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Exploring Remote Working Solutions to Combat Crisis Situations: Business Continuity Expansion

Guiding your business through a crisis requires a strategic plan. Avtex suggests implementing a four-phased approach, including Contact Center Stabilization, Business Continuity Expansion, CX Alignment and Employee Experience Calibration.

In our last blog post in the series, we reviewed the first step in the strategic process, Contact Center Stabilization, and explored the steps you can take to quickly mobilize your contact center agents to work remotely through a crisis.

In this post, we’ll continue to the second phase and explore the ways you can empower the rest of your employees to do their jobs remotely without sacrificing productivity, efficiency or employee satisfaction.

Phase 2: Business Continuity Expansion
Once your contact center has been stabilized and optimized to support your remote workforce, it’s time to focus on empowering the rest of your staff to work remotely throughout the crisis. To do so, you must:

  • Understand staff needs: Every department and team member serves a unique role in your organization. Executing these roles often requires a specific set of tools and processes. Conducting an extensive review of each staff member’s needs, including the ways they work, communicate and collaborate – then developing a strategic action plan to meet them – will provide the optimal support for every employee.
  • Leverage technology: Arming your staff with the tools and technology they need to do their jobs is crucial to effectively navigating a crisis. Repurposing existing tools or adding new solutions to your technology ecosystem will help employees remain productive and efficient. For example, organizations that leverage Microsoft Office 365 can use Microsoft Teams to enable video calls and real-time communications across their organization.
  • Communicate often: In a crisis, communication is vital. Continual updates on staff expectations, tools and available resources will help to keep staff informed and operating at peak efficiency. Commit to communicating news and updates as quickly and often as possible to keep employees informed.

Focus on the Most Impactful Tools and Processes
During the Business Continuity Expansion phase, focus on arming your employees with tools and processes that support:

  • Collaboration: In a crisis, collaboration between departments and individual staff members is more critical than ever. Unfortunately, collaboration during a crisis can be challenging, especially when staff members are required to work remotely. Implementing and optimizing tools like Microsoft Teams will ensure that all employees are able to collaborate effectively and consistently, regardless of their role or physical location. Offer real-case suggestions for leveraging collaboration solutions and encourage employees to share their own tips and ideas for using these tools.
  • Productivity: Arming your staff with productivity tools like Microsoft Office 365 will help to maximize efficiency and improve employee and customer experience. Depending on role, these solutions may mean the difference between executing mission-critical tasks in minutes, rather than hours. Provide employees with training resources for tools they may be unfamiliar with to ensure the optimal positive impact of productivity solutions.
  • Information access: The importance of information during a crisis cannot be overstated. Providing a single point of information, such as a dedicated Microsoft SharePoint portal, will reduce confusion, frustration and stress for your employees. Be sure to point employees to the portal for all information and commit to updating the portal on a regular basis.

Up Next: Phase 3 – CX Alignment
In a crisis, your customers’ journey and expectations are likely to change dramatically. With this in mind, it is important to update your current CX strategies or design wholly new experiences. In our next blog, we will explore step 3 in the strategic crisis response process, CX Crisis Response.