No matter how much effort you devote to streamlining your processes, your call center will probably experience high call volume periods. Unexpected peaks in call volume make it harder to address customer needs and meet KPIs. Create a plan now so you can handle high call volumes when they occur.
Identify High Call Volume Periods
If possible, you should identify periods when you can expect higher-than-normal call volumes. Doing so makes it easier to prepare for increased calls. Most call centers can predict when they’ll get busy.
You’ll probably see a significant uptick in calls: before, during, and immediately after holidays; after new product releases; when developers roll out software updates that might confuse some users; after changes in your industry encourage more customers and clients to contact you for insights.
You can also take a data-driven approach to identifying potential periods of increased activity. Review KPIs from the last few years. Do you see any patterns? They might continue in the following years. Start preparing for them now so you can handle more calls without stretching your resources too thin.
Implement Technological Solutions to Manage High Call Volumes
Plenty of technological solutions can help you manage high call volumes. Learn about these seven options to prepare for increased activity within your call center.
1. Embrace Scalability
Adding more agents to your call center floor only works when your software can scale to meet increased use. Cloud software makes scalability easy because you don’t need to worry about your on-site server capacity. Reliable cloud software can tap into additional resources, such as server and database space, so your IT assets can adjust to increased usage.
2. Adopt Hybrid Work Environments With Remote Employees
Not every call center has enough physical space to accommodate more employees during periods with high call volumes. A hybrid work environment lets you bring on remote employees as needed. They don’t even need to commute to your location. They just log in from any place with a computer and internet access.
Luckily, cloud software also makes it easier for call centers to adopt hybrid work environments. If you already use cloud-based software, you can pivot quickly to bring more call agents online and help customers.
Some people believe that remote workers don’t accomplish much. The right training can make remote call agents very effective. Plus, you can monitor their performance just as easily as you monitor workers on the floor. Some studies show that remote employees are actually more productive than on-site employees.
3. Offer Self-Service Options
A lot of people don’t want to call contact centers because they dread long wait times and insufficient solutions. Make their lives easier – and save your employees some work – by offering self-service options.
Self-service options include FAQs, chatbots, and interactive voice response (IVR) tools. IVR basically works like a phone-based chatbot that can fulfill simple tasks like paying invoices and updating addresses.
You will probably find that many customers and clients prefer self-service options, which helps lower call volumes during busy days.
4. Automate After-Call Work
Did you know that call agents can spend 30% to 40% of their workdays handling after-call work? Automating after-call work gives your agents hours of time they can devote to more customers during periods of high call volume.
You can automate after-call tasks in several ways. For example, the right CRM can automate many tasks, such as updating customer info and sending documents to applicable parties.
The less work agents must perform between calls, the more people they can serve.
5. Provide Omnichannel Solutions
Omnichannel solutions let call agents communicate with customers in diverse ways. They don’t have to get on the phone to talk to the customer. Instead, they can use channels that include email and chat.
Omnichannel communication lets customers and clients communicate with agents via their preferred methods. This approach becomes especially important when your company handles requests from young consumers, who often dislike talking on the phone. They would prefer options like SnapChat messages and in-app communications.
Adopting an omnichannel approach also helps your call agents by giving them efficient ways to respond to common requests. If people customers frequently ask, “What’s your return policy?” the call agent can respond with a pre-written answer.
6. Offer Call-Back Options
No one likes to wait for an agent to answer their call. During a high call volume period, though, queues can get long, forcing customers to wait much longer than expected. Some of them will hang up out of frustration, potentially damaging your brand reputation.
It’s much more convenient to let customers accept a call-back option. Instead of waiting for someone to answer, they can hang up and go about their days. When the next agent becomes available, your call center reaches out to the customer to address their needs.
By offering a call-back method, expect customers to feel less frustrated, reduce abandonment rates, increase first-contact resolutions, and spread out calls to avoid high-pressure hours when your contact center receives the most requests.
7. Implement Intelligent Call Routing (ICR)
Ideally, you want to resolve customer requests within one communication. That rarely happens when your call center software connects incoming messages to the next agent available. That person might not have the training or authority to complete the request, which means they need to spend time transferring the customer to another representative.
Intelligent call routing (ICR) helps avoid that problem by funneling customers to an agent trained to address their specific concerns. For example, a customer calling about an erroneous charge might get routed to the billing department, where agents know how to review invoices and overwrite mistakes.
ICR makes customer contacts more efficient and pleasing. Take advantage of software that directs callers to the appropriate agents!
How Call Tools Can Help
Call Tools has software developed to meet the needs of diverse industries, including sales & telemarketing, real estate, and financial services.
Get in touch today to learn more about how our solutions can help your contact center manage high call volume periods.