Improve Your Business Impact Analysis tip 8 – Understand client expectations

These tips will help the business continuity management professional focus their efforts on collecting valid data from credible sources.

Tip #8 Sound out key clients regarding their expectations

Performing according to clients expectations is important to maintaining their business long-term.  Local clients, who may be impacted by the same event, may have lower expectations than national or international clients. If the incident isn’t large enough to make national news, do not expect clients on the other side of the country to be sympathetic or patient! They will find another supplier quickly. Bringing clients back after they have been disappointed by your organization can be very difficult.

Some customers may have service level expectations built into their contracts.  Determine what would be the impact on your organization if these levels are not maintained. Having an inventory of these contractual obligations will help planners prioritize after a disruption.

Priority should be given to restoring functions were service disruption will cause clients the most pain. For example: a delay in the new release of a product will postpone revenue but not providing customer support could irrevocably damage your customer relationship.

You are part of a complicated supply chain.  The BIA should outline how your product or service fits in and what the repercussions of a disruption would be to your customers and their customers.

If your Risk Analysis has revealed that you depend upon a single client for much of your business, this client’s return time expectations must be well understood.  Depending upon the strength of your relationship with this client, you might want to meet with their continuity planner or risk manager or involve them in your BIA survey or interviews.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice One – Program Initiation and Management DRII Professional Practices  June 1, 2012 Version 1)

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