Owning and operating a business is no small feat, especially if you live somewhere that the winter weather can create complications for your company.
Whether a blizzard’s bearing down, an ice storm is in the forecast or subzero temperatures make it difficult to commute to work, it’s vital that you have a winter weather plan in place. Although you can often expect that many of your regular customers won’t make an appearance when the winter gets fierce, companies in many industries will see an increased need for their services.
A Winter Weather Plan Prevents Chaos
No matter what type of business you run, a winter weather plan can help make communication with customers easier and prevent employees from venturing out in dangerous weather unnecessarily.
There are several elements you’ll want to consider when putting one together, including:
- Customer care. No matter what you do, customers may call to see if you’re doing it that day. This where having a cloud-based VoIP can be a huge help. All you have to do is use the control panel to redirect your main number to your cell phone or the phone of a trusted employee and the callers who want to check on your availability or cancel their appointment will have a reliable contact person.This also works the other way, in the case you provide services that will see more use during bad weather, like towing or plumbing. Having some home-based operators and drivers ready to assist can really improve customer confidence that you’ll be there to help when you’re needed, no matter what.
- Employee safety. Demanding that your employees come into work on a day when the roadways could get them killed is an incredibly irresponsible act and an unnecessary one. You can configure your interactive voice response system to distribute a message to callers using an employee-only number.One call can give an update about your operating hours during the duration of severe winter weather or your need for skeleton staffing. Your employees are too valuable to risk their lives on ice and snow-covered roads.
- Structural integrity. Businesses in areas that deal with lake-effect snows or damaging ice storms have additional concerns, like structural integrity or access to a continuous electricity supply. A roof collapse can require your company move unexpectedly and a lack of utilities or burst pipes can cause material spoilage.If any of this is a possible risk, you should have a way to let your customers know what’s going to happen with your business as you clean up the aftermath. Interactive voice response systems are ideal for this, since you can program them from home and callers can get updates throughout the day.
Winter weather can be a massive challenge for businesses across the country, even if your job is in huge demand during inclement conditions. However, if you put a winter weather plan together and keep it in an accessible place for all employees, it’ll make your transition back to normal a lot easier. Make sure you keep the contact for your insurance agent and any rental agents with your winter weather plan, so that you can get claims and repairs handled rapidly.
Really, a winter weather plan is the ideal way to keep your company focused on how to provide the best service possible to all your customers, no matter what happens. Your employees won’t be worried about what they’re required to do to keep their jobs during these difficult times and you can ride out the troublesome weather knowing that everyone is fully informed and being properly serviced.