Managing Seasonal Call Volume Spikes

Written by:

Wisam Abou-Diab

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Depending on your industry, you’ll find there are certain times of the year in which your call volumes spike considerably high. This will require your business to adjust smoothly and quickly to accommodate for these call volumes, or you risk having frustrated or unsatisfied customers which will, in turn, affect your brand’s reputation. Consider these following tips to make sure your business is prepared, and ready to offer the same great support no matter the time of year.

Analytics Are Crucial

call centre analytics

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. It’s important to see what the volumes were like in the previous year, to then see how many resources you’ll need to match the volumes. A good way to keep track of or review analytics is to utilize a cloud-based contact centre solution. They often include a full dashboard to review all of your contact centre’s analytics.

Self Service Options Go a Long Way

When the calls come in, chances are a large chunk of them don’t require an agent’s time. Adding self-service options for simple requests allow more agents to be available for those more complex calls, greatly reducing wait times. Self-service IVR systems can be used to make changes to an account, check account information, pay bills, make reservations, or track a shipment.

Optimize Your Training

Focusing in on your training programs for new agents will expedite your agent’s readiness, and increase their knowledge on handling different types of calls. This will help when you need to bring on new agents quickly and also reduce transfer rates since more calls will be handled on the first contact with an agent. Analyze your current training procedures, and look for improvements. This may require updating material, and including tests or quizzes that agents need to complete.

Know Your Agent’s Top Skills

Start examining what areas your agents specialize in such as returns, troubleshooting, general product questions, etc. This will help you optimize your IVR system to route the inquiries to the best available agent, which will ensure a first call resolution and eliminate callbacks or transfers.

Outsource Well-Trained Agents

Consider outsourcing some of your agents for certain times of the year, but most importantly they need to be just as well trained as your on-site agents. To keep hold times and transfer rates low, these outsourced agents will need to be put through your training programs with testing included.

Make Sure Everyone is on the Same Page

department meeting

Communication between your support team and your other departments is important to make sure your customers are being provided accurate and up to date information. When customers are provided wrong or out of date information, this increases frustration and incoming calls. The best way to keep internal communication healthy is to set meetings with all departments. Managers from each department can present any updates or changes and answer any questions.

Your Customers Don’t Have to Wait on the Phone

If for some reason there are still long wait times even though you’ve prepared, consider adding a queue callback. Queue callback relieves some queues by allowing your customers to select an option to receive a callback. This will reduce customer frustration since they will get to go on about their day, and not worry about sitting on the phone waiting for an agent.

 

By preparing for seasonal call volumes, you’ll reduce the stress on your agents and frustration from your customers, allowing them to get the best support possible. This will leave a good impression on your business, and keep those loyal customers coming back.

 

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