Blog

Expecting a Spike in Call Center Traffic? Here Are 6 ways to Prepare.

By June 12, 2019 No Comments
Business woman holding a tablet with a graph
Business woman holding a tablet with a graph

As a call center manager, creating an exceptional customer experience in addition to a positive team culture are top priorities if you want to be successful.

Too often, call centers focus on one and not the other leaving the culture unbalanced for agents. Since the call center agent position is arguably one of the most stressful careers today with a 30-40 percent turnover rate, focusing on team morale is essential, especially when it comes to being prepared for spikes in calls. The call center team is wholly responsible for efficiently managing and fielding these incoming requests pleasantly. When you are not fully equipped, agents are the first to feel the pressure which can cause unhappiness in their role, increasing the chances they will resign.

The number of calls is impacted by the season, upcoming events, or even a hidden defect in products on the market. To maintain customer satisfaction, call centers should create a plan now to prepare for these spikes.

Here are six ways to prepare your call center for a spike in phone calls from customers and assure their expectations continue to be met.

1. Utilize Forecasting
Review historical call center data to predict when spikes in calls may occur. Many times, history repeats itself and having the potential peaks planned out now for the month, quarter, or year is beneficial. Track specific months where an uptick in calls previously occurred in addition to identifying certain times of the day that are the busiest. This information allows managers to hire additional agents when necessary and prepare their agents on how to handle calls efficiently and effectively.

2. Properly Staff Your Agents
Today’s customers don’t want to wait on hold for a customer service representative to become available. They expect an immediate answer and if they have to wait too long, are likely to find another company to work with. Consider utilizing temp agencies during peak seasons or leading up to special events to keep the average hold time to a minimum. Another option is to proactively work with the human resources department to hire part-time agents to fill in during these periods or cross-train employees from other departments to be able to handle the influx.

3. Educate Your Team
Today’s customers don’t want to wait on hold for a customer service representative to become available. They expect an immediate answer and if they have to wait too long, are likely to find another company to work with. Consider utilizing temp agencies during peak seasons or leading up to special events to keep the average hold time to a minimum. Another option is to proactively work with the human resources department to hire part-time agents to fill in during these periods or cross-train employees from other departments to be able to handle the influx.

4. Invest In Callback Technology
Today’s customers don’t want to wait on hold for a customer service representative to become available. They expect an immediate answer and if they have to wait too long, are likely to find another company to work with. Consider utilizing temp agencies during peak seasons or leading up to special events to keep the average hold time to a minimum. Another option is to proactively work with the human resources department to hire part-time agents to fill in during these periods or cross-train employees from other departments to be able to handle the influx.

5. Use Remote Agents
If hiring onsite call center agents isn’t a possibility, hiring remote agents opens the door to more talent. Remote agents can be on-call, making it easy to add agents during unexpected call spikes. This strategy is not only helpful during these call increases, but it is also a cost-effective method for businesses as well.

6. Consider Outsourcing To A Contact Center
If the call volume is too high, you might find benefits in outsourcing calls to a professional contact center. These larger contact centers have the necessary technology and equipment to field large numbers of calls and can adjust more quickly to the spikes than smaller internal operations.

Preparing for spikes in calls is invaluable and will save you lost revenue from upset customers. To see continued success, it is also essential that businesses track reasons for incoming calls continuously throughout the year. By continually collecting data, you can create solutions for self-service opportunities, establish a more user-friendly online presence, and quickly make changes to a faulty product or service when necessary.