At the risk of blowing our own trumpet, we’ve been hammering on about the necessity of preparing to deal with spikes in incoming calls for years.
No matter what you do as a contact center supervisor, there’s always going to be something you didn’t get ready for. It could be a freak weather occasion. Or it could be a sweeping pandemic that sends out half the world’s population into quarantine.
And now that crisis is upon you, here are a few things you can do right now to handle call spikes in your contact.
Get other employees to assist with calls
One of the quickest and simplest methods to handle call spikes in a crisis is to hire the cavalry. Depending upon how the crisis has affected your service, you might have some staff members working double-time, while others are left twiddling their thumbs.
Most of your staff members– particularly your sales team– are most likely extremely capable of dealing with a client call with very little training– so get them in to assist. Staff members dealing with furloughing or worse will likely enjoy to assist too.
If you’re stressed over call quality, you can constantly set them up as a ‘Real IVR’ to offer customers some human contact while they’re rerouted to the right individual; this is also a fantastic opportunity to take some work away from your agents who can handle more complex questions.
Keep representative spirits high
Your survival during this tsunami of consumer calls depends largely on your agents. Keep them happy in whatever way you can.
Here are some other methods you can keep your representative morale high throughout the onslaught of consumer calls:
Send out pizza/snacks/drinks to their house
Benefit vacation days (for after the crisis).
Get online yoga or fitness classes over zoom.
Increase over-time (yes, cash still assists!).
Help them out with office devices.
Employ a meditation instructor, breathwork course, or meditation app.
Schedule day-to-day coffees and snack breaks to chat about non-work.
Try out some video games like ‘Jackbox’ or ‘Houseparty’ in place of your typical end-of-week events.
Some of these might seem silly, but you may find that in strange times, people would choose a more tangible advantage than money can provide; toilet tissue, possibly.
Learn what’s triggering the spike and repair it
This one may seem apparent however the factors for call surges are not always as well-defined as you might believe. Of course, the pandemic has resulted in fairly unique conditions, however then there need to also be unique methods of managing these concerns.
The easiest way to do this from the start is to listen to what your clients are stating. What are they calling about? What concerns keep surfacing and how can you repair that at the root to prevent these calls being available in the top place?
Another common error at any time that can trigger call rises is bad messaging. If you provide customers with a number, they will call it. If you tell them not to call a number, they will also most likely call it.
Look at where your messaging could be improved to lower unnecessary client calls. A bad website that fails to respond to questions successfully can rapidly be re-written, drastically decreasing callers.
Utilize your IVR to focus on and divert calls.
Any contact center manager worth their salt has most likely already tweaked their IVR to mitigate the inbound waves of calls. This might indicate playing answers to Frequently asked questions while callers are waiting on hold, or just asking them to call back at a later time if their questions isn’t about a particular urgent issue.
You can also use your IVR to divert calls to other channels. Social network, a live chat on your website, or an email address are all good options. The most crucial thing to do is to provide your callers an option. Not all of them will take it but every little assists reduce a few of the pressure on your representatives.
Improve your self-service alternatives.
As we pointed out in suggestion number 3, sometimes poor self-service alternatives or explainer pages are the factor behind call spikes.
If you’ve released details that’s supposed to be calming consumer concerns and reducing the pressure from consumer assistance, but you’re still experiencing high call volume– reassess that page.
You might even discover that you can implement a standard chatbot to assist with basic queries. Remember, your customers do not want to have to call as much as you do not desire them to. Offer them with easy to understand methods of repairing their problems and they won’t call you.
Open longer hours
This is a pretty simple tip to pull off, on paper at least. It is possible, and with the ideal management, you will not always have to remain open all night. In the current crisis, some call centers are extending their day into a full 18 hours, divided into 6-hour shifts to mitigate the effect on agents.
You’re going to actually require to sell the story to your group to get them on board, and you may even have to employ some temporary workers– there are a great deal of trainees without classes or examinations today– and run them through an intensive course so they can handle simple questions.
Cut back on unneeded jobs or processes.
One basic way to take some of the pressure off your phone-lines is to momentarily minimize any tasks after calls that aren’t definitely needed. There are most likely some aspects of your agents’ after-call work that isn’t crucial to the running of business– these can be put on hold or held off till the call volume subsides.
Another method to do this is to hand-off easy tasks where you can. Utilizing AI– or other short-term assistance representatives– to gather basic information or deal with after-call work frees up a long time for your more competent agents to invest helping consumers.Outsource to a BPO.
Not every company can pay for to work with even temporary personnel throughout a crisis. That doesn’t mean you can’t get some professional assistance managing the flood of customer calls. There are an excellent numerous BPO companies that will more than happy to relieve a few of the pressure from your group.
Purchase call-back software application
It may appear far too late in the video game to be setting up new innovation to manage your call spikes however that’s not the case. Many cloud-based platforms today have a native call-back function, although we can’t talk to their dependability.
And if you require something guaranteed to work, set up very quick, and completely tailored to your existing innovation, reach out to one of our call-back experts here.
There is one school of thought that believes call-backs are not the answer to call spikes, because of the couple of seconds delay in between the agent answering and the client linking.
But when you think about the time you save because the customer isn’t grumbling about being on hold, it barely compares. And no matter the crisis, they will grumble about being on hold. They constantly do.