How to handle high call volume in your call center

How to handle high call volume in your call center?

High call volume is not only stressful, but also tiresome which leads to a decrease in the quality of customer service. In this article, we will look at how inbound call center software will reach the potential of your business by increasing its productivity.

What is the high call volume?

When a hurricane rips down power lines, utility companies receive a flurry of calls. During a seasonal travel sale, a huge number of callers besiege travel companies. Mutual funds receive more calls to firms during times of dramatic changes in the financial market.

In any business, a large number of calls are affected by so many factors. But, if you notice that your inbound call center software is not handling so many calls, then you need to take this issue seriously.

Depending on the type of activity, all incoming calls can be divided into several main groups:

  • Primary. They are made by people who are not previously acquainted with the company, this is their first contact with it;
  • Return calls. These are incoming calls from people who have already contacted the company, but for some reason did not become its customer or client;
  • Repeat calls. Such calls are made by clients who have already used the company’s services or products;
  • By recommendation. These are calls from people who have positive information about the company from their friends and acquaintances who have already become your customers.

But here’s why there are so many inbound calls: for example, clients called a large federal agency because they received information in the mail that was different from what the contact center operator had recently given them. And customers called the transportation company because the sales department promised them a premium service and encouraged them to call the contact center for routine operations, such as product tracking and billing.

The root causes of high call volumes

First of all, in addition to employees not being productive during business hours, the number of employees to serve customers and your software also affects this. Using the same number of employees during peak hours (weekday evenings) and the lowest load hours (weekend evenings) of the line is impractical. It is necessary to pay attention to the resource model and analyze how effectively resources are allocated to avoid the poor quality of service and unnecessary financial expenses. 

But in the fight against unscrupulous employees will only help the right system of control. Employees are not interested in answering calls if their salary does not depend on the number of processed calls. They will work less. In the ideal universe, operators are involved in the development of the company, working for the good of the business. But alas, the reality is far from the manager’s dreams. Therefore, it is necessary to properly control and organize the activities of workers.

Main tactics

Manage customer expectations

One of the most important tasks is to enable timely training and development of operators. Customer expectations and behavior change rapidly. The technologies that customers prefer to use to meet their needs are changing, not to mention the changes in the company’s products and services. Therefore, to meet these changing demands, operators must be provided with timely and meaningful knowledge and skills in the use of technology.

Even if the skills and qualifications of contact center agents meet the demands of customer satisfaction, companies also need to successfully manage day-to-day and strategic business processes. This aspect also has an impact on the ability to meet customer requirements and improve operational efficiency.

Improve communication and update scripts

To build effective communication with clients, the call center should develop an interaction procedure that includes communication templates, instructions, and regulations. The call scripts should consist of easy-to-understand phrases aimed at counseling with an emphasis on customer focus and live communication. The described documents must be easily accessible for use, especially by the operators of the call center.

The company should define a procedure for updating internal instructions and scripts for call center operators, including the employees responsible for this process. The frequency of document updates may be fixed or depend on the criticality of the document. For example, when introducing a new product in a company, operators must receive updated materials about the product no later than the product launch date. Failure to update instructions promptly can lead to a lack of up-to-date information from the operator and incorrect consultations.

If a company has related departments that engage, service, and consult with customers, it is important to consider the use of uniform standards of interaction with the customer.

Take the most of inbound call center software

Important aspects in the work of a call center are building a relationship with the customer, identifying their needs, as well as the speed of the service itself. Compliance with the requirements is facilitated by the use of inbound call center software . The system helps to provide a single working window of the operator, which displays detailed information about the client: the history of calls, a list of available products, and the possible presence of special offers. The system should be flexible, adaptable to the needs of the call center, and be able to cope with tasks such as setting up automatic distribution of notifications or calculation of individual rates for the customer. For full utilization, the CRM system should be integrated with telephony and call recordings. This will help to have operational access to listen to calls with customers or read messages in chats. Using chats as an alternative way to communicate with the customer can increase the speed of providing answers, reduce the load on the call center and optimize costs.

Forecast high-demand periods

Matching staffing levels and support resources to contact workloads is critical to effective operations center management. If workload forecasting is not accurate enough, the rest of the planning process will be very far from reality. Forecasting determines the necessary staffing levels and calls center requirements for other resources such as workstations and phone lines. Forecasting is the foundation for:

  • calculating the center’s base headcount
  • determining the needs for systems and trunk connections
  • minimizing failed or blocked calls
  • compiling accurate shift work schedules
  • predicting future staffing and network support costs
  • the most complete satisfaction of callers
  • creating a quality service environment
  • invest in alternative channels
  • automate workflows

Invest in alternative channels

Promotion of alternative ways of channels, for example, popularization of customer self-service is the main direction of providing quality and fast service. A well-developed and logically structured company website, a single personal cabinet with all products, answers to frequently asked questions and extensive functionality reduce the flow of typical inquiries, reducing the load on the lines. Maintaining a single customer space reduces the cost of promoting different platforms, and educating customers about self-service increases their mobility and autonomy in dealing with issues. With a self-service platform in place, both the platform itself should be analyzed for usability and accessibility criteria, as well as operator scripts and algorithms for training customers to retrieve information independently from existing sources developed by the company.

Automate workflows

Manual processes can not only slow things down, they can even disrupt operations. A lack of transparency and a high probability of human error create many weaknesses and reduce the efficiency of your business. Automating workflows reduces repetitive tasks, increases efficiency, and allows your professionals to do what they do best: sell.

Conclusion

It is important to remember, if there are problems, it means that there are also solutions. 

Remember the key rules for call centers: 

  • Use call center software that suits your business the best;
  • Create a supportive atmosphere within the communications department;
  • Involve employees in their work, encourage their achievements, help them improve their skills. And remember: control does not have a punitive function. It helps to identify weaknesses in the department and solve existing problems;
  • Automate the work of operators. Competently distribute the load and use progressive systems that will help to build an effective call center.