- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
March 24, 2020
On a typical day, the Sioux Falls office of Five Star Call Centers could draw 250 employees.
This week and for the foreseeable future because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of them are working from home as the company supports clients with a rapidly changing range of needs.
“We have 65 clients throughout the U.S. in several industries,” said Joel Sylvester, chief marketing officer. “Many support their own contact centers in addition to contracting with Five Star. We’ve seen a significant increase in not only requesting our services for business continuity plans but also in what our internal business continuity plan is so they can update plans for their own call centers.”
Five Star has more than 500 employees in five locations from Oklahoma to North Dakota. Some of the protocols it has implemented include aggressively ramping up its work-from-home model, eliminating all business travel, banning outside visitors and leveraging technology to conduct meetings and training.
Clients served by Five Star in the tourism and travel industries have seen their call volumes drop significantly as events, sports and concerts are canceled or postponed. But the clients in health care, insurance and pharmaceutical industries are seeing a significant increase in volume.
“We’re planning for the surge in volumes to continue to grow for the industry for the foreseeable future,” Sylvester said. “With our work-at-home model, we expect to be able to service customers contacting our clients throughout the pandemic.”
If a client’s call center goes down, Five Star is positioned to enact a business continuity plan, he said.
“In these cases, all calls route to Five Star Call Centers, and we triage the calls to determine the severity of each call and escalate them back to our clients accordingly,” he said.
Five Star has enacted similar plans for an airline client when storms have canceled flights and led to high call volumes, as well as for clients following major hurricanes and after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The business continuity plans are a backup plan “designed to give customers a personable connection with your business while you focus on other aspects of your business that need your focus during emergencies,” Sylvester said. “We provide these services to current clients as well as businesses looking for a contact center partner now for their business continuity plan management.”
This Sioux Falls business runs call centers for other businesses and is preparing to help them continue operations during COVID-19.