Managing your business communications in the face of the coronavirus

The COVID-19 Coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over the world, causing massive disruption to all aspects of everyday life.

While we don’t want to spread doom and gloom, the reality is that this outbreak is going to affect a lot of people and a lot of businesses over the coming weeks and months.

Two of our key messages here at Callagenix are the importance of business resilience and flexibility. When things are going well, planning for unexpected events such as this can seem unimportant and a bit over the top.

When things start to go wrong, however, businesses that have prepared for potential disaster and can be flexible are much better placed to weather the storm.

Our cloud-hosted telephony services are very flexible and have baked-in disaster recovery/business continuity advantages. New virtual numbers and services can be added in a matter of minutes, whilst existing ones are just as quick and easy to amend whenever they need to be.

Keeping staff connected

It’s now all but certain that the government will be asking, or even forcing, people to work from home when possible. With a bit of forethought and preparation it’s easy to keep your team connected.

Obviously email and other tools, such as web conferencing, messenger services, and project management software, have a role to play here. It’s important not to forget the importance of your phone system though.

With a cloud-hosted system you can choose to divert calls made to any number/extension onto a different one, such as home landline or mobile number. That way you can still distribute calls to team members wherever they may be working. 

Another solution is to provide each team member with a virtual phone number that they can divert onto any number. They can control where calls get forwarded to and when, or simply have calls diverted to a mailbox, with any messages then emailed to their inbox as a .wav file attachment. There’s no need for them to be out of the loop.

Perhaps the best option is to set up an office VoIP network, then either provide each team member with a VoIP phone, or else get them to download an app on their phone or computer so they can make and receive VoIP calls through them.

VoIP phone systems also come with all call handling options, such as a virtual switchboard, hunt groups, answerphone, and many more.

Contact us to find out more.

Keeping staff informed

Businesses should also put some thought into keeping employees, customers and staff up to date with any developments. Smaller firms can no doubt use email and individual texts for this, but larger organisations may need to put more thought into it.

We recommend setting up one or more emergency information lines - recorded messages that can be accessed by many people simultaneously, where you can share any news and direct people to take action if required. It’s simple to update the message so you can record new messages as often as required.

Another good idea is to make sure you have everyone’s current mobile phone number, then use our bulk SMS service to send out updates or asking people to check your emergency information line.

Adapting to staff illness

If the coronavirus does spread far and wide and members of your team get sick, you’ll need to update your phone system to make sure your calls are answered and ill employees don’t get disturbed.

Again, with a cloud-hosted system it’s easy to log into your online control panel and manage your numbers and services to optimise how you’re handling calls.

 

If you have any questions about the above, or need advice on putting in a solution that works for you, please get in touch as soon as possible.

Written by Matt