How to Survive Holiday Season — Contact Center Edition

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Whether the holiday season is in full swing or fast approaching for contact centers, there’s one thing for certain–an influx of customer inquiries and calls you might not be entirely prepared for are on the horizon. As we shared in a previous blog post, while the busy season may be hectic, it doesn’t have to be disruptive

New technology advancements and operational models allow contact centers to solve the chaos of the busy season for good. Not only by saving costs but improving customer experience as well. In this quick read, we will share actionable strategies and best practices for contact centers to navigate the holiday season successfully. 

Scale Your Operations with the Right GigCX Partner

During the holiday season, the ability to scale your contact center operations is crucial. It's a time when demand surges, and ensuring customer satisfaction while managing costs becomes a significant challenge. One innovative solution to this challenge is augmenting your existing contact center team with GigCX agents. By leveraging a GigCX partner, you can tap into a pool of expert agents that can be available on-demand while never leaving your customers on hold.

In an earlier blog post, we provided best practices to become a flexible workforce with on-demand agents. Keep in mind that a GigCX workforce is one that you should keep around all year so that you can scale up or down as you need to meet customer demand. It’s the ultimate asset for any BPO or internal contact center. 

Another benefit of a GigCX solution is that you can cut costs that come with seasonal hiring by only paying for agents when you need them. At ShyftOff, you can staff agents down to the 30-minute interval and only need to pay for their productive time. Secondly, agents are capable of completing complex work and are trained specifically to do so

Empower Agents with Continuous Learning

Continuous learning is vital in the contact center industry, especially during the holiday season when agents face diverse challenges and inquiries. Equipping your agents with the knowledge and skills they need to handle tough cases effectively is crucial, especially at a time when customers are calling at an all-time high.

To facilitate continuous learning, consider instituting ongoing training programs that address common holiday-related issues and customer inquiries. Keeping your agents updated on product knowledge and customer service best practices ensures they are well-prepared to handle any situation. Additionally, provide constructive, real-time feedback to your agents. Regular feedback sessions should focus on both strengths and areas for improvement.

As new information or product updates roll in, be sure that your knowledge base or resource library is up to date so that agents can access it for quick reference. This resource helps agents find answers efficiently and reduces their reliance on supervisors, which can further add to the chaos during your busy season operations.

Data-Driven Decision Making

This one is obvious yet often overlooked during the demands of the busy season. Data analytics can be a powerful tool during the holiday season. By closely monitoring and analyzing call data, customer feedback, and performance metrics, you can identify trends and areas for improvement, leading to more effective operations.

One crucial aspect of data-driven decision-making is identifying common pain points or issues in customer interactions to improve your continuous training and optimize your agent feedback.

Monitoring your historical data and comparing it to the data of your current busy season operations can also save you money by preventing overstaffing. You can also prevent understaffing, which could impact your bottom line with unhappy customers or lost service. 

Plan for Contingencies

While we all hope for smooth operations during the holiday season, it's essential to have contingency plans in place for unforeseen challenges, such as technology glitches or natural disasters. ShyftOff’s GigCX model has built-in contingency with access to hundreds of reps across the United States.

To prepare for contingencies, ensure redundancy in critical systems to minimize downtime in case of technical failures. Back-up systems and processes can be a lifesaver during critical moments. Establish clear communication protocols for emergencies and ensure all staff members are familiar with these protocols. Always have a plan to route calls to another center or have additional agents at the ready, again, a great way to accomplish this is by utilizing GigCX.

The busy season is a great opportunity to enable remote work options for agents to work flexible schedules or continue providing support in the event of office closures. This flexibility ensures that your contact center can operate smoothly, regardless of external circumstances.

Successfully navigating the holiday season doesn’t have to be hard work if you combine smart strategies with a commitment to delivering exceptional customer service. As with anything, with better planning comes better preparation. The busy season is your chance to truly wow your customers with service; these tips should help you along the way.

For more insights on how GigCX is designed for complex work, you might be interested in the following resources from our blog: 

Interested in augmenting your contact center operations with GigCX?
Contact our team to get started.

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