If you’ve been in business long enough, chances are you’ve been affected in some way by a natural disaster.
Damaged assets, employees under threat, disrupted operations—the wrong kind of weather event or other crisis can cause them all. If it’s big enough, it can even seriously impact your business continuity—how do you keep your website up, for example, if the backup servers are flooded, too?
Many IT departments understandably focus on their own people and processes during a disaster, but it’s important to remember that your customers are going through the same thing you are.
And in the heat of a crisis, if you can go the extra mile to help those customers minimize the impacts to their own businesses, you’ll ensure increased loyalty.
Take the example of Caring Services, a fictional company at the center of Business Moment: Digital Weather Alerting and Emergency Notification Services Can Enhance Customer Care During a Crisis, a new discussion paper published by Gartner and available for free courtesy of MIR3.
Caring Services uses weather-alerting services to monitor weather activity across its customer footprint. When an alert is received from one or more of the weather sensors, the location of the weather event is automatically cross-referenced against customer location data stored in Caring’s mass notification system.
Caring then uses that mass notification system to send alerts (via phone, SMS and email) to clients in the impacted area, using a schedule that the provider and the client agreed to earlier in the relationship.
Initially they message only about the potential for a crisis. If an actual disaster develops, however, Caring then begins to use mass notification to send messages like “Are you okay?” and “Do you need help?”—messages that require an answer. (These responses, of course, are handled by the mass notification system itself.)
Caring, meanwhile, leads a review of resources that could be offered to clients in need. A member of the response team monitors incoming customer notifications for help requests, assigning those resources as necessary.
As a result of Caring Services’ quick, compassionate response, one client company with servers underwater experiences no significant impact from the disaster, continuing to provide services to its own customers transparently—all thanks to Caring and its mass notification system.