Brace yourselves, Summer is in full swing and with it arrive spikes in call volumes as well as problems with agent availability.
We at Opstalent, have prepared a guide to help you manage customer service peaks:
Seize the initiative
The best way to actually avoid “clogs” caused by demand spikes is to seize the initiative and reach out to the customers yourself. The multichannel approach is quite handy in this case.
Try to reach as many future “callers” through multiple channels, social media, email and even SMS. Each customer reached through other communication methods is one less person held back in queue during peak time.
It’s a known fact that some queries are more important than others. Distinguishing which call is an emergency and which isn’t is a challenging, yet important task.
In order to pre-screen incoming calls you need to setup a solid IVR system. This solution will identify calls based of pre-set rules and will route the incoming traffic accordingly.
Highlighting and relegating calls will help your contact centre tremendously, especially during those “demand spikes” periods.
When facing a sudden spike in demand, you should outsource. Just don’t pick the easy route that most companies choose – expensive term agency staff on a short-term basis.
Try to predict, when such spikes in demand will happen and choose a flexible outsourcing partner that will handle the spike traffic. This solution will leave your in-house staff focused on the core parts of projects.
In the long term, this will reduce training and staffing costs, just make sure that your outsourcing partner provides a scalable solution.
…and if all else fails, increase resources
In a case of extreme emergency, that “mother lode” of all demand spikes don’t be scared to relocate some of the admin staff to temporary contact centre duty.
The software is easy to use and highly customisable, it can simply be installed on all desktop computers around the office, this will enable an “on the fly” swap into contact centre agent mode if the situation is dire.
Just remember to take extreme caution, don’t train employees for tasks they might never need to perform, also it is highly counterproductive to force staff into roles they have no familiarity with.
However if done properly, such methods will make your staff and business as a whole even more customer centric.
The long term impact of such activities is highly valuable.