Call centers are bound to experience busy seasons from time to time. Many call centers struggle at their peak times when the call volumes are quite high. However, managing the call center during peak times can be a hugely burdensome job if things are not sorted.
Here are some of the simple tips that you can implement for managing peak time at your call center:
- Status Message for Call Queue should be Updated on IVR
Customers should be given information on the approximate time for accessing a call center executive as their calls are placed in a queue and the IVR should then redirect their calls to a self-help facility provided in the website of an organization or a company, whenever possible. When there is a high call volume and the call waiting time in a queue is over a few minutes, the IVR should help redirecting some of those waiting calls to less busy hours of the day or to their corporate website.
- Advance Planning
It is important that agents are aware about the peak times. This information should be shared by the managers with their agents in a call center. When agents have prior information, they will have an opportunity of preparing for it. In other words, they would not be taken aback when high call volumes start landing up. Scheduling the calls correctly is very important. A call center can do so by studying the times when peak calls landed at the call center in past months or years. After identifying the trends, relevant forecasts can then be made about the tentative busy periods in future. This activity will allow managers to recruit additional staffs to help whenever required.
- Call Center Staff should be permitted to have Occasional Breaks
When call center agents get frequent breaks during peak times, they are refreshed and can handle the call pressures of the busier periods. For instance, the lunch break can be reduced to 30 minutes and then a break for 10-minutes every hour can be given to the agents so that they stay away from their phones. These short breaks will make the agents feel refreshed and they can handle the calls in a more effective manner. It is important for the call center agents to get mental peace during the peak hours.
- Customer Feedback is Important
For a specific call percentage, the agent can ask the caller what he or she should have done for reducing the call time. The agents may get interesting responses to such questions and also get to know the external perspectives without paying anything. In case, the company manages to implement that feedback, they might save on a lot of time. When a minute can be reduced from all the incoming calls, a large portion of the call volume can be released for a specific period.
- Embed Videos on Self-Help on its Corporate Website
Callers may have complex queries from time to time and if a call center has an online self-service, multimedia can help to easily resolve such queries. For instance there can be a short video for a few minutes that a customer can play repetitively sitting at their homes and the same can be also used by a call center for delivering an answer. Contact centers of many well-known companies use this methodology so that the technical support service they are offering to the customers is becomes hassle free.
- Manual Processes should be Automated
In order to cope with a sudden spurt in incoming calls during a certain season, some managers try to ensure that the desktops of their agents are adequately set up for them to view all the relevant information simply by touching a few buttons. Thereby, contact center managers are able to provide intelligent and essential context-sensitive view of the callers to the agents. Thus, the agents need not jump from one screen to another unnecessarily for editing or viewing inaccurate and duplicated details while on a call. When manual processes are automated, they can increase the call handling speed to a great extent.
- Fun after Working Hours
The management can arrange parties on occasions where the employees can come wearing any outfit that they want to. For instance Christmas parties can be arranged by a call center and agents can attend it in their fancy dresses. Arranging competitions and fun activities can also help in keeping the agents refreshed despite the high workloads.
- Keep Customers Informed of any Changes in Service
One of the best techniques for call reduction at call centers is to ensure that customers do not have reasons for calling. There are many calls that land up at the call center where customers query about appointments at home, what time the technicians would arrive, why they are getting delayed and so on. One of the easiest ways of reducing these types of calls is by proactively informing the customers.