Evacuation - Prepare For The Worst

What to Do?

All well managed contact centres have a disaster recovery or business continuity plan which involves closing down the phone lines while occupants of the building evacuate to safety. The most common approach is to log in a dummy agent with a dummy skill. The presence of someone logged in on that skill triggers alternative call routing: usually disconnecting the call after a recorded message.

From a customer experience viewpoint, stopping calls from queuing needlessly is necessary, but I disagree with the notion of someone having to stay in the building to log an agent in when the focus should be on evacuating. There’s a better and safer way.

Start Over

Whether you’re using Avaya’s Communication Manager (CM); Aura Contact Center (AACC); or Contact Center Select (ACCS), variables are a native capability of the products. In the context of evacuation routing, variables hold a value (True/False or 1/0) which can be referenced in the call flow. The call flow adjusts its behaviour based on the value of the variable rather than the status of an agent.

When we design a call flow, we’ll use these variables throughout and provide a capability for you to enable/disable your evacuation routing remotely, by placing a call from a mobile. This means that your staff can concentrate on getting out of the building safely.

No Gotchas

It’s incredibly simple. Your designated individual dials a phone number and, after entering a PIN, is a presented with a menu – “Press one to activate evacuation routing” - then receives confirmation that a change has been made. It’s even possible for the current status to be read out before any changes are made. Pressing the prompted digit sets the value of the variable, changing the routing for every subsequent call. The same process can be followed to deactivate the evacuation routing.

Evacuation is Just the Beginning

There are many ways this mechanism can be employed to give individuals in your contact centre power over routing decisions – such as activation of broadcast announcements (check out CC Hacks #001 to learn more). Get in touch for a chat about how else you could use this concept.

The Grey Space Way

One piece of complexity – related exclusively to AACC/ACCS – is that the capability to dial in externally doesn’t work out-of-the-box. Grey Space has a unique solution to this which also offers additional enhancements. If your contact centre is powered by AACC/ACCS we’d love to talk you through our solution and how we can help you implement it.

Craig Hunter