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Business Tips

Handling High Volume Calls the Right Way – Pro Tips

February 27, 2021
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Call centers are busy promotional, reference, or issue solving powerhouses where every second of downtime at the peak calling hour can eventually cost a whole company new customers and huge chunks of income. Especially in the wake of the global pandemic which, from time to time, obliges everyone to stay bound to their homes and handle most daily things remotely. 

Call and contact centers (as well as companies with such departments) that want to stay afloat these days seek ways of handling high volume caller situations more efficiently without operating at a loss. Let us help you figure out how to handle high call volume with a bunch of insights and pro tips and recommend what to do if you still need more workflow optimization.

Why Bother with High Volume Calls Situations?

According to Microsoft’s report on the current state of global customer service, 58% of customers prefer to turn to companies with high-quality hotline support while 90% of customers find it crucial that their feedback is heard out by the company. 

To grant the most reliable contact center services and seamlessly deal with high call volume, you should focus on thorough preparation for stress load situations. This should involve some preliminary research and “clearing the coast” to really understand what types of situations your contact center staff might have to handle.

Calling rush hours are caused by various factors - season, product or brand specifics, product line defects or corporate force majeure situations, etc. But there are universal ways to prepare for peak load days, which we’d like to share.

The Importance of Preparation for Inbound Calls

Inbound calls service providers in the fields of travel, transportation, and logistics experience extreme spikes in the number of requests especially frequently. Due to high call volume, employees easily get lost and confused with the intense stream of incoming information, failing to process each and every request without complications and downtime. 

The major pro tip is to face challenges fully armed. In order to avoid costly unexpected performance gaps, start discussing ways to manage high call volume in the initial stages of collaboration or project. Best yet, at the deal-making stage. Communication with the client and contact department must also be timely adjusted. The team of operators mustn’t be thrown into the workflow as it is. 

A really helpful solution would be to clarify with the client the following questions related to possible abnormal load situations:

  • What volume of inbound calls is considered normal?
  • What risks/expenses peak loads result in for the client?
  • What percentage of missed calls isn’t critical?
  • How does the peak load affect software/hardware performance?
  • Can a more brief high call volume message script be used in peak situations and can the callers be redirected to other lines?
  • Is a callback option acceptable?

Settling all these questions in advance, you will show your professional intentions to the client and do great issue-preventing prep work at the same time. 

And if there is no option to negotiate all the specifics with the client, prepare internally. Namely, figure out what volumes of inbound and outbound information can be handled by your servers and communication channels?

Pro Tips for Acing High Volume Callers

Here are some essential pro tips that we came up with based on our own experience of optimizing contact center performance.

Encourage staff regularly

Organize a brief meetup at the start of every other workday to encourage your workers and remind them about the importance of staying especially confident and balanced when handling escalated calls.

Compose a Solution Matrix

To enable operators to receive and process more calls, you can outline the scheme of an average call time reduction. Such a Solution Matrix should define how operators must redirect calls to senior operators or supervisors. It may also include links and references to trusted info sources and knowledge bases that should help employees better cope with challenging requests. 

Introduce a Solution Matrix

The prepared Solution Matrix should be presented to and reviewed by team leads, after which senior agents and supervisors should present it to the staff and get workers’ feedback. The finalized Solution Matrix can be used during the first high volume phone calls instances. Such a matrix can be edited and optimized over time based on the metrics you see

Distribute leading roles

It’s good if you have two team leads at your disposal. Thus, you can assign one specialist to work directly with operators in their environment - consult them, motivate, and keep in line with the major tasks and goals. Another team lead can handle real-time performance monitoring and manage smart tasks (if there are any).

Monitor performance in real time

A project team lead can monitor the stream of incoming high volume callers via online tools and prevent call processing downtime. Post-processing of requests must be as fast as possible and team leads can thus keep operators updated on how they are doing and how much time they spend managing a request.

Balance out worker breaks

During peak loads, a high call volume call center should take on its most productive form. To achieve this, consider reducing the time of employee breaks based on the calling intensity rates. Notify everybody about such schedule customizations beforehand and make sure to reward high-performance workers that were grinding in truly stressful situations.

Bottom Line

Time is money indeed, and you should employ all methods you can to optimize the time-efficiency of your high volume call center. This allows to decently tackle performance challenges and prevent costly business downtime.

We hope that this article helps you get a good grip on how to handle escalated calls. Otherwise, contact specialists at Simply Contact for further consultation and outsourced call center project discussions.

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