How to Prepare your Contact Centers for the Holiday Season: Part One

Posted by Linda Caudle

12/13/13 9:03 AM

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Get ready, get set...the holidays are nearly here, and with them come a flood of calls to your contact centers. Put the proper coaching, training, and tools in place now so agents will be able to handle any situation thrown their way.

Staff up: Put the right people in place to handle peak season demands. Start hiring early and provide the right coaching and training to give new and temporary agents the tools and knowledge they will need to serve the upcoming influx of customer requests.

Rehearse: Practice contact center interactions regarding new products and services that will be available for the holidays to ensure agents have all the information they need to fulfill the product and answer customer questions. Consider making holiday products and catalogs available to limited populations or areas in advance so you can troubleshoot issues likely to arise during the rush.

Upgrade and enhance: Review contact center software, systems, and desktop to see if additional improvements, upgrades, or technologies can help ease the holiday season. Ensure agents have everything they need at their fingertips to serve customers efficiently and productively.

Add channels: Decrease the telephone backlog by having multiple ways customers can reach an agent, particularly with simple requests. Consider adding email, live Web chat, or text messaging to your contact center menu, if you haven’t already.

Beef up the company website: According to Forrester, 72 percent of customers prefer using a company website to solve their own issues. Make answers to commonly asked questions, product details, shipping and return policies, and other information available on your company website. This will reduce the number of customers calling in to the contact center with easily answered questions, opening the lines of communication for customers who need more extensive assistance.

The contact center can handle the holiday season with grace under pressure with the right preparation. Stay tuned for part two of this series for more on how to prepare your contact center for the holidays!

Topics: contact centers

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