COVID-19: Call center agents at home?
Jan 22 2021

Increase in call volume: adaptation strategies for call centers

2020 has changed all of our digital and live interactions, and voice services have been affected as well. As our opportunities for face-to-face communication are limited, phone conversations are becoming more important for customers and companies alike. The growing demand leads to an increase in call volume, and call centers need to be prepared to take on new clients and projects to stay relevant as a business.

An optimization strategy will help cope with the coming workload while maintaining performance efficiency. Call centers can utilize the best available software to keep up with the changing environment without expanding staff or allocating extra budget. Here are four steps for adapting to traffic increases in the post-pandemic world.

Forecast to be prepared

The growing demand for call center services during 2020 was harder to forecast than seasonal spikes in traffic that happen each year. Based on your industry and service type, you should always be prepared for peaks and valleys in traffic related to the holidays and internal marketing activities. Manage resources and budget to match the predicted variations based on your data from previous years.

Forecasting may seem like a simple strategy, but advanced call center software allows you to really dig deep into your past campaigns and monthly call patterns. Use historical reporting features to analyze trends over time such as average call duration, ASR, call arrival times, queue abandonment rates, and other key metrics depending on your call center profile.

Fine-tune your call center settings

Once you have the analytics from previous campaigns lined up, you can rethink your internal workflows and apply new insights to level out temporary traffic spikes. For example, inbound call centers will find queues facing the most pressure. Queues are becoming a bottleneck for customers tired of waiting on hold. Look into different strategies of automatic call distribution to minimize in-queue abandons. Divide the call load evenly to decrease agent idle time and make sure more calls are being handled at any given moment.

Introduce skill-based routing to optimize post-queue management and resolve more cases with the same amount of agents. Incoming calls will be matched to the most suitable agents, depending on the caller’s identity or choices made in the IVR. This strategy leads to higher first call resolution and customer satisfaction rates.

Get rid of as much manual work as you can

Daily routine automation can help you manage a larger call volume with the same resources. Without software, your agents spend more time on manual work than on actual calls. To decrease the pre- and after-call work time, enable CRM integration to update client records with every action taken by the agent. Let your agents focus their time and energy on higher-value interactions while you allocate the extra hours to serve more customers.

Look into having remote agents as backup

If you apply all of the techniques mentioned above to your operations, you will be able to take on a larger workload with the current staff count. However, these expansion capabilities are not endless. In cases of continuous growth or unprecedented traffic spikes, adding remote team members is an effective and cost-saving strategy.

Modern software gives you flexibility as it does not require agents to have any specific hardware settings. Your call center can be securely accessed from anywhere in the world with a personal computer and a reliable internet connection. For agents working remotely and using domestic providers, network conditions may not always be stable enough to ensure acceptable voice call quality. To prevent the negative impact of connectivity issues on customer experience, built-in network status notifications may be enabled in the agent’s interface.

Real-time monitoring will help you maintain transparency in agent performance. Supervisors can continuously track agent statuses and call metrics, use whisper or three-way conferencing for training or assistance.

Advanced call center software can help you adapt to workload increases and bring in more revenue. Voiso offers real-time monitoring, historical reporting, and a comprehensive security approach to help you with forecasting and agent management. Voiso’s pricing model is suited for any temporary workforce changes as you pay only for the active user logins each month. 

Try out all of the strategies mentioned above during a free 14-day trial with Voiso.