Managing inbound call peaks: how to avoid overload?

Call peaks can be triggered by predictable events (such as a product launch) or come out of nowhere, testing the resilience of your contact centre. Call peaks aren’t just a sudden rise in decibels in your workspace; they can have an impact far beyond the call centre. That’s why intelligently managing these crucial moments is an art we at ProContact have perfected over the years. In this article, we’ll explore not only the complexities of these inbound call peaks, but more importantly how to anticipate and manage them so as to avoid overwhelm and maintain customer satisfaction.

What causes incoming call peaks?

Calls sometimes come in suddenly. Understanding the reasons for these call peaks is sometimes a matter of business analysis.This can be influenced by a variety of factors, some predictable, others as changeable as an unexpected situation.

Among the most common causes of call peaks are :

  • successful marketing campaigns ;
  • product launches ;
  • media incidents ;
  • or simply the daily rush hour.

Each of these elements can trigger a wave of calls, turning your contact centre into a maddening round of ringing.

For example, imagine an online retailer unveiling a revolutionary product. Customers flood the call centre with questions, orders and enthusiasm. It’s the kind of situation every company wants, but one that can quickly turn into chaos if not managed properly.

The impact of call peaks on the company

Customer service quality can fluctuate suddenly. Waiting times can lengthen, customer frustration rises, and the much-appreciated harmony can quickly turn to disharmony.

On the productivity front, surges of calls can be both beneficial and detrimental. If properly managed, these intense moments can propel your team to new heights of performance. However, poor management can turn this period into an operational nightmare, negatively impacting your reputation.

Strategies for managing inbound call peaks

The key to success lies in careful planning, understanding customer needs, and above all, anticipating peak engagement moments.

Using history data

When it comes to managing inbound call peaks, data from history plays a crucial role in spotting trends, anticipating moments of high activity, and preparing your team to cope with increasing demand.

At ProContact, we’ve developed the ability to interpret these activity trends, adjusting our team accordingly and allocating resources where they’re needed most, transforming potential chaos into fluid coordination.

Providing temporary additional resources

Imagine having a back-up when the pressure is on. When it comes to managing peaks in inbound calls, this means temporarily assigning extra staff, whether by reinforcing the in-house team or calling in external reinforcements.

The subtle addition of elements, in this case extra agents, enables service quality to be maintained even during periods of high demand. It’s like having staff ready to step in when the rush increases, ensuring that every call is treated with the same level of attention.

Using tools and technologies for more precise results

Call management tools enable you to run your entire contact centre with precision. Intelligent routing systems ensure that every call finds its way to the right agent, optimising handling time and minimising waiting times.

In customer service, certain questions are repeated during call peaks. Automated responses address these recurring queries quickly and efficiently, leaving your agents time to focus on more complex issues and delivering a smooth customer experience even during the busiest periods.

Continuous staff training and flexibility

There’s no denying that even the most advanced technology can’t compete with the expertise and adaptability of your team. That’s why providing your team with ongoing training is essential to achieving operational excellence. Think of training as the constant refinement of skills needed to cope with intense moments. Whether it’s improving communication skills, mastering new technological tools, or developing resilience in the face of stress, every training session is a note added to the score of excellence. Well-trained contact centre agents adapt with agility to a variety of stressful situations, delivering a quality customer experience even at the most delicate moments.

Examples of necessary skills for customer service professionals 

Think of these skills as the instruments of your customer service orchestra. Patience, problem-solving, empathy and mastery of technological tools become the tools of choice for creating seamless harmony. Each skill contributes to the whole, ensuring exceptional performance even when the pressure is on.

Team flexibility: juggling multiple roles

When it comes to managing call peaks, team flexibility is key to responding effectively to fluctuations in call volume. Fostering flexibility requires a proactive approach. Encouraging versatility through cross-training, where each team member can take on several roles, ensures smooth adaptability. It’s like having dancers who can move from a waltz to a tango without missing a step.

Outsource your inbound calls to professionals

Sometimes, even with impeccable in-house planning, unforeseen challenges can emerge. That’s when outsourcing becomes an essential ally. Specialised partners can step in and bring their know-how and agility to meet unexpected demands without disrupting the harmony of your in-house team. By combining ongoing training and team flexibility, we create a symphony of efficiency, turning every call into a remarkable performance.

Contact us!

At ProContact, we work closely with you to include this solution in your business strategy. We can offer an unprecedented adaptation of your way of working thanks to the arrival of resources located elsewhere, without losing time, money or quality.

ProContact is more than a contact centre. Thanks to trained, qualified, hand-picked and multilingual agents, we enable the companies that choose us to gain credibility and above all to satisfy their customers, regardless of the situation and in complete transparency.

Outsourcing has become a tangible and concrete business strategy for the development of the company. To find out more about our services, for a quality partnership, click on our contact form, send us an e-mail or call us on (+33) 1 84 76 24 03.

 

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