Outsourced Call Centers Feeling the Holiday Heat

December 18, 2014

The holiday season is here, and that means that call centers are busier than ever. Customers are on hold for longer, calls are being dropped and more complaints are submitted. While the holiday season means more sales, it also means more customers need assistance. A study done by shows that more than 40 percent of retailers have hired extra help for the holiday season. So while all of this seasonal business is increasing sales for retailers, it is also increasing stress in call centers.

There are a few ways that you can make your call center more effective during this busy time, including making adjustments to your staff, adding extra customer service reps, or helping the consumer by creating additional channels of customer support. The following are a few tips suggested by industry website Business 2 Community on how to make this busy time a little less stressful:

Learn from your mistakes: The holiday season is something that happens every year, so it should come as no surprise when things start speeding up. Be proactive, look back at what you did well last year and stick to it — and correct the areas that weren’t as strong. Addressing problems before they arise is the best way to make sure your team is as prepared as possible.
Adapt to the holiday season: The holidays can be stressful, for you and your customer. Make sure that your personnel are trained and ready to deal with some hectic holiday calls. Customers may take their own holiday stress out on your customer service reps. Reviewing how to deal with difficult customers can prepare your workers and leave the customer feeling like their concerns have been heard.
Make sure all representatives are prepared: Customers often feel very frustrated when contacting a call center and different agents have access to different information. All call center representatives should have access to the relevant information needed to assist customers. If the company is unified, customers will have their problems solved more efficiently and feel more loyalty toward your brand.

Use scalable virtual call centers: Many companies look to the option of additional employees during the holiday season. This can be an easy addition if the seasonal employees are trained properly, and you take advantage of the cost-effective virtual call centers. Employees have the ability to work from home, and as an employer you don’t have to worry about additional equipment costs.
Utilize online FAQS: One of the easiest ways to keep call volume manageable is by making sure your company’s FAQ page is up to date. Many times simple questions can be answered by visiting these pages. Having answers readily available to the consumer will save your call center a phone call.
Is your call center prepared to tackle holiday shoppers? Make sure you have all the above areas covered to give your customers they support they need. 

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