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11 Useful Tips For Contact Centers To Handle Holiday Season

  • Akshay
  • 14 November 2023

https://www.c-zentrix.com/blog/tips-contact-center-holiday-season

Contact Centers Tips To Handle Holiday Season

From Cyber Monday through Christmas to New Year's Day, your customers have marked these dates on their calendars for weeks or months. And in just a few weeks, they will begin their yearly shopping extravaganza. Long wish lists have been created, and Christmas shopping or Diwali shopping has already started. Perhaps you already have your eye on one or two items.

Furthermore, since the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly influenced consumer behavior, many individuals throughout the globe now choose to purchase online during the Christmas season. While this is a significant benefit for all e-commerce enterprises planning their sales efforts, it also means that you must have the most acceptable Contact Center Software strategy in place to deal with the increase in consumer call traffic.


11 Useful Tips For Contact Center Solutions To Handle Holiday Season

1. Get to know your consumer

2. Call-back queue

3. Prepare contact center employees for the Holiday season

4. Quality assurance in a cloud contact center

5. Effective IVR for intelligent call routing

6. Call deflection and digital self-service

7. Understand the Different Types of Inquiries to Expect

8. Reduce the Temperature

9. Be Transparent and Show Your Authenticity

10. Make Policy Exceptions When Necessary

11. Don't Let Angry Customers' Negative Energy Take Over

To succeed, your whole customer service staff, from team leaders to agents, must understand their vital role. Service contracts should be seen as a chance to cultivate customer loyalty rather than as a line of defense against furious consumer demands.

'Brand heroes' with the expertise and willingness to address current problems are game changers. Without them, you risk permanently losing to furious clients. Don't let unhappy clients walk away; instead, be prepared to address them with empathy and devotion in every service engagement. It's crucial during Christmas and Holdays when emotions are running high:

1. Get to know your consumer

Cloud Contact Center Solutions, and robust customer relationship management (CRM) system, are critical during Christmas and Holdiay season.

You may immediately make sense of the information at your disposal by combining your customer data with a CRM. You may provide personalized goods and services to your customers after you have a deeper understanding of them.

You can also predict their consumption trends over the Christmas season. This will help your contact center agents to personalize the interactions and get prepared to address the most likely issues that are reported. A mere 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profits.

2. Call-back queue

Contact Centers are generally overburdened during the holiday season, and wait times increase. Callers may hang up in frustration, and you may lose an excellent promoter.

In such cases, contact center solutions such as queue call-back might come in handy. Configure a call-back prompt in the interactive voice response (IVR) system. Customers may choose to be called back instead of waiting for an agent by selecting the call-back option.

Giving clients the option of arranging a call-back saves their time and reduces abandoned calls, dissatisfied customers, and excessive wait times. They need not wait anymore and agents can respond to consumer inquiries whenever available, resulting in more efficient agent scheduling. This results in happier consumers and staff. Both the customer and the contact center staff benefit from this arrangement.

3. Prepare contact center employees for the Holiday season

Aside from preparing for the holiday rush, contact center personnel must be well-versed in the seasonal specials and schemes you are running.

Furthermore, since many calls may be about refunds, contact center personnel must be trained to handle such inquiries. In this sense, it is better to take a customer-first, no-questions-asked attitude wherever feasible. Maintain a reasonable return policy and ensure that all agents know it.

4. Quality assurance in a cloud contact center solution

While you most certainly evaluate your daily calls for quality, you must pay special attention during peak season.

A high-quality call recording system is just what your contact center needs! Call Center Software allows you to view and analyze recorded conversations from anywhere, at any time. This, in turn, will enable you to determine whether or not your holiday goals have been met.

You can also rapidly detect and correct problem areas. Aside from measurements such as call waiting times, first, call resolution rate, and call handling time, voice analytics is an essential tool for virtual contact centers. Live call analytics software like C-Zentrix Hotword scans for specific terms like "cancel" or intent like discontinuation of service and prompts the contact center representative to give a discount to keep the client. This is very useful in situations when there is a large number of calls coming in. This AI-based system can flag such calls to a supervisor so that she can look into the call and if required barge into such calls to bail out the situation.

5. Effective IVR for intelligent call routing

An effective IVR System is always a good idea, but it is beneficial over the holidays. It enables you to quickly route calls to the proper employee and provide better customer service.

Many inquiries (for example, the status of your customer's purchase) may often be addressed using IVR, freeing up contact center personnel to handle more sophisticated queries. Because wait times are often longer over the holidays, using on-hold bespoke messaging to advertise a seasonal sale or special offer is a fantastic idea. Customers in queue can be informed of the flash sale offers!

