Disaster recovery

When your systems are down and you have 6, 60 or 6000 clients unable to access your network, there’s only one thing you want to hear. “Leave it with me and I’ll get it fixed”.

With the best system in the world, you must prepare for disasters. Have a plan in place so that when everything goes wrong, you know how you are going to handle it.

Here are a few things that we advise:

  • Define terms and language that you are going to use to describe this temporary setback.
    • Explain that the problem is a temporary glitch.
    • You will most likely be unable to provide a clear expectation as to how long it will take to resolve the problem but what you can assure customers is that you will call them back every hour to provide them with an update. When your customers need your systems to work, a call to say that no progress has been made is better than no call at all.
    • Ensure that you don’t use words with bad connotations such as “crash, Corrupt or deleted” to describe the problem. Customers need to feel assured that you have things under control.
    • Be assertive in your language. If you know that this will take four hours, don’t tell the customer that you think it will take four hours. This potentially shows that you don’t have enough exposure to the solution of the problem.
    • Confidently communicate your message. Stay away from terms such as “I think, I’m not sure and I don’t know”.
    • Don’t be afraid to use partial templates for calls and Emails to customers. If everyone is providing the same message customers will be assured that the response to the problem is unified across the entire company.
  • Designate specific roles to individuals or groups.
    • One person or group should take inbound calls from customers. Using the template / queues, this person should assure the customer that every effort is being made to minimize the disruption. When the problem has been found, a separate message should be relayed to the customer to explain that some progress has been made.
    • One group should collate a list of key stakeholders and customers that need to be made aware of this. A manager should be provided with this list so that she / he can send an Email notifying these customers and stake holders of the problem. When the Email list has been created, this person or group should assist with inbound calls.
    • The third person or group should begin testing the systems for any sign that connectivity or normal operation has been restored. This testing should be pre-arranged. The results of this testing needs to be regularly communicated with the coordinator or manager.
    • The coordinator or manager should involve all relevant third parties as soon as the problem has been discovered. In parallel, he / she should also troubleshoot the issue independently and relay any relevant findings to these third party contractors. The coordinator or manager should also communicate any relevant status updates to people writing / speaking to customers.

Having a clearly defined plan ensures that your customers are in the centre of the picture and that your company continues to operate professionally when things go badly.

At Computer Support Services we completely understand that when every minute matters, you need to trust that the right skills, experience and qualifications have been applied to fix the problem and that this effort will continue until a solution has been found regardless of the day or time.