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18 October 2022

How to deal with high call volume in contact centers?

How to deal with high call colume in contact centers?

 

What does it all mean?

If you’ve been in the game for enough time, you’ll know that no day is quite like the next. Whilst this can be for a variety of reasons, one of the biggest challenges in the industry are surges in call volumes in a contact center. And without a good peak management plan in place, they can throw any brand for a loop.

A high call volume is defined as a contact center receiving a high number of inbound calls within a short period of time.

A high call volume can be caused by a number of factors, such as:

However, these kinds of volumes can also occur if the number of calls remains the same, but the number of employees or resources to handle those calls changes. For example, companies sometimes lack the necessary resources to take calls when they are training new employees. As you might expect, this can cause a lot of serious problems if not anticipated, planned for, and managed properly.

 

There’s pros and cons to everything.

Though it may seem like managing high call volumes is an uphill battle, there are two sides to the story. There are a few pros and cons to consider, such as:

Pros and cons to managing high call volumes.

By understanding both sides, you can better decide how to manage it. If you have the right tools and processes in place, this phenomenon can turn into a positive one for your business. However, if not managed properly, it can lead to disruptions and impact you negatively.

 

How can you handle volumes like a pro?

As part of managing your business, one of your priorities is to ensure that your team and operation is equipped to handle times like these. There are a number of strategies you can use to effectively handle greater inbound volumes in your contact center. 

Implement a call queuing system.

One of the best ways of managing high call volumes is to implement a call queuing system. This will allow your team to better handle large numbers of inbound calls by managing them in an orderly fashion. It also allows you to distribute incoming messages across various teams and even locations.

Use call deflection options.

Another effective strategy for managing surges like these is to offer call deflection options to customers. This will allow them to avoid waiting on hold for long periods of time. Some studies show that 75% of customers prefer a callback to waiting on hold. 

Hire additional staff.

If you find that your team is struggling to keep up with the demand, it may be necessary to hire additional staff. This will ensure that your team is better able to handle the day-to-day of your contact center. By forecasting when there might be a surge, you can plan ahead for recruitment and training of new hires - more on that later.

Provide next-level training.

It’s important to provide training to your staff that will ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to manage large numbers of calls successfully, efficiently, and without compromising on customer experience. An excellent way to do this is through gamification - by creating an educational game that agents can play on their phones or desktops, you can incentivize them to improve their skills while competing for prizes or other rewards. This kind of gamification can reduce learning curves by 60% and AHT by 63%!

Implement self-services.

It’s important to provide self-service resources for customers who are trying to avoid waiting on hold. This can be done by implementing an IVR system or by providing a robust FAQ section on your website. IVR can be incredibly helpful in resolving simple inquiries and directing callers to the right person to handle their issue, while an FAQ may provide the answer with a simple click to your business’ website.

Go omni.

In managing high call volume, having a robust omnichannel approach in place can make or break operations. This means that your team should be trained in how to effectively use all of the available channels (phone, messaging, email, chat, social media, etc.) to help customers, and all of these channels must be accessible and communicated. By offering more channels, you can lower the number of incoming calls and increase volumes in other - more cost-effective - channels. Not only that, but these channels are more often preferred by customers. 

Transcom Connect provides this interconnectivity of systems at a click, allowing teams to provide customer service in multiple channels within a single interface. Contact us to learn more.

Use digital solutions.

By implementing next-gen digital solutions dedicated to making the customer and agent experience even more seamless, you can have a huge impact on satisfaction levels. Proactive communication can let customers know where their orders are (WISMO), what outstanding bills they have, or when they might expect a power outage, which can be combined with chatbots, voicebots, IVR, and other systems.

Top six proven ways to manage high call volume

The benefits of outsourcing your customer service.

  1. Cost savings. Save money on recruitment, staffing, and training costs with a trusted partner who can do it for you, on, near, and off-shore. CX partners also have digital solutions in place that automate processes to cut costs.
  2. Improved efficiency. CX partners have brilliant experience to draw from - they know just what to do to improve the efficiency of your customer service operations. 
  3. Increased capacity. Outsourcing can help to increase capacity faster, allowing you to handle more calls. It also allows you to access talent pools in many different markets.
  4. Improved customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction rates tend to improve significantly after handing the process over to an external partner. 
  5. Access to experts. With advisory teams such as Transcom’s CX Advisory, access to next-gen digital solutions, and expert minds on the case, you can take your business to the next level.

 

Keep an eye on your statistics.

Everyone knows that data is key, both in forecasting when call surges may happen and in analyzing how well your customer service agents are handling them. Some of the most important numbers to keep note of are:

 

Keep an eye on your statistics

Of course, not all of these statistics may matter to your business - that will depend on your targets, strategy, and whether you’re in the middle of peak management planning. However, any one of these can help you better understand how your customer experience is going and develop data-driven tactics for areas that need improvement. 

 

You may have some avid fans.

We’ve spoken about managing high call volumes, but have you heard of high volume callers? A high volume caller is defined as a customer who calls the contact center frequently or who has a significant number of questions or requests. 

Usually, these individuals fall into one of two categories: they love your brand and use your products or services often, or they are having serious issues that aren’t being resolved. So while some of them may be happy with the quality of service they receive, others may become frustrated if they feel like they’re not getting the attention they need.

What’s the best way to handle a high volume caller?

  1. Provide them with a dedicated customer service representative that can be their first port of call when they get in touch. This way, the agent knows their history and is better informed to support their request.
  2. Offer them call back options to allow them a flexible way to contact you if they need further support, at their convenience. 
  3. Give them priority access to customer service through a VIP queue. Actions like these can make customers feel prioritized and therefore, more satisfied with service. 
  4. Create a VIP or loyalty program for frequent callers, and use advocacy language when speaking with them.
  5. Alert your customer success team to the potential for gathering feedback about your customer service, products, and more. This is a great opportunity to connect with your community!

By offering high quality service and attention to high volume callers, you can ensure that they remain satisfied with your contact center.

 

In conclusion.

Without the right preparation and contingency plans, managing high call volumes may send shivers down your spine. Luckily, with this guide, you’ve got the headstart you need to begin tracking and analyzing data, putting a proper workflow in place, and reduce the risk of a call surge throwing your business off balance.