Thought leadership

The horse meat scandal continues to hit the headlines, highlighting once again the urgent need for businesses to react quickly to circumstances that otherwise might rapidly escalate out of control. In such situations speed of response is key. 

Businesses need to avoid keeping worried consumers waiting to get their questions answered. In such cases, companies benefit from being able to switch on an extended contact centre, which is why having a cloud-based solution in place can be vital.

The current crisis underlines the need for today’s businesses to ‘scale and flex’ like never before. If they face flooding, or unexpected snow, they will need to weatherproof their contact centre against problems with staff getting into the office and a likely surge in calls. If they’re launching a new gadget, they will need to scale to manage supply or distribution issues. And if there is a sudden call surge due to a serious issue like the horse meat scandal, they will need to be agile to deal with it efficiently.

Don’t trot out excuses

With a cloud-based model, organisations can use their employees much more flexibly, bringing contact centre staff on stream during a crisis and then ‘switching them off’ again when the situation calms down.  At such times, however, an organisation does not just need high numbers of remote staff available, they also need those employees to be experts on the problem.

Cloud-based contact centres help organisations tap into these kinds of knowledge-based workers, no matter where they are based. As long as they have a thin client sitting on a cloud-based solution, businesses can ensure that anyone based anywhere in the world on almost any device can be part of the conversation and help customers get the facts and reassurance they need.

The cloud-based contact centre approach even enables businesses to tap into external expertise. Additional resource can be provided by allowing an outsourced firm of contact centre agents to use the business’s own systems. In this way, the company gets access to additional resource while still maintaining brand, customer loyalty and consistency.    

Self-service – but not processed

Of course, during any crisis, and the horse meat scandal is no exception, customers most of all want immediate access to simple, straightforward information. Self service options such as web and IVR can play a key role here in providing anxious customers with access to information, status updates, and in steering priority calls quickly to the right advisor. 

A self-service capability can be a huge help in such a scenario. IVR systems manage high volume, repetitive requests from callers, making them well-suited for dealing with high call volumes during crisis situations. IVR also provides an immediate response, a top priority in any emotive situation.


No horsing around 

It is at times of stress and crisis like the current horse meat scandal, that customer service really needs to shine. Companies, above all, need to ensure they have a proactive approach in place, enabling them to respond to a rapidly evolving crisis and keep customers fully informed at all times. It is a scenario in which cloud-based contact centres provide the ideal solution.


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