Don't Let Coronavirus Calls Overwhelm Contact Centers

Easy On Hold, a provider of telephone greetings and on-hold marketing messages, says the telephone remains one of the fastest, most effective tools when it comes to communicating with customers during a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak.

The company is urging crisis managers to not overlook the phone in their integrated communications strategy and to use the latest streaming on-hold technology to deliver faster information updates to callers.

"The coronavirus scare is causing certain segments of our customer base to be overwhelmed with inbound calls from worried customers," said Easy On Hold CEO Julie Brown in a statement. "Callers are reaching out to get immediate answers and to talk with a real human, but if the contact center isn't properly staffed, calls are put on hold without the right information or experience, or sent to voicemail. That's unsettling in a crisis situation."

Brown says forward-thinking crisis communication managers should include the phone in their strategies.

"Think through all the possible caller expectations and messaging that you may possibly need in a crisis, including contact center staffing, phone tree design, even the recordings you'll require and how you'll achieve them," she said. "Many companies want their customers and stakeholders to know that they do have a robust communications plan in place."

Easy On Hold is coaching its clients to focus on four aspects when it comes to managing callers: Get in Front of It, Be Current, Be Brief, Be Repetitive.

Streaming phone on-hold and contact center queue technology developed by Easy On Hold "allows communications managers to create crisis messaging scenarios in advance, pre-loaded to play on a certain schedule or on the fly,” Brown said. "Streaming technology also allows them to program emergency messages to play more often than other content. In a crisis situation, that's important control for the corporate communications team."

"Manage the caller experience well and you will earn trust and loyalty and maintain control brand messaging. Your callers picked up the phone to talk to you because they're anxious," she said. "Reassure them with current information and confidence that you've thought of everything, including their calls."