No matter how difficult or fruitless they may seem, customer calls are a necessary part of the service industry. Many businesses approach customer calls with a script, which is a good place to start. Unfortunately, however, scripts may not always be enough to handle those customers with decidedly strong opinions. While it’s difficult to predict how every customer is going to act on the phone, business owners and managers can at least prepare for the times when call volume starts to jump.
Your company is bound to encounter a volume spike at your call center at some point, but the question is, do your employees know how to handle it? One customer may need their burst pipe fixed, and another couple of customers need to know whether or not they even need your services. Meanwhile, the other lines are ringing off the hook. If your employees are scrambling just to answer the phone during situations like this, it’s time for a wake-up call. We’ve gathered a few simple strategies that will make it easier for your employees to keep things under control when everyone seems to be calling all at once.
Forecast future traffic
Businesses looking to more effectively deal with increased call volumes should first try to forecast when many customers might call the company at the same time, according to Entrepreneur. Of course, business owners aren’t psychic, and they don’t need to be to know when their business might receive more calls than usual.
Looking at past service cycles will provide insight into periods during which your company saw a spike in calls. With this information, you can plan ahead for those periods and staff accordingly. Additionally, any time you debut new offerings for customers, you should assume more people will call in with questions or will want to take advantage of the opportunity.
Divert potential callers elsewhere
If you don't have the availability or recruitment resources to bulk up your staff for high-volume call periods, you may need to give customers alternative options. One great method for quick and efficient communication is an online form. According to the Houston Chronicle, forms are a great way to help people who have questions or concerns. This way, customers can get in touch with you even when the phone lines are busy.
Something to always keep in mind when taking submissions via calls or online forms is that customer representatives need to be diligent about monitoring and responding to inquiries. Good customer service should be a fundamental part of any service company!
Come prepared with the data
Data management practices have a direct effect on customer service. This is especially important when call volumes rise because employees who have access to reliable information can quickly manage callers and generally offer better answer. Fast and accurate responses also reduce the likelihood of immediate follow-ups from customers.
Businesses that want to incorporate a more efficient data management system should adopt web-based tools that make it easy to view company and customer data and to give tailored answers, according to Louis Columbus, Forbes contributor and enterprise technology expert. A sign that may indicate your company needs a better system is if your employees are frantically shuffling through papers during their calls.
After incorporating the above strategies, you and your employees should feel confident and ready to take on the next wave of calls. Learn more about how Service Fusion’s management software technology can make it easier to keep track of your company and customer data here.