Managing High Call Volumes: Tips for Efficient Resource Allocation

“It takes months to find a customer…… seconds to lose one.” - Vince Lombard 


When a customer needs help or support for the usage of the product or service, he or she anticipates the remedy of the confusion or problem that he or she is having with the product or service. For the expectation of receiving enough and immediate response, he or she dials the number of the Customer Care Contact Center. The duties and responsibilities of the employees of Customer Care or Call Centers are to provide enough support and assistance to the callers but when the number of calls increases rapidly, call center staff have to experience high call volume, and managing such high call volumes can be too strenuous and full of challenges. It is justified that the frequent calls at contact centers define the trust and compatibility of a customer or client but calling multiple times can be a sign of the customer having troubles that may lead from a genuine customer to a miserable one. 



When the global pandemic COVID-19 hit the whole world, the organizational work environments had a compulsion to change their structure or working criteria. Meeting personally with clients was avoided during the outbreak of the pestilent disease that took thousands of lives and made many people bedridden. This occurrence compelled the marketing departments to rummage for new ideas to reach the prospective audience, and customer service departments faced a billow of customers demanding immediate solutions. When organizations face this issue, call volume can be articulated as the first metric that propels in a rattling way. 



Managing High Call Volume: Tips for Efficient Resource Allocation


High call volume refers to the frequent calls the service center has received than the team can handle. High call volume can be exemplified as one of the greatest opportunities to ameliorate customer satisfaction and increase lifetime customer values consociating organizational brand image and verisimilar profits. High call volume also indicates that the business is booming and customers are willing to grasp the product or service in the form of queries or complaints. Dedicating time to each caller with such an influx of calls can be more challenging to the service providers whose job is to respond to the callers’ grievances and queries when a business or organization receives more inbound calls than it can grapple with. According to one of the blogs related to High Call volumes published on the popular website, many companies have defined high call volumes that are 10% above the expected level for the team.



How do you identify the high call volume in the organization? 


  • When the phone rings multiple times than usual 


  • When the current employees are unable to give replies to all the inbound calls 


  • When customers keep on complaining of longer wait times 


  • When employees experience stressful situations due to a surge of customers 




What can be the reasons for the high call volume in the organization? 


  • Staff turnover or understaffing in the organization 


  • Seasonal rushes, holidays, times during busy periods specific to the industry or sector 


  • Marketing campaigns, new product launches, promotions 


  • Unpredictable events such as pandemics, strikes, etc 


  • Uncertain technical or service interruptions such as issues in ATM, and mobile banking in case of BFIs 


  • Others include network issues, unawareness about the usage of products, etc. 



What can the service team do to seamlessly manage the high call volumes for efficient allocation of resources? 


When the call volume of the organization is high, it is difficult for the team to answer all the inbound calls which leads to an increment in wait times ultimately resulting in an increment in customer satisfaction. When businesses can predict the entry of the surge of high call volumes, they need to set up proactive plans and strategies that may meet customer demand as well as minimize stress and a panicking environment for employees. 


We have gathered some tips through various research articles and blogs for the effective allocation of resources for managing high call volumes during these times. Let's dig in. 


1. Work division and team scheduling according to call volume is a must 


As an organization or a leader, the HR department or supervisor must be aware of the leaves or vacations that the employees may have taken. As mentioned earlier, when there is an understaffing issue, customers have to wait to receive their calls which may turn the most trustable customer into a miserable one. Hence, the supervisors have to take notes of every staff’s schedule and divide the work and the number of active reps that are needed for the work floor and how many calls can each agent handle under the stipulated period. 



2. Providing self-service options and resources 


When the customers are unaware of the usage of the product or having simple issues, they may get ready to dial the number of call centers. The call center may receive the same questions multiple times and their time may be wasted on those calls in exchange for devotion to other important calls that could have been solved easily. In this case, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) play a proactive role in answering the customers’ questions and breaking up call log jams. During the time of product launch, new promotional offers, marketing campaigns, and repetitive questions are faced. The remedy for this issue can be inserting FAQs or short videos on websites, social media pages, and other online platforms. 



3. Investment in additional customer service resources and omnichannel solutions 


High call volumes can be sometimes both irritating for customers and agents too. Live chats, digital channels like email, and social media can act as excellent mediums and wonderful customer service add-ons to organizations. These integrated omnichannel call centers provide customers with the options for single interactions. Also, these channels solve multiple problems at a single time contributing to managing the high call volumes. 



4. Analysis of Historical Trends and Call Center Data


Historical data can be used for the research and analysis of the times or trends at what point call volume begins to spike. Identifying these times will enable the team leaders for proactive preparation to manage high call volumes such as proper work division, usage of omni channels, chat boxes, etc. These outliers can be estimated with certain projections such as marketing campaigns’ time, seasonal promotions, customers’ criticisms or complaints during product launches, etc. 



5. Installation of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system 


When one goes through BFIs’ website or other businesses one can notice an automated response system that gives immediate response to the customers also known as an Interactive Voice Response system that mimics human call center agents and automates the distribution of support cases to the team members. IVR system provides options for the customers and directs them to the agents that can assist the customers. This system helps to minimize the number of calls and transfers. 



What alternatives do contact centers prefer to manage high call volume?


Identification of the main cause generates solutions for the management of high call volumes. It's believed that high calls are correlated to boosted sales or services but excessive volumes of calls negatively impact both customers and call center agents. 


i) If the call center agents provide callback service to the clients by scheduling a specific time rather than holding a call, this step can help to remove the problem of wait times too. 


ii) If there are not enough agents or technology like omnichannel, there is no other option other than expanding the team’s network. 


iii) Onboarding programs for new users can be also effective in minimizing incoming calls as the new users will be aware of using new products and other service channels like emails, and live chats minimizing high call volumes. 


iv) Priority should be given to phone etiquette and advocacy language for a better impression. Regular follow-ups and greeting customers with a gentle voice and formal language of using “WE” can also create positive vibes in customers. 


v) Convincing customers to use the Screenshare/Screenshot tool when they are having troubles lets the agents understand the major issues immediately and solve issues in a jiffy. 


Contact centers are say customer service agents are like the backbones of the organizations. If the customers are not pleased with the services, they can immediately switch to the other businesses which may invite great loss to their business. Call volumes may bring stress to the contact centers and minimizing excessive calls for repetitive questions can be less irritating for both customers and agents as call center agents can deliver their efforts properly and customers get satisfied turning them into a regular and loyal CLIENT.


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