A Must-Read Playbook for Solving Busy Season Staffing Challenges
Navigating busy seasons is an integral yet challenging part of the contact center landscape. Whether it's the holiday rush, tax season, or any other high-demand period, the need for efficient, cost-effective, and reliable customer service is at its peak. Contact centers generally grapple with three core challenges during these times:
- Cost Management: Finding the ideal balance between increased staffing needs and budget constraints.
- Talent Acquisition: Recruiting competent customer service agents quickly to meet demand without compromising quality. This can be nearly impossible to accomplish with traditional recruitment methods.
- Culture and Employee Well-being: With the inflow of temporary hires, maintaining a harmonious workplace culture while avoiding agent and managerial burnout is a significant concern.
This playbook covers:
- Effective yet cost-friendly strategies to manage agent need
- Streamlined training and onboarding methodologies
- Creating and preserving a healthy work culture
For each point, we will also share how GigCX providers like ShyftOff can help execute these strategies to support your seasonal operations.
How to Manage Agent Staffing Requirements and Keep Costs Low
- Automate Low-level Interactions: Integrate knowledge bases, chatbots, and other automated systems to help customers find answers to basic queries and FAQs. This can offset the cost of having agents work on low-value tasks, making them available for more complex customer inquiries.
- Leverage Gig-based Agents to Only Pay for Productive Time: Contact centers only pay for the time gig-based agents are logged in and ready to work, down to the 30-minute interval. The benefit of leveraging gig-based agents in tandem with full-time agents is your ability to supplement your workforce with productive agent support. Eliminating the need to pay for agents during the downtime in your busy season while maximizing performance while keeping agent costs low.
How GigCX Providers Can Lower Hiring Costs During Busy Season
GigCX providers like ShyftOff are a transformative solution for busy seasons. With access to thousands of experienced, gig-based customer service agents ready to hit the ground running, your talent pool is immense. These agents prefer this type of work, cherishing the autonomy, flexibility, and variety it offers. This model allows for rapid scaling up (or down) in alignment with demand, reducing hiring time and costs. ShyftOff’s AI-matching technology also ensures that campaigns are matched with the most qualified and experienced agent to work on their campaigns, eliminating the need for expensive recruiters to fulfill hiring requirements.
Efficient Training and Onboarding Strategies for Seasonal Agents
- Modular Training Programs: E-learning is here to stay. Using bite-sized, modular training content that is easy to digest and quick to complete allows agents to start working as soon as possible without compromising the quality of training. These modules can be delivered in various e-learning formats that enable self-paced and accountable learning. In a GigCX model, self-paced e-learning is vital in helping onboard gig-based agents efficiently and timely. Gig-based agents are incentivized to complete onboarding and training promptly and proficiently to gain access to shifts. GigCX enables companies to hire the most engaged agents ready to work on their campaigns.
- Peer-to-Peer Learning: Enable seasoned agents to mentor seasonal hires. This is a no-brainer for most contact centers, so we are listing the best practices you don’t want to leave out of your operations. This fosters camaraderie and ensures that the nuances of the job are well communicated.
- Virtual Onboarding: Where possible, the use of AI simulations or video-based training modules to get remote or temporary agents up to speed quickly and efficiently. Remote agents can be extremely beneficial to your operations while eliminating the overhead costs of supporting these agents in the office.
How GigCX Can Streamline the Onboarding Process for Seasonal Agents
GigCX providers often offer agents already experienced in customer service basics, thus dramatically reducing time to proficiency. GigCX agents can step in and perform effectively with minimal need for adaptation or additional training, making them a highly efficient option. As mentioned above, here’s where ShyftOff’s AI-matching technology is extremely effective. Your campaigns are matched with qualified agents with the necessary experience to serve your specific customer needs—another plus to streamlining your training and onboarding process during busy season.
Maintaining Company Culture and Avoiding Burnout
- Regular Check-ins: Make daily or weekly check-ins a mandatory part of managerial duties for both full-time and seasonal agents. This ensures that all voices are heard, problems are addressed promptly, and morale stays high.
- Reward Programs: Performance-based rewards or gamification techniques to keep engagement and morale at high levels are essential. These can be extremely effective during holidays or busy seasons to motivate your agents. In the case of GigCX, we provide autonomy to choose the work they want to do when they want to do it. This keeps our agents motivated and provides an employee value prop that aligns with their interests.
How GigCX Improves Your Agent and Ops Team Experience During Busy Season
Gig-based workers often bring a unique, vibrant energy to your work environment. They're accustomed to gig work's transient, flexible nature, so there are no misconceptions or false expectations regarding job permanency. This creates a more authentic, positive culture, benefiting the workers and the organization. With gig-based agents, you eliminate the need to let agents go once your busy season concludes.
The challenges of busy seasons are manifold but far from impossible. By strategically addressing each core issue—from cost management to culture preservation—you can transform these peak times from operational headaches into success stories. GigCX providers stand out as a particularly effective resource for balancing all these elements harmoniously. They offer cost-efficiency, quality, and flexibility, all while aligning seamlessly with your existing corporate culture.
By leveraging these strategic tactics and incorporating the GigCX model into your seasonal operations, you're well on your way to turning the challenges of the busy season into your easiest season yet.
For more invaluable insights on enhancing your contact center's efficiency, take a look at these other resources from ShyftOff:
- How to Make Your Busy Season Your Easy Season - 3 Seasonal Staffing Tips
- How to Become a Flexible Contact Center in 30 Days
- 3 Reasons On-Demand Contact Centers Are the New Gold Standard
- How to Outsource Your Contact Center with GigCX
If your contact center is ready to adopt a GigCX model this busy season, schedule time to chat with our partnerships team today.