Oct 5, 2022

Cloud queuing: How utility organizations can ensure seamless customer experience and communications when disaster strikes

As organizations continue to increase their reliance on technology for their operations, business continuity isn’t enough. Critical organizations, like utility providers, must ensure their communications are reliable and consistent in case of an emergency or major disruption. Their customers need the ability to contact them to stay safe and communicate concerns without a frustrating customer experience (CX). Cloud queuing is a simple solution that manages customer calls in the cloud and manages the influx of customer interactions, ensuring communications can continue when emergencies strike.

How cloud queuing works

Safeguarding incoming communications during an emergency is more than good business practice. Natural disasters such as North American Winter Storm Uri (Wikipedia, 2022), which contributed to the 2021 Texas Power Crisis (Wikipedia, 2022), motivated the Public Service Commission to implement new regulations. Today, utility providers must demonstrate the ability to continue customer communications even when their critical communications infrastructure is put at risk due to natural disasters and other unexpected emergencies. Cloud queuing addresses this regulatory requirement.

Cloud queuing layers over the top (OTT) of existing contact center infrastructure. When an emergency occurs that puts contact center infrastructure at risk, or when customers flood inbound phone lines, communications are protected. Using cloud queuing, the calls pass through a cloud workflow before they are delivered to the contact center. If the contact center is inaccessible due to an emergency, calls can be directed to a different location or department, keeping communications up and running. In addition, the cloud queuing solution manages the influx of calls against a pre-determined inbound call volume threshold, taking pre-determined priority into account. When call volume capacity is reached, the calls are held in a virtual waiting room until the next agent is available.

The benefits of cloud queuing

In addition to ensuring that utility companies and their customers can continue to communicate, cloud queuing also:

Improves CX: Cloud queuing ensures customers can get in touch with their utility provider when the unexpected occurs. Utility providers can record messages to share with callers held in the virtual waiting room to ensure customers are continuously updated.

Creates redundancy: Cloud queuing creates redundancy and allows communications to continue in three ways.

  • If the utility company has multiple locations and one location has met their call threshold, the cloud queuing solution can redirect traffic to another location.
  • Delivering queuing via the cloud (as opposed to on-premises) ensures that calls won’t be impacted by local disruptions. Instead, if a disruption occurs, the cloud queuing solution can automatically failover to a different data center.
  • If a regional utility location loses communications due to an emergency, the cloud queuing solution can route communications to a non-impacted location.

Increases agility: Cloud queuing can be quickly changed from any location. In case of an emergency or regulatory change, utility providers can adjust their cloud queue in minutes.

Optimizes legacy networks: Utilizing cloud queuing simplifies networking. As opposed to an on-premises system of subnetworks, all queuing is held in the cloud. Using cloud queuing allows for easy, low-cost upgrades.

Supports digital transformation: Cloud queuing layers OTT of current contact center infrastructure for fast and easy modernization – without the cost and disruption of ripping and replacing.

Cloud queuing from IntelePeer

Cloud queuing is part of IntelePeer’s Communication API Platform. The Communication API Platform layers OTT of existing contact center and unified communications infrastructure, allowing utility providers to quickly modernize and adapt their communications. In addition to cloud queuing, IntelePeer’s Communication API Platform allows utility providers to integrate customer service focused, omnichannel automation features like real-time voice, messaging, chat, and more to their existing solutions.

Are you ready to learn how your utility company can meet new regulations, improve CX, and become more agile with cloud queuing? Contact us now.

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