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With extreme weather events on the rise, here are 6 ways organizations can leverage contact centers to protect the public

by Erina Suzuki | Published On March 24, 2023

With extreme weather events on the rise, there are ways organizations can take steps to keep their customers safe. Contact centers play an important role in preparing people and ensuring their safety by maintaining timely communication.

Storms, earthquakes, utility outages, and severe weather conditions are not bound by geography or borders. As a result of climate change, experts predict a further rise in severe storms, droughts and wildfires.

Creating more resilient businesses and communities is one of the best ways to support and protect the public in the face of extreme weather conditions. Contact center software plays an important role in preparing communities for natural disasters. These preparations include providing timely and accurate information, facilitating communication, and assisting with emergency response efforts. Whether there is a gas leak, a power outage, or other event, organizations can take steps to minimize the impact of these crises. Continue reading to learn 6 ways organizations can leverage contact centers software and tools in the face of extreme weather events.

  1. Route calls to appropriate agents: In emergencies, time is of the essence . Avoid routing callers to the wrong agent, as this may result in losing valuable time for the caller and the agent. Callers can be routed to the most appropriate agent or department to handle specific types of inquiries by leveraging skills-based routing.  These inquiries may include emergency requests for assistance, insurance claims, or status updates on utility outages.
  2. Send outbound notifications to affected areas: Send automated notifications to people in an emergency of affected areas via voice, text, or email. These notifications can provide important information, such as evacuation orders, shelter locations, and warnings.
  3. Enable self-service options and free up resources: In an emergency, it is important for people to receive assistance right away.  Self-service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It enables  callers to check the status of their accounts, report outages, or get information about relief efforts without speaking to an agent. For example, interactive voice response (IVR) systems can be used to provide automated information to callers. Callers can use IVR menus to report power outages, check road conditions, or find shelter locations. Utilizing IVR is especially helpful during a crisis, allowing agents to focus on other critical tasks .
  4. Provide people with a variety of ways to connect: Contact center  software offers a variety of communication channels, such as phone, SMS, email, social media, and chat, allowing people to choose the most convenient way to get information or assistance. It is especially useful in an emergency situation where not all channels of communication are easily accessible.
  5. Utilize historical and predictive data and analytics to plan ahead:  Organizations can plan ahead by analyzing historical data in call centers to predict call volumes and wait times to serve communities effectively and efficiently during a crisis. By doing so, organizations can allocate resources more effectively and improve response times. Furthermore, by capturing these data, organizations can identify areas for improvement and enhance future emergency response plans.
  6. Prevent fraud with call authentication: To prevent fraud, it is critical to identify and authenticate callers. They can securely verify their identities using advanced authentication methods such as voice biometrics or multi-factor authentication. By using advanced authentication systems, the risk of callers experiencing fraud can be minimized, and these emergency resources can be allocated appropriately to the right person.

Contact centers can play a critical role in emergency response efforts by providing communication and support to people in affected areas. By leveraging the capabilities of modern technology and skilled agents, contact centers can help to improve response times, coordinate resources, and provide effective assistance during times of crisis.

Read our previous blog post to discover how contact centers can help organizations address key challenges!

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