The holidays are usually the busiest time of the year for a lot of businesses. It is also during this time of the year that call centers experience a huge spike on call volume. If not managed properly, this can lead to long waiting times, dropped calls and unsatisfactory call resolutions that will leave customers unhappy.
To avoid this, call centers can tackle the holiday season successfully through the following suggestions.
Preparation is the key to a call center’s success this holiday season and it should begin by studying data from past years’ experiences. Call centers have access to a wealth of data that can be used to gather valuable insights in terms of trends, hold times, call resolutions, peak call times and more. Using these historical data will help call centers predict what can possibly happen during the coming season and be able to make the necessary adjustments to cope with the demand.
Customer Service Training
Call centers normally provide continuous training for its agents and the holidays is one of the best times to prepare one. Expect that the holidays can become overwhelming for a lot of shoppers, which can affect their entire shopping experience. Agents must be equipped to anticipate the kinds of problems shoppers might experience and be prepared to handle them with the correct and most effective solutions.
By studying last year’s data, call centers will be able to anticipate this season’s staffing requirements. Since the holiday season is a busy one, call centers might not be able to handle the spike in call volume with just its present staff. In this case, call centers can benefit from hiring temporary employees just for the season. These temporary hires can take handling simple customer issues so that experienced staff will be able to focus on the more complicated ones.
While hiring and training temporary staff may work for some, it may prove to be too much work for other organizations. In this case, outsourcing call center requirements can be the next best option. By choosing to outsource instead, the time, effort and stress of hiring and training will be delegated to the outsourcing partner. The company can then focus on monitoring both in-house and outsourced call centers to ensure both are operating as they should.
While the phone is still the most preferred channel used by most customers for customer service, it is best to provide them with other options as well. Chat and email support as well as social customer care are also popular channels that can be just as efficient if properly coordinated and integrated with the call center operations. Having multichannel customer support will not only lighten the load of the call center but will also help increase customer satisfaction as well.
Call centers need not be overwhelmed with the increase in call volume during the holiday season. By understanding their operations and their customers, call centers should be able to prepare to handle the holiday madness successfully.