is crucial. In addition to preparing spokespeople, message points and contingencies, organizations must be ready to communicate important information to their customers on a short timetable.
Deploying a campaign-style, rapid response to a large-scale crisis situation such as a product recall, can prove to be an overwhelming challenge — especially if news or misinformation is proliferating via social media or the 24/7 new cycle. The stakes during this critical moment are high, and the organization will need to communicate directly with hundreds, if not thousands of impacted individuals in order to prevent confusion, disengagement and dissatisfaction.
During a crisis, the contact center is one of the most effective communications tools for on-the-ground outreach. But it must be prepared for the challenge. As such, it should be steeped in the following qualifiers:
- Outbound expertise – Contact centers only fluent in inbound communications are far less valuable during a crisis than those that also have a firm grounding in outbound communications. Proactive calls can help your organization play offense in a crisis, disseminating the messages you have crafted to your most prized constituents.
- Scalability – The ability to gear up for high-volume situations is imperative. Contact centers with multiple locations, robust back-end technology and adaptable staffing will be able to expand and contract to meet the needs of a pressing business situation.
- Brand expertise – This is a crucial time for contact center agents to be fluent in the brand they represent. Customers and other stakeholders will take note of inconsistent interactions during a crisis when they are more likely to be paying close attention and be more critical.
Emergency situations are difficult business realities. With preparation, brands have the opportunity to transform these trying times into constructive interactions, and ultimately positive relationships, with customers. Staying ahead of the game and in charge of the information your customers receive is vital, and capable contact center solutions will lend to your success.
We hope you found this month's Dialogue informative.