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Call center disaster recovery testing best practices

Independent disaster recovery expert Paul Kirvan offers some best practices for call center disaster recovery testing in this Expert Answer.

Can you outline some methods for conducting call center disaster recovery plan testing?

Call centers are complex business systems that carry a heavy responsibility for handling incoming calls from existing customers and prospective customers. Their ability to accurately take calls, handle customer inquiries, access business systems to process the customer requests, and then complete the necessary follow-up so that orders are processed. Call center DR testing should address a number of critical issues, focusing on people, process, technology and facilities. 

  • Plan and schedule exercises for specific applications used by CC agents.
  • Plan and schedule exercises to ensure that screen pops and other CTI arrangements can be recovered.
  • Plan and schedule failover of network services to ensure that incoming calls can be quickly rerouted to an alternate answering location.
  • Plan and schedule exercises of alternate routing of agent calls to home or another location.
  • Plan and schedule exercises of agents working from home to ensure that applications can be accessed and that the agent can perform his/her usual transactions.
  • Plan and schedule evacuation drills to ensure that agents can be safely evacuated form the call center.
  • Identify backup agents who can take over if agents are unavailable.
  • Ensue that agents are periodically trained in the CC BC/DR plans and understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Plan and schedule exercises of emergency procedures that may need to be put in place while the CC is recovering from an incident.
  • Plan and schedule exercises of emergency CC teams who may be activated to coordinate CC recovery activities (e.g., test CC systems) at an alternate site before the staff enters.
  • Plan and schedule exercises (in coordination with IT) to ensure that systems, databases and data used by the CC can be recovered and restarted following an incident.
  • Plan and schedule exercises that simulate recovering CC operations to an alternate site.

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