Commuters were warned against non-essential travel, and at least 40 railway lines have been blocked, roads left impassable and hundreds of flights cancelled. With such widespread disruption and employees unable, or unwilling to get to work, this can mean lost revenue, and for contact centres, a customer service blackout.
Unfortunately, many contact centre staff are unable to operate from home due to on-premise technology and archaic business policies. This technology has always been physically in the office, so that’s where agents have had to be as well. It’s the lucky staff in the roles that involve less call handling that get the option of working from home.
For us and our customers however, it’s business as usual. We run our own call centre with a telemarketing team that make outbound calls, and they are continuing to work as normal from home. As a true cloud call centre, our agents need only a phone line and an internet connection, and calls, and call monitoring continue as they would in the office.
A tale of two storms
Today’s storm, known as ‘St Jude’s’ has been described as the worst since the devastating ‘Great Storm’ of 1987 – a storm before the Cloud. For back in the 80s, it was a completely different picture. Companies simply weren’t able to tap into the disruptive force of cloud technology available today, to continue ‘business as usual’.
While the storm is expected to blow over by tomorrow, we are now approaching winter and its inevitable snow, ice and freezing conditions, so we’ll be watching closely to prepare. But for now, while other businesses are losing working hours to increased travel times, our employees are starting at the normal time and getting a full day’s work done!