Having staff on call 24/7/365 to answer telephones can be a real issue for businesses, not only in terms of the cost, but also operationally too.
Firstly, you need to have a rota to decide who and when you are on call. You will also need someone to manage the rota on a daily basis.
Staff can forget they are “on call”, forgetting to take the “on-call phone” with them or worse still have a glass of wine too many while “on call”!
As an outsourced provider of ‘out of hours’ services, we experience this very often when dealing with contractors out of hours.
And to make matters worse, broken sleep and taking calls during the small hours will result in tired employees at work the next day. Tiredness at work can cause numerous associated problems and as well as a reduction in employees’ productivity, there are also the health and safety issues.
If an employee has been on call at night, then goes on to encounter a workplace accident or incident the next day, this could be very serious for the employer, particularly the directors, as they will be held responsible.
Ask yourself, does your ‘on-call’ system comply fully with the Working Time Directive? Does the ‘on call’ member of staff get 11 consecutive hours’ rest in any 24-hour period?
Perhaps you take the calls yourself during the night? How do you feel after a busy night on the phones when the alarm goes off at 6:00 am? Fresh… ready to face the day? No? For any small business to succeed the business owner needs to be alert, motivated and ready for the opportunities and challenges that they will surely face.
As well as this, a professionally answered incoming call in the middle of the night can be a tough ask if the person taking that call is asleep when the phone rings.
Doing what we do, we have heard many tales of missed calls, urgent jobs taken and not passed out because the on-call person was so tired and fell back to sleep before realising what he had done six hours later. KPI’s not met, angry stranded clients, lost business… reputation and trust ruined… the list goes on.
Then there is the cost. Staff who are on call outside of normal operational hours expect some recompense for their time, even if they never get called they will be limited in what they can do in their social time when on call.
How much is a potential broken night of sleep or a wasted weekend or Bank Holiday worth to your staff? £10 per night, £20, £30? Just to add injury and insult to the previous negative points, over a month this can work out to hundreds of pounds to pay for this ‘night service.’
Is there an alternative?
Call Handling Solutions (CHS) has a 24/7/365 call centre. The team are taking calls for organisations who require a one call service that can then activate their out of hours processes and ensure they can provide an uninterrupted 24/7/365 service to their clients.
What are the benefits?
- One number for your client to call to reach the OOH team (or divert your number
to CHS when your office is closed).
- The knowledge that CHS has a detailed business continuity plan that ensures power and phone failures do not stop the operation.
- CHS team will triage the call from your client. If it can wait until normal hours, your team are not disturbed.
- If the client calls need a response from your staff, we have an agreed activation / contact process to alert your team.
What types of business are CHS providing this service to?
- IT companies who offer a 24/7/365 service
- Software companies whose clients operate 24/7/365
- Lettings Agents who provide contractor and landlord information to allow CHS to deal with OOH tenant issues
- Facility Management companies – providing contractor and engineer deployments
- Refrigeration Companies – whose units require emergency attendance in the case of a breakdown
Does the cost outweigh the benefits?
CHS operate on a fixed monthly fee to provide the “standby” service plus a charge per “incident”, which is based round projected call or incident volumes.
Why not get in touch with us on 01785 532200 and see how we can help you run a truly effective 24/7 operation.