Helplines and Contact Centers Preparing for Coronavirus Response
Like many of you, we are closely watching developments related to novel Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, while cases emerge around the world and concerns about the virus intensify.
We recognize that many of our customer organizations have a critical role to play when incidents like these arise. Because of their earned reputations as trustworthy sources of information and support, local helplines and contact centers are often relied upon to engage with their communities and provide reassurance, emotional support, reliable information, and referrals to resources.
Based on our experiences working with our customers during past natural and manmade disasters, you may consider some of the following actions for your organization:
- Keep relevant, accurate information readily available to give out to your clients as needed. The best sources of information at this time are:
- Review your own internal disaster/emergency incident policies and procedures to maintain continuity of operations.
- Familiarize yourself with your local and state agencies that may provide direct services and assistance, such as local Departments of Health and Human Services, and ensure that referral database information is up-to-date for these agencies.
- Network with your contacts at the aforementioned agencies to remind them of the services you provide and request that your organization be kept abreast of any developments or actions they plan to take, so you can assist in their efforts to inform the public.
- Consider what data collection elements should be added to your iCarol Contact Form so that any contacts about Coronavirus can be tracked and documented in case you are asked to report on this information.
- Enable client self-service by including information about your agency’s role, as well as links to official sources of information, on your organization’s website and social media presence.
- Direct callers to the right extension or audio message containing Coronavirus information by setting up an option in your IVR/Phone tree within your phone system.
iCarol is here to help you with any initiatives you might become engaged in related to Coronavirus, so that you can respond to your community’s needs quickly and efficiently. Options like:
- Sharing your database of resource information with partner
- Sharing Contact Forms within your network
- Providing after-hours or collaborative Call/Chat/SMS response or reporting
As community service, iCarol can turn on Contact Record and Resource Database sharing for up to 30 days during a qualified event for no additional cost.
Potential use cases for these kinds of partnerships are:
- Several contact centers within a state or region need to share a single Resource Database, or view one another’s databases, so they can provide seamless referrals regardless of where in the network the client contacting them is located.
- Collaborators share Contact Forms so they can all collect consistent data related to the disaster or event, and complete consolidated reporting.
- When one center must shutdown services at their location and transfer their calls to a partner, their partner can access their Contact Form and Resource Database, to be sure they can fully function as that closed center’s backup until the center can reopen and resume services to their community.
The following iCarol resources may be helpful to you as you research and plan partnerships during an emergency:
Data Exporting, Sharing, and Integrations Options in iCarol
Do More Together: A Guide to Collaborations
Using iCarol During a Disaster or Emergency
We want to take this opportunity to thank our customers for all their current and future efforts in responding to Coronavirus/ COVID-19. Your dedication to the health and wellbeing of your communities is remarkable and does not go unnoticed by us. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the iCarol Team should you have questions about using your iCarol system to respond to this incident, or need help enabling partnerships and integrations, and we will be happy to assist you.