The holiday season is generally the busiest time for call centers. To make things more complicated, agents aren’t just dealing with a high volume of interactions, but also higher expectations from customers. This doesn’t have to be feared, however—it can be an opportunity. By properly preparing for the holiday season, you can deliver an exceptional experience to customers and ultimately turn the experience into a value-adding proposition.
Here are five important things to remember ahead of the holiday season:
- Make sure that your team is staffed up – A call center with a sophisticated data analysis platform should be able to look back at call volume and other metrics in previous holiday seasons to gauge demand in upcoming seasons. This will give your team enough time to acquire the necessary manpower to manage the heavy load.
- Identify potential problem areas and create new processes – While some problems can’t be predicted, it is valuable to make a concerted effort to prepare for issues that your organization is already aware of. Be careful, however—don’t encourage agents to give canned responses. Instead, train them to quickly recognize underlying customer issues with an understanding of how to solve them.
- Arm you agents with actionable knowledge and best practices – The lead up to the holiday season is the perfect time to instill new knowledge and skills into your customer support team. This includes new customer interaction techniques and insight into your products and services. By doing this, you’ll ensure that everyone is on the same page ahead of the rise in call volume.
- Strengthen your technological systems – Putting aside customer service agents themselves, your business needs to focus on the IT side of the holiday season. A system outage at this time would be highly detrimental. Many businesses fail to take this crucial step and are left with dissatisfied customers at the end of the holidays.
- Expand your customer service offerings – While it’s important not to overextend your customer service team during the holidays, the season is the perfect time to offer expanded services to your customers. Whether that’s the use of new live chat features on your company website, or a more dedicated social media customer support presence, these steps will both satisfy customers and reduce overall call volume.
These steps will help your customer service team prepare for the always-hectic holiday season. Providing effective service during this difficult time to your customers has the potential to create an immense amount of loyalty to your brand.
Stratus Contact Solutions is a leading US-based provider of multichannel contact center solutions including call centers, social media, live chat and email. Every interaction through each channel is an opportunity to turn contact services into a value-adding proposition for your brand.