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Articles / Storm Management

How O’Brien manages Storm events across Australia

18 March 2022

How O’Brien manages Storm events across Australia

Every storm has a story…

When severe storms hit anywhere across Australia, O’Brien® needs to respond with lightning speed – so to speak.

The main priority is always our customers and ensuring that all incoming enquiries and calls for help are answered efficiently, and solutions are provided to those in need as soon as possible.

Nowadays, strong storms and extreme weather patterns are a regular occurrence that affects homes and businesses, vehicles, and the people within them.

It’s reassuring to know that your local experts are there to help when these things happen.

Here’s a sneak peek into how the O’Brien® team works when a major storm event hits.

Rising through adversity in response to storms across the country

Towards the end of October 2021, South Australians faced what locals described as a “freak” tornado, followed by a hailstorm in the Adelaide Hills.

O’Brien® once again rose to the challenge, working together to provide support to those customers across Adelaide that were impacted.

While the Bureau of Meteorology had warned of severe storms approaching, nothing could have prepared locals for the destruction brought about by the extreme weather that hit. The tornado uprooted trees and destroyed powerlines, resulting in hundreds of thousands of households being left without power.

The hailstorm caused devastating damage to properties and rural communities. As the storm tore through crops, farms and greenhouses, reports of hail damage to doors and windows, as well as car windscreens, flooded into the O’Brien® call centre.

While this was already an overwhelming time for O’Brien® as the call centre team worked day and night to respond to the thousands of calls, COVID-19 restrictions continued to make it difficult for both local and interstate response teams and volunteer groups to join the cause and help manage the situation accordingly.

O’Brien® streamlines response to help those impacted

As part of our commitment to the local community, we want our customers to know that O’Brien® will always be there during times of need.

In working to overcome the challenges that storms present, O’Brien® implements its Storm Response protocol that helps to provide seamless and immediate assistance to customers.

Within moments of a storm impacting a region, the Storm Response Team gathers to implement a predetermined plan based on various scenarios. These plans are reviewed regularly, particularly in the lead up to summer, and teams are trained thoroughly on the process, so they are at the ready.

The O’Brien® team then identify and address the calls that require an immediate response. All divisions of O’Brien®, including AutoGlass, Glazing, Electrical and Plumbing collaborate and pool their resources together to respond accordingly.

As an example, the O’Brien® Customer Solutions team, answer the phones and take the details of those who need assistance. These call patterns also give us valuable insight into where a storm has hit the hardest, providing us with an initial indication of where to direct resources as a priority. If there is a peak in inbound traffic, other areas of the O’Brien® group, such as Marketing and Human Resources, will also assist in answering calls where required.

Once job details are confirmed, the Customer Solutions team, alongside a task force that includes staff and branch personnel in affected areas, work on establishing bookings.

Depending upon border restrictions, teams of pre-selected technicians are flown in from across the country, to the impacted area, to support and get customers back on the road as quickly as possible.

This was the case with the storms that hit South Australia in late October last year. The O’Brien® Operations team even set up a pop-up site in the most affected areas to help provide additional support. This move proved crucial as main roads and highways were blocked by flooding and debris.

In the past, we’ve even called upon our international colleagues. So, teams from as far away as the USA and Germany have dropped everything to fly to Australia and support our customers. And given all technicians are training the same 42 steps process for replacing a windscreen, O’Brien® ensures the same high standard quality of service our customers demand.

Proven emergency response system at the ready

To help complement this process, O’Brien® has created a storm response page that provides the community with the information they need to help them stay safe during these severe weather events. The page also directs those affected to an online storm damage booking form, providing an alternative for those in need to make a booking for repairs and assistance when the phone lines are busy.

Interested in some handy tips to keep prepared during storm season? Click here

Having experienced and managed many intense weather events across Australia to date, O’Brien® is continuously finding improvements and new ways to manage storms both internally and for our customers to provide the highest level of service possible.

Since its establishment, our streamlined storm response process has proved to be a significant help to thousands of Australians amidst challenging times. Looking ahead, O’Brien® is confident we can deal with what the Australian climate has in store for us.

Amidst the extra shifts and the many hours of overtime resulting from storm events, the team at O’Brien® are always left enriched, satisfied, and proud of the support they provide for those in need by working together.

O’Brien® – always ready to provide a lending hand

With over 95 years of experience, our expertise in quality service makes us Australia’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company, no matter what the circumstances.

For more information about our services, call our team on 1800 719 738, or send us a message. We’re here to help you.

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If you’re making contact after hours your message may not be seen until the next business day, so we recommend you make contact directly with your local electrical branch by phone so we can get to you quickly.

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