Pandemic planning focuses on ensuring our companies can recover from a protracted incident and the ability to sustain most impacted/critical operations over an extended period (30, 60, 90 days+). Considering current events, this is especially relevant. We have been working with our customers to also look into minimizing the impact to their external stakeholders, as I am sure, many of you are.
Through our efforts in providing Pandemic Policies and plans to our customers, we have included sections on Customer Service offerings within the policy. The section below is a blended policy section, taken from both Financial and Retail Pandemic Plans that can easily be adopted and integrated into your own.
We have sections on both Employees and Supply Chain that is not addressed directly here. If you are interested in more information on those sections, I would be happy to share, please reach out to me.
4.1 Customer Service
A top priority for our organization is for our customers to access our products, funds, resources, and services without interruption or degradation in quality.
The following strategic options should be considered during an infectious disease outbreak.
- Direct customers to expand use of our online services. This should be accomplished through electronic, web, and handouts. Consider an incentive through added to the communications, to include free shipping, comp’d services, discounts, or waived fees.
- Reallocate impacted department staff to address increased online activity. Information Technology will monitor server load and bandwidth to ensure a secure, stable experience due to increased demand.
- Require employees directly dealing with in person customer interaction, direct contact with currency, paperwork, product, to use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks or gloves, as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO.
- Mandate refresher training for all impacted employees in proper use and disposal of PPE. Ensure specific receptacles for PPE.
- Create and use campaigns to encourage employers to expand use of direct deposit services.
- Execute clause in new hiring process to delay drug-screening until post incident period for surge workers. Include clause in employment agreement to address waiver in crisis.
- Provide customer with both an automated, scripted status of company’s redefined efforts, closures, and other directly impacted service via telephone routing (IVR) and website(s).
- Provide online live /interactive venue for communications via chat, and other web-based solution.
- Establish alternate vendors for Armored Car services to ensure pickup and delivery of cash and receipts.
- Increase liquidity projections and arrange back-up liquidity to address projected increases in customer demand for cash (ATM’s) for extended period. Increase Armored Car Services accordingly.
- Offer forbearance and/or rewrite terms on business, consumer and residential loans for customers who fall behind on their payments as a direct result of the pandemic. Evaluation criteria for forbearance and/or rewriting of terms is the responsibility of Risk, Credit and Lending, led by Credit.
- Provide Pandemic bridge/emergency loans to consumer and business customers on a case-by-case basis.
- Highlight or remove low/no stock inventory from online, and or post status at entrance to location. Provide ETA on replenishment if available or suggest alternatives.
The intent here is to provide support to those who are deep into reacting to and assisting their organizations and the community in this national crisis.
Please feel free to use what is relevant here for your own use. Your constructive feedback, comments or questions are more than welcome.
For additional support on this topic, please reach out to Christopher Duffy, Head of Advisory Services at Infinite Blue.