Crisis management

When a business is hit by a crisis it can, if not handled properly, be hugely disruptive, damaging and costly. Whether it is brought on by an act of god or faulty product or service issue, the importance of professionally handling the disruption to customer service cannot be underestimated.

A crisis often occurs with little warning, when it does, your business needs to be geared up and ready to act.

Just imagine that a problem is found with one of your most popular products or services, meaning you need to contact all your customers immediately to offer a solution or replacement. How would your service team or outsource customer service partner cope?

‘How a business reacts to a crisis can quite literally be the difference between ongoing success and failure.‘

Avoiding reputational damage

In recent times, we have seen some major brands fall foul of badly handled product recalls or poorly communicated service failures.

How a business reacts to a crisis can quite literally be the difference between ongoing success and failure. The reputational damage to a brand and business can be difficult to recover from but more importantly, in some cases, there can be a genuine threat to personal safety.

How to handle a crisis

By very definition, you will not know a crisis is looming until it happens but when it does, your business needs to be geared up and ready to act. The key is to make sure your organisation is prepared for all eventualities. It is important to build a Crisis Management strategy that enables your business to:

  • Deliver quick, clear and consistent communications to customers and suppliers
  • Resolve cases rapidly and efficiently
  • Enable your customer service team to focus on just the complex cases
  • Convert potential brand damage to happy customers

To deliver an effective Crisis Management strategy, it is essential that you have the right processes and support in place to react quickly and professionally. Having access to partners who can rapidly deliver Critical Messaging solutions or Crisis Management contact centre agent support is key.

‘Having over 110 outsource contact centres in our network, means we can rapidly scale up your service when required.’

Critical Messaging

When you need to get essential information to your customers quickly, then Critical Messaging is an excellent way to do this. By getting ahead of the problem and proactively communicating with your customers, dissatisfaction can be reduced along with inbound enquiries. This takes the pressure off your customer service team and allows them to focus on complex cases.

A well-handled problem can result in genuine brand advocates, but a badly handled one can irreparably damage your brand reputation and result in lost custom.

Critical messaging solutions can vary, using different channels according to the needs of the clients. However, they tend to be built on an initial SMS (text message) transmission. SMS messages, on average, achieve delivery and open rates of well over 90%, so with a suitably clear message, a huge number of customers can be reached and engaged extremely quickly and inexpensively.

The initial SMS will usually contain a call to action, a link, or rich media for an app-like experience, that enables customers to self-serve and take control of their own problem resolution. This could be to make an engineer appointment or to arrange collection of a defective product. This is much more resource efficient than waiting for inbound enquiries following a news story or even a proactive email campaign.

Customers are also given the option to engage via SMS or social media to ask questions: this is far more cost-effective than prompting calls, as agents can typically handle four text conversations at one time, and customers are more accepting of slower response rates via SMS or social chat (via your brand’s Facebook page, for example) than on the phone.

When you compare the self-serve option to staffing up your customer service department, or securing outsourced seats to handle a massive spike in demand, it is both cheaper and quicker, reaching customers more effectively and delivering the required results with minimum human involvement. This is more likely to result in more satisfied customers, despite the obvious initial bad news about their purchase.

Extending customer service support

Customer service teams, within most businesses, do not have the capacity to handle large upsurges of inbound contacts, so when crisis strikes they can quickly become overwhelmed, causing further customer dissatisfaction.

It is therefore essential that you have overflow contingency plans in place. Working with a specialist outsource crisis management team is the answer. It will give you quick access, when needed, to specially trained and experienced agents, who will be able to take calls from customers within hours of notification. This extended support will enable you to appease your customers – providing the information they need to resolve the issue at hand and reducing reputational damage and costs.

How we help

More than just a broker

At CCP, we work with specialist partners who are able to deliver the latest Crisis Management and Critical Messaging solutions, so if you have any customer service issues, or are concerned that your business is not set up to handle a crisis then we can help.

Our network of experienced Crisis Management providers can offer a true end-to-end recovery service. They can identify your pain points, and then create and manage appropriate plans to be delivered when a crisis may strike.

Why are we unique?

Having over 110 outsource contact centres in our network, means we can rapidly scale up your service when required. We are able to bring together the resources of multiple providers, working across a unified omnichannel communications platform managed by CCP, to enable the provision of a scaled contact centre solution that delivers consistency of service, fluidity and total transparency.

Our partners will help your business:

  • Access additional outsource call handling agents
  • Implement a product recall or service failure strategy
  • Set up Critical Messaging

They understand the pain your business may suffer at these times and can work with you to ensure your business is fully prepared. When needed they can provide the additional capacity required to get your organisation through a crisis and help restore balance to your operations as you recover.

Do you need help building and delivering an effective crisis management
strategy or sourcing a crisis management partner? Get in touch.


Acero Building
1 Concourse Way
Sheffield
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