There’s nothing like the sound of a ringing telephone to signify success. Since every incoming call represents a potential new opportunity, high call volume can be incredibly exciting. Once the excitement begins to wear off, though, business owners must come to terms with a new challenge: meeting and delivering on the expectations of each and every caller. Learning how to handle high call volumes can be trying, but with a few simple strategies, you and your team can rise to the occasion.
Understand the Causes of High Call Volume
In order to develop a plan of action for handling high call volume, it helps first to understand the reasons for the increase in incoming calls. Seasonal spikes occur frequently for many different types of businesses. Landscapers get busy in the summer. Healthcare facilities get more calls during flu season. You get the idea. New marketing campaigns can also cause high volume phone calls. If you’ve recently promoted a new product or discount, it’s natural to see an increase in the number of interested callers. These spikes are somewhat predictable.
There are also unpredictable call spikes driven by outside forces. A hurricane can send people running to dial the number of a disaster restoration company. Winter storms and summer heat waves may leave people scrambling to call an HVAC expert.
Internal issues can cause call volume to spike too. Insufficient staff, poorly trained agents, service outages, and website malfunctions can all lead to an increase in callers. Customers may be dialing in to complain, to solicit help, or check the status of an order.
Before you begin addressing how to handle high call volumes, it’s a good idea to identify the main sources contributing to the spike.
Understanding why your business is experiencing high call volume is just the beginning. To make real, meaningful change, you’ve got to make targeted adjustments to your call handling resources. For instance, if you’re seeing an influx of calls after five on weeknights, you might want to hire additional employees to work the night shift answering phones. Reassigning staff during peak hours can also help.
Before you hire new employees or schedule existing team members for new shifts, it’s important to understand how such changes in your staffing can impact other parts of your business. If you’re pulling your entire team away from their to-do lists to tackle high call volume, you’ll no doubt see a decrease in productivity. The customer experience is incredibly important, but if you’re trying to restructure resources instead of increasing them, you may just be kicking the can down the road – and making life harder for everyone involved.
One of the best ways to increase resources without ballooning your budget or torpedoing your team’s productivity is to work with a professional call center service.
Even the best employees can feel overwhelmed by high call volume. If they’ve never had any training on how to be efficient on the phone, their lack of experience and training may be contributing to long hold times. Unless they’ve worked for an overflow answering service before, odds are low that staff have any call handling training at all. Management often assumes that answering phone calls is intuitive and doesn’t require training. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
When you’re managing high call volume, staff must work through calls as quickly and completely as possible. Real skill is required to identify a caller’s needs without getting pulled into meandering conversation. Prioritizing efficiency while crafting the ultimate customer experience is an art, and not everyone will develop the required skills overnight. By investing in staff development, you can train employees to handle calls efficiently and effectively.
In some cases, high call volume can start costing your business real money. Long wait times can lead to serious frustration on the part of your customers. It might even cause them to hang up and dial your competition instead. When in doubt, it’s best to turn to the experts for assistance. High volume call center services can be a real lifesaver, offering cost-effective methods for delivering quality customer service.
A high call volume call center has the manpower and technology necessary to handle even the largest burst of incoming calls. Since highly-trained agents work from customized call scripts, your customers may never even realize they’re speaking with a third-party. A virtual answering service allows businesses to keep the lines of communication open even after the staff has headed home for the day. Bilingual agents ensure clear, consistent conversation with callers of all backgrounds.
Try a Live Answering Service Now
Ringing phones signify success, but without a clear plan of action for managing high call volume, that success can be fleeting. With a high call volume call center at your side, you can meet this challenge head on without ever sacrificing your commitment to the customer experience.
You can try our live answering service free for seven days thanks to our trial offer. Once signed up, you’ll be treated to all the benefits of our services for an entire week, with zero commitment required. See how effective a partnership with MAP Communications could be – sign up now!
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