Business continuity plan is one of the features that are critical for any business. This means it is important for call centres as well. Before we look into the reasons why it is important to have a business continuity plan, it is important to understand what exactly a BCP is and what it does.
Essentially speaking, a continuity plan is a strategy and a plan that ensures that your business delivers continuously. This is different from disaster recovery or disaster management though. While disaster mitigation is about controlling and reducing the chances of a potential disaster; disaster management is about handling a situation of disaster. However, business continuity is about continuing with 'business as usual' even after the disaster happens and even WHILE the disaster is being managed.
Aspects of BCP
Now, business continuity plan would need to cover as many aspects as possible. Some of these are - IT contingencies, power failures, natural disasters, human resource issues etc. Depending upon the size of the organization, their business continuity plan is developed. The larger the organization, the more is the possibility of covering multiple factors.
Reasons to have continuity plan in place
Let us look at three major benefits of a BCP, especially in a call centre scenario.
All contact centres, whether captive or outsourced have started to vet their vendors, suppliers, human resources and other resources. It is important to understand here that in an outsourcing scenario, compliances become important not just in accordance with your own law, but also that of your client's.
Most businesses work in accordance with legislation like Civil Contingencies Act etc. to ensure business continuity for themselves as well as their own clients.
Compliance is no longer a regulatory requirement for large businesses or huge call centres, but also for the smaller ones. Irrespective of whom you service and who you are, compliances cannot be breached if you wish to have a solid market reputation. BCPs in this context are what give you a strong foundation.
Insurance is a very important aspect of addressing risks for your business. It is very critical, mandatory and it costs. Most insurance providers will look at your dedication and commitment to managing your own business risks. This ability will be demonstrated by your business continuity plan.
The ground rule is this - if you have a BCP in place, it means you yourself want to avoid and minimize any losses and business discontinuity. The more robust your plan is, the better ability to handle challenges you have. The higher efficiency your plan has, the lower premium you pay.
This is not to say that there will not be other factors taken into account. This just means that your insurer will be considering this when he calculates your insurance premium.
Knowledge is power. If you understand the principles of business continuity, which means that you are able to spot weaknesses in other businesses. This can be used as a negotiating tool as both a service provider and a client.
If your vendor wants higher costing you can see if they justify it with their BCP. Similarly, you can also negotiate with your client based on your business continuity plans, because the better plan you have, the more satisfactory fall back options you provide to them. This will give you a cutting edge over your competitors.