A panel of experts have recently revealed their top 10 tips to reducing pressure on call centres during these busy, festive seasons:
1. Planning ahead – Call centre agents need to know when to expect the peak times of business so they can prepare and plan for the volumes of calls.
2. Updating IVR call queue status messages – Customers need to be informed of any high call queuing times; this reduces the pressure on agents to rush their calls.
3. Frequent staff breaks during busy periods– Employees need breaks, not only for physical reasons but mental reasons. Little and often breaks can help agents cope in busier call centre periods.
4. New agent training – New agents need to be fully trained to answer calls in the Christmas period and more importantly understand why they are answering the calls.
5. Customer feedback is vital – listening to customer feedback can help to improve service levels whilst feedback can also help reduce call time, which will fundamentally save money.
6. Self-help website videos – Online videos can help to answer complex questions, call centres could use these videos to explain their services.
7. Automation – Call centre agents need to have access to information instantaneously. This gives them the intelligence to deal with customers sensitively and helps to reduce inaccurate caller details.
8. After hour relaxation – Employees should feel part of the organisation and a Christmas party is the ideal way for staff to unwind after a stressful year.
9. Informing customers – Informing call centre customers of any seasonal changes in working hours, staff etc. is a crucial process; this ensures proactivity as well as good customer service.
10. Target leeway – During peak times, customer service should not be forgotten. Sometimes unhurried contacts generate better customer service and therefore are of higher value to the business.