Answering Service Offers Disaster Recovery Tips For Coronavirus-Affected Businesses
With the number of reported cases of COVID-19, commonly referred to as ‘coronavirus’, reaching over 200 in the United States, and person-to-person spread inside the country becoming more prevalent, companies and other organizations are taking measures to prevent further spread of the virus. Particularly in the Seattle area employees of larger businesses are being told to work from home, and schools have been closed. Other companies outside of Seattle are canceling events or going virtual, or curtailing travel plans. Is your business ready for the coronavirus outbreak to come to your community? Answering Service Care has been an award-winning leader in the answering service industry for over 45 years. We have had plenty of time to put together effective plans for disasters such as COVID-19.
Epidemic Countermeasures for Businesses
The key to being prepared for a disaster of any kind, whether it be a weather event, shooting, or an infectious disease outbreak, is to have a disaster recovery plan. The first stage of your plan should be an emergency response plan. It might seem melodramatic, even morbid, to plan for such an event, but it is far better to have one and never need it, than need it and not have one.
- What’s your first move when disaster strikes?
- What steps should you and your employees take to stay safe in the event of an emergency?
- What steps, if any, should be taken to avoid the loss of assets, inventory, or other property?
- Who will be contacted first? The authorities? Your security team, if you have one? Yourself, if you are off site? What will the rest of the order of contact be?
It’s not enough simply to have a plan. Your employees should understand the plan and the responsibilities they will have to execute the protocols. Train them on different scenarios. A fire drill is the most common example of disaster training.
The next stage of disaster recovery (DR) is to put together a business continuity plan. Your goal should be to resume operations as soon as is safe and practical following a disaster. Businesses, especially small businesses, that take longer to reopen after a catastrophe often fail within a year, according to FEMA.
A business continuity plan should contain:
- A business impact analysis (BIA) — this will already have been carried out before the disaster occurs. This analysis scrutinizes the effects of a disaster on your business. Different disruptions will have different impacts, of course. Will the timing of a disruption affect operations in a particular way? A fire at a school during the summer vacation will have a much smaller impact than a fire during the school day in February.
- Recovery strategy — referencing your BIA, you need to identify the resources required to mitigate the impact of a disaster. Do you need duplicates of important records, or data backups?
- Plan development — your DR plan needs a framework, which means assigning responsibilities to different team members, codifying recovery procedure, and establishing what you will do in the event of loss of mission critical IT infrastructure (frequently one of the first things to go down in the event of a disaster).
- Testing — if your plan is untested, it is a very flimsy plan. Your plan must be tested in order to identify and tweak weaknesses. When you re-test and find that your business can quickly resume operations, that is how you know your DR plan is more secure.
Coronavirus Shutdown Protocols
A public health crisis such as the coronavirus outbreak is certainly a crisis to be taken seriously, but is less of an emergency than others. You are unlikely to require to break into your company’s essential supplies that you might need for, say, a hurricane or earthquake. That said, you should still have protocols in place for dealing with your workforce working from home, if that is possible. How will they handle incoming calls, or meetings, or essential monitoring of IT infrastructure? Luckily, Answering Service Care is on hand to provide an option.
“We are taking steps to prepare for what might be some challenging days ahead,” says Answering Service Care CEO Michael Shooster. “While our systems are designed to handle in excess of a million calls a month it’s our people that may be impacted working in our offices across the country as the virus spreads and businesses are impacted. Circumstances like this require special consideration. So as an extra precaution we are taking steps so that we are able to maintain continuity.”
“We hope everyone remains safe during this difficult time,” he adds.
Remote Answering Service for Disaster and Outbreak Relief
Answering Service Care provides a 24/7 live answering service that can cover offices forced to close. Businesses will know that their potential customers’ queries are being dealt with at all times of the day. Our representatives offer live scheduling, call transfers, and assisting customers in other ways. In the event of a viral outbreak, unlike call centers our staff can work remotely and continue phone coverage for our clients. If the communities to which small businesses belong are affected by coronavirus, and their operations are compromised, Answering Service Care will be there for them to help them continue on, keeping callers satisfied and supported in spite of hazards.
About Answering Service Care: The family-owned business Answering Service Care has provided bilingual, US-based operators to staff clients’ phone lines 24/7 since 1974.
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Very nice answering service. The people are very professional and precise. I definitely recommend.
Answering Service Care…..why did we not sign up sooner? We have now been with them for a few weeks and knowing that our patients are being taken care of (when we are not there to answer the phones)….just like we take care of them…is so nice. I had a brand new emergency patient’s daughter remark about our answering service….how they even remembered the next day about the pain her Mom had been in…and how is she feeling! I love these people…if they were near where we are…I’d bake them cookies and take them into them!
We used Answering Service Care to handle incoming calls both during business hours and after business hours for our small cleaning service. This company was very professional and offered competitive rates for the services they were providing. If you are looking for an answering service for your business, I would highly recommend considering Answering Service Care to service your needs.
Great answering service. I 100% recommend them. A long time client called in and recognized how enthusiastic and professional we were on the phone since hiring answering service care.
A Superior Answering Service With Live Operators.
In business since 1974, Answering Service Care is a true leader in the industry. We’d like to show you – and your callers – just why this is. We don’t outsource, we are fully-U.S.-based and we offer bilingual answering service options, among many other reasons. We believe in technology, and we believe in people, too. Call today at (800) 430-6511 or send us a message.