In a tight economy, excellent phone service may be the key that distinguishes your business or product from the competition.
Today’s clients evaluate companies based on their ability to offer excellent support and sales experiences. While messaging apps and SMS are growing more popular, the phone is still the primary point of contact for consumers. According to Small Business Trends, 60% of customers prefer to call small businesses directly by phone.
And with more people confined to home in these challenging times, the phone becomes even more critical. The question is, is your business prepared for the influx of queries?
During the COVID-19 crisis, many Utah companies have struggled to manage rapid peak in call volume, but you can set your business up for success with these tips:
1. Optimize Scheduling
Crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are not necessarily just one-time peaks in call volume for many businesses. To determine where you may see increased demand elsewhere, make sure to examine your analytics and call volume reports regularly. Determining when your call volume is at peaks during the year will help ensure that you can optimize scheduling to leverage your resources effectively.
Seasonal spikes are common with some companies, and new products or service debuts can also drive up call volume. You may consider increasing your use of remote staff during times when call numbers are high, then reduce your staff again to cut costs when demand begins to drop.
2. Leverage Automated Callback
As mentioned above, you’ll need analytics tools and reporting solutions to determine when you need the most support for your contact center. However, it’s also crucial to access analytics for other reasons.
An intelligent data strategy will allow you to pinpoint potential gaps in your customer service strategy. For instance, if you’re watching the full customer journey, you might notice that you lose the most calls or end up with frustrated customers after they’ve waited on hold for a certain length of time. If that’s the case, you could enable an automated callback service, so clients spend less time waiting around.
3. Ensure Your Routing System is Effective
Just as you can set up your contact center technology to collect information about customers and their journeys automatically, you can also access other kinds of useful automation. An automated IVR solution, for instance, can immediately apologize to customers for your inability to answer calls as quickly as you usually do during a crisis.
Also, you can set up your IVR to automatically route customers to the correct agent for their needs, based on crucial keywords they mention during the call. This prevents customers from being sent to the first available agent, who may need to transfer them to a specialist to solve their core issue.
4. Empower Your Agents
During difficult times, it’s not just customers that feel stressed and overwhelmed, but your contact center agents too. They can become frustrated if they feel like they don’t have the right tools to assist clients. With that in mind, you should be looking for ways to empower your staff.
Provide plenty of training to guide agents through successful customer conversations and equip them with the tools they need to maintain client satisfaction. For instance, intelligent assistants can immediately pull information from a customer’s profile before the agent answers a call, so they don’t have to waste time searching for insights.
5. Offer Alternative Forms of Service
Not all of your customers will need to speak to an agent to get their issue solved. An intelligent system in your IVR strategy could provide clients with a solution during the initial calling menu. With AI and machine learning, you can build a service that reduces the number of customers going through to get agent help.
If your customers can serve themselves by finishing transactions and updating subscriptions with an automated system, they don’t need to speak to a human and be placed on hold. This ensures that your agents can focus their time on more pressing questions from other clients and reducing wait times. While not every customer will use your self-service solutions, most would likely welcome the option of being able to address their queries themselves.
6. Learn and Optimize
One of the most important things you can do to manage a high call volume is to learn from your strategies. When you bring in staff from other departments, look at how much they support your agents or whether borrowing resources slows your company down.
Examine gaps in the service cycle and think about how you can make it easier for customers to get the answers they need. For instance, if you notice the same questions appearing consistently, maybe you could create an FAQ page on your website to assist?
Give staff feedback and encouragement as well. Reward those who out-perform their peers and guide others on how they can improve their service. Recognition boosts employee engagement and reduces the risk of mistakes, in addition to turnover.
7. Consider Volume Hiring
If marketing initiatives or seasonal factors lead to a surge in call volume, prepare in advance. Bring in additional staff and train them properly so they help you grow. This may not be possible to do on your own if you’re always stretched for time, which is where PrincePerelson’s volume hiring services come in.
Perelson has the resources to help you fill high volume projects with a number of qualified employees without compromising quality. The company serves as an extension of your business in the growing Utah market, using its innovative recruitment strategies to seamlessly identify high quantities of people best suited for your firm.
Handling High Call Volume Effectively
Handling high call volume can be a daunting concept, particularly when there’s a crisis to deal with that prevents you from having as many staff members as possible in the office. Fortunately, with the tips above, you can still serve your clients with the positive experiences they’ve come to expect.