The Corona Virus: The Threat to lenders and their call centers

As the corona virus spreads across Asia the impact on the economy could be detrimental. Several cases have been reported in the US but so far it seems to be fairly contained. If US employers start sending employees home that have signs of fever, respiratory problems or any other signs of the Corona Virus the demand for emergency credit could skyrocket but call centers could also be at risk.

When you see the extreme precautions that the Chinese government is taking to stop the spread one starts to wonder if this is overkill or if there is truly something to fear. Royal Caribbean cruise lines has banned any Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau passport holders and anyone that visited these places in the last 15 days from boarding their ships until further notice.

Prepare your call center

The risk in the US is relatively low at this time according to the CDC but this could change quickly. Call centers should start preparing a contingency plan to deal with the potential threat of the Corona virus entering their facilities and more importantly making every effort to keeping it out. Having one positive case in your facility could stop all activities!

Some symptoms according to the CDC are: Fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Some that are infected show none of these signs.

Call Centers. Some things to think about:

  • Has any employee or their family members come back from Asia in the last 15 days?
  • Should you check every employee’s temperature before entering the call center?
  • If you see symptoms of the Corona virus what is the protocol?
  • Where can employees be tested for the Corona virus? (Rule out / Confirm)
  • Should you have hand sanitizer on every desk?
  • Should everyone wear Anti-Viral face masks or at least have them in stock?
  • Are phones, desks and computers sanitized every day?
  • Should you educate employees on how to recognize and report symptoms?

Continuation of business: Things to think about:

  • Can employees work from home?
  • Will the credits and debits go out?
  • Does your IP phone provider allow app downloads so that employees can receive and make business calls at home? (Ring central does)
  • Can employee’s login to your LMS system from Home?
  • How can you quickly communicate with all employees? Do they have email? WhatsApp group?
  • What would a Corona epidemic breakout do to the delinquency rates and collection efforts?

Even though the Corona risk is real, most of the time these types of situation simply blow over. Having a good plans and procedures in place may be the difference between operating as usual and having to quarantine the entire office.

For updates maps and stats please visit the CDC website