As the COVID-19 outbreak has worsened, the entire world is dealing with a crisis. No crisis remains isolated or confined by any standards. It comes with extreme levels of uncertainty creating a situation unbearable for most business leaders. In much less time than that, COVID-19 has already infected more than ten times as many people and is spreading fast.
The last pandemic that approached anything near this scale was the 2003 SARS outbreak, lasting for 9 months and infecting more than 800 people worldwide. Estimating the virus’s effect on the global telemarketing economy is hard. The SARS outbreak is supposed to have cost about $40 billion US dollars, while it is calculated that the COVID-19 pandemic could have cost three to four times the damage that of the SARS outbreak.
However, we cannot undermine the damage that the COVID-19 pandemic has created in the telemarketing industry, but as leaders, we can definitely ensure that our telemarketing organizations are in the best possible shape to withstand the upcoming damage. Here are some of the basic actions that we can undertake to protect our telemarketing companies.
1. Review working locations and travel-
Considering the present scenario, your working places, and travel plans might have to be reviewed, canceled, or rescheduled. Your first priority should be to establish where exactly your staff is located and how many employees are in the affected or vulnerable areas. You need to have clear policies for your telemarketing in this case.
2. Restructure your continuity and crisis plan-
Most well-run telemarketing businesses will have a crisis continuity plan, apart from a specific pandemic plan. But you must also execute theory like reality. You need to have a specific plan to combat challenges in case of a pandemic. If a large number of employees have to work from home, will your operations be affected? How will you manage to cope up with the communication with your employees, How will you maintain data flow during this crisis, etc should be your concern.
3. Identify possible points of failure-
Do the individuals on whom the critical processes and services depend, have the right skill to put up with required roles when needed? Since the virus continues to spread, call centers and service centers are highly potential to threaten. Are you equipped enough to take steps to reduce the level of human interaction? Think about it.
4. Understand the supply chain-
Once you understand your supply chain, you will be exposed to any potential vulnerabilities. This helps you to look beyond the primary supplier of raw materials and begin with the most critical products. For instance, if you are using raw material coming from an isolated country, do you have a secondary supplier. Also, you have to be careful that you do not lead that particular country into getting infected.
5. Get communication right-
Communication plays a crucial role in the field of a telemarketing business. Although employers are working hard to keep their employees informed about every detail, wrong information and confusion have spread along with the virus. Your employees will be looking for reassurance to protect your business. The key to a great telemarketing business is consistency and accuracy, along with reassurance. Your employees need to know that their welfare is taken good care of by the top leaders of their telemarketing organization.
6. Don’t forget other potential threats-
COVID-19 is a recent pandemic. It is not the only threat that probably exists in the world. And this is what most telemarketing organizations tend to forget when dealing with a crisis that seeks their attention. The other secondary risks that your telemarketing business faces or might face is in no way going to be diminished by a pandemic. For instance, the primary concern for your telemarketing business is and should be cybersecurity.
7. Correct scenario planning-
With COVID-19 posing a potential threat to every aspect of your business, you need to have a correct scenario planning for critical situations. What could be the best and worst-case scenarios and how is it going to affect your business or how is your business going to cope up with the effects. What could be the long-run effects, get your finance team to highlight these points and the potential threats to your telemarketing business?
We are not sure what would be the further effects of COVID-19 on the telemarketing industry, but it is undoubtedly necessary to undertake precautionary measures like those mentioned.