What Covid Has Taught Us About Business Continuity Planning

The Covid-19 experience has certainly taught us all many lessons. Perhaps none more important than the need to have a Business Continuity Plan to maintain agility.  

Without any advance notice, the pandemic forced all non-essential businesses to close. Even companies that provided “essential services” were brought to their knees for several weeks before they could finally adapt to address even the most basic customer needs. While compliance standards may have relaxed in favor of meeting customer demands during this unprecedented experience, regulations remain in place, and penalties will only become more severe.

In 2007, professor, statistician, and former options trader Nassim Taleb coined the “Black Swan Theory.” The theory points to incredibly impactful events outside the realm of regular expectations because nothing in the past can convincingly point to its possibility.

While some debate whether Covid-19 truly qualifies as a Black Swan event, we can all agree Covid-19 has impacted our society significantly. 

How can businesses create business continuity, improve customer experiences, drive efficiency, and maintain compliance, even in a pandemic?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Work From Home (WFH): Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to support a distributed work environment that provides the visibility and control your business needs to measure and improve the customer experience and drive efficiency even when utilizing agents who work from home. However, compliance is still a bit more complicated. Protecting personal information is easier when you have complete control over the environment. The real trick is knowing how to prevent loss of total control over personal information yet still enable the WFH agent to assist the customer as effortlessly as possible if the agent works in a fully controlled environment.
  2. Smart AI is a great way to augment agent productivity, improve customer experience, and ensure compliance. The primary purpose of Smart AI is to gather information from a conversation with a caller that the agent can then utilize to reduce call handle time and increase first call resolution. However, since Smart AI learns from each experience, it may answer questions previously asked and enable the caller to resolve their issue before engaging an agent. I’m sure you can imagine how valuable Smart AI can become with every customer interaction.
  3. Having an outsourcing partner integrated and as part of your BCP is probably your best strategy to implement a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan, especially if the BPO partner you consider offers multiple distributed workforce options, including a WFH model and a Smart AI strategy.

If your business is considering taking your business continuity planning to the next level, we’d welcome the chance to speak with you in more detail.   In the meantime, please visit the other pages on our website, follow us on LinkedIn, and read more about how we are helping our clients navigate these uncertain times, including:

“In a matter of a couple of weeks, Servicing Solutions helped LoanMart successfully hire, train, and deploy several teams of nearshore customer service agents amid a global pandemic. This is yet another example of their ability to adapt on the fly to develop the solutions and strategy we need … at any given time, or in any situation. They are a true partner in every sense of the word.” Hugo Dooner. CEO LoanMart