5 essential tips for handling call peaks at the start of the year

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Boosted by the numerous gifts offered during the holidays, the start of winter sales and renewals at the start of the year, January is a month of high activity for customer services. They have to face waves of calls and requests that are much higher than usual. In these intense times, advisors must be ready to respond to any request. Not being sufficiently prepared could impact your entire customer relations strategy, so this subject should not be taken lightly.

Fortunately, solutions exist. Whether through specific training for advisors, the use of appropriate technological tools or even by setting up an adequate internal organization, call centers will be able to spend the start of the year much more peacefully. In this article, we’ll explore 5 essential tips to prepare teams to brave this busy period while maintaining optimal customer satisfaction.

1. Prevention is better than cure!

Anticipation is the key to your success. Ahead of these dates, it is essential to refine your forecasts to sufficiently staff the teams. Customer services must provide a sufficiently large number of advisors to maintain fluidity in handling calls and avoid being overwhelmed. Consider setting up flexible schedules based on the experience of previous years and do not hesitate to adjust your teams in real time to maximize your dropout rate, your AHT and finally customer satisfaction.

2. Train your teams beforehand

A properly trained advisor is much more productive. It is therefore imperative to take the time necessary to bring your agents to a sufficient level of knowledge to manage this particularly stressful period. Start by organizing interactive training sessions with concrete case studies to illustrate the most frequent scenarios by theme of sales / product returns / re-engagement… Facilitate access to regularly updated e-learning modules so that advisors can train at their own pace, guaranteeing up-to-date expertise at the same time. Finally, segment your teams dedicated to managing incoming requests by skills. This will greatly facilitate the processing of requests, while maintaining a climate of trust among your advisors.

3. Choose your work tools carefully

Humans are sometimes not enough to manage these sudden flows of inbound calls. For this, technological solutions exist to respond to the customer, make them wait or even redirect them to the right person. Here are a few :

a) Your best ally: the chatbot or virtual assistant

Integrate the latest versions of AI-powered chatbot into your customer journeys. This is a very good solution for handling first-level or repetitive requests. The main advantage of the chatbot is to be available at all times. Self-learning, its effectiveness proves to be formidable in the long term, because it records all the data and information it encounters. It therefore very often provides relevant answers in record time.

If you don't know how to configure
or use your chatbot, this article can help you.


b) The advantages of the IVR (Interactive Voice Server)

This tool has many advantages. You can customize IVR options based on customer navigation preferences, optimizing paths for a unique customer experience without any human intervention. Also implement natural language processing algorithms for accurate query understanding, ultimately minimizing unnecessary call transfers.

c) The power of artificial intelligence (AI)

Want to create adaptive responses that can learn from previous interactions to continually improve resolution suggestions? AI is the solution to choose. Additionally, you can very easily integrate feedback mechanisms to refine the responses provided by the AI ​​based on customer feedback.

d) Think about call-back strategies

Rather than imposing an endless wait on your customers, offer them callback options at times that suit them. Priority reminders can even be planned for VIP customers for whom satisfaction must be maximum. You can even integrate smart reminder features to differentiate between critical situations requiring immediate assistance.

e) Distribute your inbound calls correctly: ACD (Automatic Call Distribution)

Configure intelligent routing mechanisms to distribute calls to the appropriate agents based on their skills, interaction history or preferences, but also taking into account each person’s workload to ensure a balanced distribution. You will also be able to implement monitoring measures to evaluate distribution performance and make adjustments in real time when necessary.

4. Adopt a multi-channel response through the use of a suitable solution coupled with a CRM

Group customer interactions across different channels to have a 360 vision of the customer journey. This will guarantee consistency in your agents’ responses and thus limit repetition.

5. Develop a customer self-help or self-care strategy

This is the simplest option to reduce the workload of your advisors. Your customer has a question, what will they do first? Consult your website of course! Make as much information as possible available in the form of detailed FAQs, user guides, video tutorials, etc. Your customers will find their answer directly there, leaving more time for your advisors to manage complex requests.

6. Conclusion

In these intense times, preparation and adaptability remain essential aspects of maintaining quality customer service. By anticipating customer requests through adapted schedules, targeted training, the appropriate use of technological tools and a self-help strategy, your call center can not only manage the significant flow at the start of the year, but also guarantee a customer experience that is just as qualitative as usual. Often poorly understood, these peaks in activity are often poorly managed and feared. Get a head start and instead view them as a way to stand out through your reliability and focus on customer service.

To further simplify the processing of call peaks, choose Artificial Intelligence!


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