When it comes to operating a contact center, there are a handful of hurdles that every management team will have to tackle at some point. Most of these have to do with handling customer service or managing your staff, but one that you might be less prepared for is an unexpected surge in phone traffic.
Indeed, many contact centers operate under the expectation that their numbers will be relatively consistent from day to day. However, high volume phone calls can happen at any time - including and sometimes especially when you aren’t prepared for them.
Here we will talk about handling peak hours and seasons, whether you know they’re coming or not. Plus, we’ll show you the best way to prepare your team for even the most difficult scenarios to plan for when it comes to call volume - and ensure that you’re never caught off guard when it comes to staffing and customer service.
Forecasting - a word for predicting possible future situations in your contact center based on past experiences and data - is an important part of preparing for success. When your staff properly collects data and analyzes it properly, it can be used to design a forecast of what to expect from callers in terms of their behavior in the coming days, weeks, and months.
How does this help you? By giving you an idea of what to expect, you can better prepare your team to handle it. Over time, peak hours and seasons become obvious in patterns of caller behavior and can be used to prepare your staff for these busy times ahead. When you know high volume phone calls are coming, handling them is easier.
Having the right number of staff members on the clock at any given time at your contact center is an important factor in your business’s success. It is also a balancing act that can be difficult and frustrating for many managers.
During normal operations, it may seem simple to keep the right number of staff members in their seats to handle typical call numbers, but what happens when you have high volume phone calls? That’s when scaling becomes critically important.
What is scaling? This is when your center is able to adjust to changes in call volume or other shifts in labor needs. In traditional scaling, a center takes on additional employees as needed or releases those that aren’t needed. However, that type of scaling isn’t practical for most centers today - and there are better solutions.
Modern centers often make use of remote agents and remote call center technology to create the potential for scaling. Remote agents can be quickly added to the workforce as needed and released from on-the-clock time as needed, without majorly impacting daily operations of the on-site call center. This gives management team members the freedom to scale operations as needed without huge overhead costs - and contact centers the ability to adapt to changes on little more than a moment’s notice!
Offer More Self-Service Options for Consumers
Today’s consumers are increasingly wary of live interaction in phone calls. They prefer the speed and convenience of self-service options, such as automatic direction or instant message and chat features. Frequently asked question lists can even be considered part of the self-service solution for many call centers, since consumers can often find the answers they need this way without having to make a call at all. These options allow them to take full control of their own customer service experience and get the answers and the help they need without what they feel is unnecessary interaction.
When you can offer more of these self-service options, you can offset the problems potentially caused by high volume phone calls in your center. When your consumers have choices for how to get the help they’re looking for, it won’t matter how many people are contacting your center. You’ll have the tools in place for them to take matters into their own hands if they so choose, leaving more of your agents free to serve consumers who would rather have live, verbal exchanges with agents.
Employ Alternative Solutions to Minimize Wait Times
One of the major problems with high volume phone calls is the long wait times they can generate in your contact center. Thankfully, there are options for your center to use to minimize those wait times and maximize consumer satisfaction with your response time - all without majorly detracting from your current daily operations.
Using callback queues is one such solution. No matter how many calls you’re getting, a callback queue allows you to handle them with adequate time and attention to detail - and without rushing through calls to get to the next in line. Customers won’t have to wait in long virtual lines for a connection with a live agent if they can opt for a call back at the earliest convenience of your staff.
This benefits your consumers in several ways as well. It allows them to proceed with their daily lives and skip waiting on hold, which is one of the experiences that contribute to the near-universal dislike of calling contact centers. When you can eliminate that factor, you leave your customers with reasons to love your facility instead of hate it!
If you’re looking for the tools and technology to handle high volume phone calls in your contact center, call the industry experts at ChaseData. We have everything you need to outfit your center with the equipment that will help your agents handle even the biggest influx in call traffic - whether you’re expecting it or not. Give us a call today and find out how we can help you handle whatever comes your way!