6. Call deflection and digital self-service

When your contact center is facing a very high call volume you can provide a prompt on your IVR Calling System for callers to opt for digital channels like messaging apps (WhatsApp or Telegram) or self-service options like Visual IVR or Chatbots. This will take off the unprecedented load from the call queue and provide convenience to the customers instead of making them wait in the queue.

C-Zentrix offers a full suite of digital channels that are used by brands for tiding the contact center surge and smoothing the demand curve.

7. Understand the Different Types of Inquiries to Expect

The agents on your customer support team must be prepared for the frequent inquiries they will likely see on a Black Friday or Christmas, and they must be knowledgeable about goods, policies, promotions, and technology.

If the query or problem is well known, it may be quickly answered, allowing an agent to move on to other questions while guaranteeing that more clients are happy in a short amount of time. Customers have their questions answered, and your business reaps the advantages of satisfied clients without sacrificing productivity.

Communication with other teams is also essential during the hectic holiday season. Ensure that you get updates from marketing, operations, website development, and other internal departments so that your agents are not caught off guard. Take the real-time client feedback acquired by your customer care staff and share it with the appropriate teams. What your consumers say, for example, might lead to a more convenient checkout procedure that turns out to be more trustworthy, and frictionless and leads to lesser cart abandon. However, the web development team would only be aware of this based on comments from the customer support team.

When every team in your company collaborates to share insights, everyone benefits from increased efficiency for the business and customers.

8. Reduce the Temperature

When clients are treated with arrogant, insensitive, or tone-deaf comments, their frustration might rise to wrath. Instead, agents should do what any excellent brand representative would do:

  • Listen carefully to the consumer.
  • Ask questions to understand the problem better.
  • Concentrate on resolving the issue in a way that fulfills their expectations.

Agents must take control of the discussion early on and drive the service encounter in the correct direction by addressing the client's issue as a shared adversary, using only positive language, and providing a solution optimized for both the consumer and the brand.

Make soft skills a priority during onboarding and refresher training. Picture yourself as an anxious shopper on the hunt for holiday gifts this year. To enhance agents' confidence, include a QA scorecard and many simulated service encounters in your Contact Center Software training program. Consider sharing anecdotes of hilariously terrible customer service experiences of other firms to lighten the tone and get agents thinking about and discussing how these questions should have been handled.

9. Be Transparent and Show Your Authenticity

Angry consumers demand honesty over Christmas Holidays and beyond, even if the immediate response is "I don't know." Customers would prefer waiting a few minutes for accurate information rather than being deceived or moved quickly. If agents need to investigate an issue or solution, they should not be afraid to ask the client to give them a minute.

Make it simple for agents to find the people and resources they need to study client histories, goods, policies, and promotions. Reduce your attention on average handling time and concentrate on first call resolution (FCR), which is linked virtually to all other KPIs.

10. Make Policy Exceptions When Necessary

Contact Center Agents should not be too quick to reject requests that violate the customer support team's guidelines when they hear from VIP-level clients or those who've had a bad experience. Treating these clients like everyone else, your business risks losing reputation and money, particularly as the Christmas season approaches.

Make it clear to agents that they can make exceptions in some circumstances, such as based on a customer's history with the brand or the specific nature of the complaint.

Keep escalations to a minimum by explicitly clarifying when policy exceptions might be allowed, what resolutions could look like, and the procedure agents should follow. It will keep disgruntled clients believing that your company did little to aid them, winning their confidence and loyalty.

11. Don't Let Angry Customers' Negative Energy Take Over

The stress of an emotionally charged interaction wears out your customer support crew emotionally. After all, the Christmas season is meant to be a happy time. Morale declines when actors do not have the time, space, and support they need to heal. And the effect on performance and service results may be significant and long-lasting, even after Christmas.

Allow contact center agents to take pauses and regroup after arduous interactions. During 1:1s and micro-coaching sessions, provide support and encouragement to aid agents' mental health, and assist agents in better preparing for these calls in the future.

Give high fives for positive client feedback as soon as possible and throughout the day to assist employees in recovering entirely and continuing to work at their best. Also, praise and acknowledge some of your agents for providing exceptional service to the entire team and business.

Conclusion

The holidays are near, which means your contact center is likely to encounter a surge in incoming calls, messages, form submissions, and chats from clients over the next several months. Simultaneously, your sales and service personnel may be overburdened due to time-off requests, decreased operational hours, and seasonal sickness. Fear not: our complete contact center workflow solutions can assist you in handling all of these difficulties, keeping customers happy, and navigating the holidays quickly.

Read the tips above to learn how to satisfy customers' demands effectively and wants over the holidays and C-Zentrix battle-tested products can be your reliable partner during rush hours.

 



Author Bio:  Akshay



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