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Contact Centre plans for national energy shortage

Lemon Contact Centre is investing in its business continuity capability to ensure it can deliver vital services to key sectors, including care, following National Grid’s warning of rolling black outs.

Lemon Contact Centre, based in Stockton, has reviewed National Grid’s proposed rota plan for rolling blackouts and developed a robust business continuity plan to continue to deliver contact centre and customer service support to organisations across the UK and abroad, including those in the care, technology and engineering sectors.

The comprehensive plans, led by Kimberley Bell, Lemon’s head of HR & compliance, are aligned with the standards set out in ISO22301, and come following heavy investment into Lemon’s technology infrastructure. These plans include making significant IT infrastructure changes that allow customer service agents to work safely and securely from home if required, and the use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that provides energy to key equipment so Lemon can remain operational despite any power shortage.

National Grid has warned of ‘worst case scenario’ blackouts which could see three-hour power outages across the UK, to mitigate situations where demand outstrips supply. These planned national outages are as a result of a combination of factors, including reduced energy imports from Europe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, gas shortages and lower temperatures resulting in an increased demand for energy.

Kimberley Bell, head of HR & compliance at Lemon Contact Centre, said “Whilst any planned blackouts are a worst-case scenario at this stage, it is vital that as a business we can continue to support our clients, their customers and our colleagues throughout any power supply issues.

“Many of our clients work in industries where down time is just not possible, whether it is someone contacting a carer, making funeral arrangements, or trapped in a lift, they need to be able to speak to someone for support with whatever they are facing.”

Martin Anderson, CEO of Lemon Contact Centre, added “The UK hasn’t had planned power outages since the 1970s and even just a few years ago, it would have been hard to imagine that this would be a very real and possible scenario that we would need to consider, but the world has moved so quickly in the last two years and we need to be prepared for any power outage event just as we are prepared for floods or fires.

“Because of the industries we serve, we are often the first person that a customer speaks to at times of emotional distress and we need to be able to provide a constant and reliable service even if our area is experiencing power outages. The plans that we have in place give us confidence that there would be no disruption for our clients and that it would be business as usual in exceptionally challenging and stressful times.”

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