Call centers generally experience a much higher than normal call volumes during the holiday seasons. So, if you too belong to the customer service industry then I believe its not at all difficult to imagine the environment inside a typical call center on such busy days, phones ringing off their hooks, ticket volumes at an all-time high, email inbox nearly full, frantic callers with last minute requests. Sounds familiar, right?
Although customers too realize that the festive seasons are the most pivotal periods for all online retailers, still not a single one will ever compromise over the support service. And they shouldn’t either. As a customer service executive or the manager or even the owner himself, this is your responsibility to provide the best call center support to your customers irrespective of the demand.
Fortunately, we believe that the holiday spirit is something should not be dampened in any way. That’s why we have come forward with a few tips on how to efficiently and effectively handle the customer support structure during the festive seasons. Let’s dive in.
Learn from past mistakes
Begin your preparation by analyzing the customers’ data from past years’ experiences. Call centers generally have access to a lot of information related to customers. Use this historical data effectively to gather info on call resolutions, hold times, peak call times and much more. It will greatly help you in predicting the things that could possibly go wrong and give you ample amount of time to make the necessary changes.
Upgrade your tools
What’s the point of having a good and competent support team if you treat them with outdated technology and machine. Upgrading your current tools to the latest ones is an investment which will bring in tenfold results. And your team, in turn, will provide better assistance to pacify all the needs of your customers in a timely and professional manner.
Offer multichannel support
Though the phone is still the preferred way to communicate with the customer service, you simply cannot abide all your customers to use this preferred channel, especially the millennials who just love texting. That’s why it’s highly recommended to offer your customers a multichannel support. Currently, the popular ones are the live chat, email support, and social customer care. Add these and you won’t just help increase customer satisfaction but also lighten up a considerable load off your call center team.
Train your staff
Nobody likes to be kept on hold or being transferred too many times while talking to a customer care representative. So, please ensure that your call center agents are well trained with the right vision and philosophy for the incoming holiday rush. Empower them, provide them the authority to handle issues on their own rather than referring the calls to the superiors everytime something goes awry. Just remember, time is of the essence during holidays, so use it wisely.
Get into the holiday spirit
The key here is to keep your present staff happy and motivated as they, in turn, will keep your customers feel warm and fuzzy. Use this year’s holiday season as an opportunity to engage with your team. A few ways to bring joy to your workplace include decorating your office walls, hallways and maybe desks and cubicles in the holiday theme, arranging fun activities, offering your agents a holiday buffet depending on your budget and other such things.
Hire extra staff
Whether or not you will need extra staff, you can decide by looking at previous years data. But to be on the safer side, it’s better if you do hire a few extra. We all know how busy holiday seasons can get and your present staff team might not handle the spike in call volume the way it should. It’s far better to prepare yourself in advance than resent later on. Offer the newbies simple tasks and let your experienced staff handle the more complicated ones.
Consider outsourcing as well
I have mentioned in the earlier point to hire extra staff just for the holiday season. But the fact is, though it might work for some, for majority others, it will be nothing short of a burden. So, if you are among those majority ones, outsourcing your customer support to a third-party contractor can be your next best option. By doing so, you will be relieved of time, effort, and stress of hiring and training besides having ample time to focus on other core activities.
So, what do think? Are you or are you not ready for the holiday rush? I know that requires a lot of think process but if you have followed our list closely, you, my friend, are more than ready for this holiday season.