How to Prepare Your Call Center for a Holiday Peak Season

December 06, 2018

Christmas is just around the corner! And although there are still a few weeks to go, most of us have already got into the holiday spirit, shopping for Christmas gifts while counting down the days until the big event.  

If you manage a call center, however, chances are you associate Christmas with overtime, demanding customers and increased stress levels. And it is true that for call centers the holiday season is often the most chaotic period of the year.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help you out! Read on and you won’t ever have to fear Christmas holidays again! 

Analyze your data

As we all know, at any call center, data is everything. If you make good use of your data, it can basically tell you everything about your business. For example, you can utilize the data you have to generate reports showing how your team performed during the holiday peak season last year.

By doing this, you can determine what to expect during this years’ holiday season in terms of call, email, and chat volume. In fact, finding out expected customer query volumes is one of the best ways to plan your workforce management for the holidays.

You should also definitely make good use of the invaluable insight data can give you regarding your customers’ and employees’ feedback. After all, it is they who can provide you with the most valuable information about your business.

In particular, it might be a good idea to ask customers about their experiences with your business during the previous holiday season. Also, make sure to allocate enough time for one-to-one feedback sessions with your call center agents. Finally, use the collected feedback to determine how and where you should improve your services in order to rock this year’s Christmas season.

Last but not least, always bear in mind that most companies make the majority of their sales during holiday peak seasons. Luckily, customer data can also help you increase your sales figures. So, make sure to leverage your data and don’t miss out on this great opportunity to make personalized offers to your customers.

Scale up your team during the holiday peak season

As calls suddenly skyrocket during the holiday season, it’s no surprise that agents often struggle to deal with the resulting high call volumes. And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s the time of the year when customers become increasingly frantic as they try to resolve their issues before businesses close for the New Year.

And of course, receiving an order on time becomes even more important if your customer wants to put it under the Christmas tree. As such, it’s only natural that agents experience high levels of stress when dealing with customers during peak periods.

Managing a call center during peak times is a major challenge, and if you can’t efficiently react to increased call volumes, it can easily become your worst nightmare. Therefore, when it comes to planning your staff for the holidays, never settle for the bare minimum. Instead, ensure you can easily scale up your business by relying on trained agents who are ready to help out when necessary.

Of course, finding seasonal staff who are sufficiently trained to deal with the holiday demand is no small feat. Our advice here is to try and utilize experienced remote agents who can easily keep up with the holiday craziness. And if you’re still not convinced about the benefits of hiring remote agents, make sure to check out our article on it.  

Also, bear in mind that some of your agents who are scheduled to work during the holidays may become unexpectedly ill. Again, in such cases, leveraging remote agents could be the ideal solution in order to keep your customer service consistent and seamless.

Provide omnichannel support

Omni-channel customer service is definitely a must for any business that wants to satisfy and retain its customers. And during an extremely busy holiday peak season, omnichannel customer service may well turn out to be your savior!

Indeed, customers no longer accept that they will have to repeat information over again what they said previously through a different channel. And around Christmas, you can be sure that they will be more likely to lose their temper!

So, if you want to successfully manage your call center during the holiday peak season, make sure to ease up your call queues by directing customers to your other channels, such as email, chat or social media.

And as we all know, some customer queries can be easily resolved via email, SMS or live chat. Furthermore, these days customers can even choose to resolve their own issues by using self-service options without the interaction of a live agent.

Providing customer service via a number of channels will definitely help you ease up your high call volumes, but only if you ensure that customer communication quality is the same for all the channels you use.

When the holidays come, expect the unexpected and be ready to react! Make sure to prepare your call center by following our tips, then sit back and enjoy the holiday peak season without the associated hassle.

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