7 Proven Ways Retailers Can Deal with High Call Volume

Retailers Can Deal with High Call VolumeWith the Onset of the Pandemic, a new business environment is developed under the pressure of thriving through the competitive market structure. As a result, businesses have to adopt new ways to reach the audiences facing acquisition challenges.

High Call volume soars through the roof when a business experiences a surge in Customer inquiries. This is especially true in the retail sector during the peak season. When the holiday shopping season comes to full swing, the retail businesses experience a huge spike in the number of calls from its customers and prospects for inquiry, complaint, return and refund requests.  In such a time, answering all these calls in a timely and efficient manner becomes quite a challenge.  On top of that, when high in call volumes, customer satisfaction minimizes or drops with the rise in waiting time. Considered the pandemic, it becomes easier to understand the challenges that retail call center teams are battling through.

To tackles this high call volume, a retail call center should be well-equipped in advance.

Being aware that a surge is on its way makes it a bit easier to manage your retail business. But, when unaware of the unexpected wave, it becomes challenging to meet the customers’ demands. Hence, having a proactive plan helps your retail call center team prepare for these instances in handling unanticipated surges.

Retailers can deal with high call volume with these proven Tips and Tricks:

1. The team undertaking various tasks in their arena must be scheduled accordingly.

Managing the team’s working schedule is the first and foremost step in managing a surge. Make sure that there are sufficiently assigned retail call center agents who are ready to manage the high-volume calls. Make sure to take note of the team members, counting their vacations and sick leaves so that additional backup can be provided during the time. To increase productivity and not overwhelm the team, it is essential to record the active reps that must be present on the floor and their productivity outcome within the given period.

2. Consider Adding Customer Service Channels across platforms, and providing self-service resources

Adhering to the mention, there are countless numbers of same repeated questions coming in a queue that has to be answered. There can be many reasons for it, be it any promotional offer, a new product launch, or a service update.

Self Service Resources are the smart way out to the field in such circumstances. Knowledge-based self-services that deflect common questions that are easily answerable and less time consuming. Adding a knowledge base to your website gives customers a support resource to review before reaching out to your team. The more informative and extensive the resource is, the fewer questions will arise for the reps. This, in turn, helps your reps to answer complex questions, making it easy for the customers.

3. Well-analyzing the data provided by the associated call center

Starting to look out at the historical data provided over the past few years will help analyze the instances where the spike begins. The specific time where any product was launched pertaining some glitches in releasing it, or any PR mistake made voicing criticisms of the customers.

Having a fair idea of these causes will help you spot the scenarios ahead of time that may lead to an eventual surge. The faster your response is, the better prepared your team will be. Once the outliners have been successfully identified, the better will become to limit the surge in the high call volume.

4. The team’s workflow must be automated to save resourceful minutes

In order to increase the efficacy and productivity of your team, there are several automation tools in usage that can help save time throughout the entire day. Like ticketing system or pre-written emails specific to some common concern saves time from writing and replying to every email message sent. By default, saved messages with checked errors will avoid many checkpoints before replying back to any concern from the customers.

5. Installing Interactive Voice Response System (IVR) and offering a Call Back Service

Whenever a call gets initiated to your support line from your customers, it is expected to receive an immediate response rather than keeping them on hold just after they have called. This ideally means the call is connected to a single agent, but this necessarily doesn’t have to be a human representative whom they are speaking to.

The IVR, or Interactive Voice Response can help mimic the human voice and keep the customers engaged with some pre-recorded messages that will glide through their respective concerns to different agents, easing the process of interaction. This reduces both the number of calls that agents have to answer and the number of transfers they’ll have to initiate while on call.

Retail call centers offering a call back request system makes it easier to reduce the number of calls to be answered. However, the customers at times get annoyed and lose patience to be on hold for a long time. The reps become overburdened in receiving many calls altogether, which eventually leads to an ineffective or unsatisfiable answer if the representative faces hassle in answering many calls at a single time.

The Call-back option will help align the time slot to the customers in line, offering a call-back service when call volume is high. Not only does this create a better customer experience, but it also reduces the number of calls coming into your business at one time.

6. Outsourcing your Call Center Services

Suppose you are experiencing high volumes in calling and struggling to meet the customers’ demand, or hire new reps or adopt new technology. In that case, the easiest and convenient way out is to outsource your call center to trustworthy ones.

Keeping in mind the necessity and security you are bestowing upon; the call centers must be thoroughly checked as they are not accustomed to the customers you have been dealing with over the years. Thus, be sure to vet the third-party call center thoroughly before you make any significant changes to your customer service strategy.

7. Encouraging customers to switch to Chat when things are busy

An equally valuable option is switching to chat when calls are high in number. The gravitation towards it is high for the customers expecting immediate response service.  The live chat helps easing the process and minimizes calls to attend.

Providing default options for the complaints makes it easier for the customers to choose according to their grievances and get a satisfactory resolution.

Therefore, by meeting the challenge of high call volume with proven, data-driven tactics, retail businesses can set themselves up to manage the expected—and the unexpected.