If you’re experiencing spikes in call volume and can’t keep up, you’re losing out on business. Even if your representatives manage to take every call, the added stress will make them less productive, lowering their chances of successfully converting callers into customers.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to deal with call volume spikes, lessen the stress on your in-house representatives, and increase your sales.
1. Schedule Your Team to Accommodate Surges
It is likely that you’ve noticed a pattern in your call volumes throughout the day or the week. Anticipate surges and adjust your team’s work schedule to accommodate changes in call volumes. For example, you might want to schedule high-performing employees to work during the busiest hours of the day.
Take note of vacations and sick leaves as well, and anything else that could affect your staff’s productivity so you can ask anyone available to cover for lacking manpower. Try to distribute the workload as much as possible so you don’t overwhelm anyone.
2. Self-Service Resources
Whether it’s during a surge or not, there are usually quite a few people calling to ask a common question. It could be about a new product, service updates, or what’s included in a promotional offer.
Instead of having a representative answer these questions, it’s better to give callers self-service knowledge resources such as an FAQs page on your website. This benefits both you and your customers. Customers will be able to quickly find answers, and your staff will be able to focus on addressing more complicated issues.
If callers proceed to call you after reading your knowledge resources, they’ll be more informed and have fewer questions. With less time spent answering questions, your team will have more time to try to make a sale.
3. Add More Customer Service Channels
Adding alternative customer service channels can make volume spikes far more manageable for your representatives. Multiple live chats, for example, can be handled by a single worker.
Meanwhile, callers won’t have to sit around waiting for someone to pick up the call. Callers can instead compose a message, send it, and go on to another activity while waiting for a reply. It also gives both customers and representatives a chance to arrange their thoughts before messaging.
4. Analyze Call Center Data
Some call volume spikes may seem sudden and unexpected. However, there is usually a cause for the ones that happen outside the usual times.
Analyze your call center data for call volume spikes. Find out what the company was doing at the time and what the most frequent questions were about. Perhaps there were more callers when there was a flaw in a product, when you were promoting a special offer, or when the PR team made a mistake.
This will help you spot situations that lead to spikes. Inform your team so that they’re better prepared. You could also post information on your site or on your social media pages that addresses the situation and answers questions ahead of time.
5. Outsource Your Customer Service
By far, the most cost-effective solution to alleviating stress on your in-house staff is to outsource your customer service. Outsourcing provides numerous benefits including lower costs compared to hiring a full-time employee and increased staffing flexibility.