How to Survive National Telephone Tuesday

call centerYou won’t find National Telephone Tuesday on any calendars. Not a national holiday nor a cause for social media discourse, the annual surge of incoming calls is notorious for those working in the service industry. For most people, though, it’s simply the Tuesday after Labor Day. Some are shocked to discover that this day marks not only the unofficial end of summer, but the time when companies receive the most telephone calls from customers. 

It’s not immediately clear why this day beats out more infamous shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the impact is clear: companies receive 30 to 50 percent more calls on the Tuesday after Labor Day. With school starting back up and the holidays just around the corner, National Telephone Tuesday is cause for many people to take action and get their lives on track. Whether you need to schedule a dental appointment, return items you ordered online, or lodge a complaint about a service you received, it makes sense to do so after a long weekend of relaxation. 

National Telephone Tuesday will soon be upon us, and without preparation, the day can throw off even the most seasoned customer service professionals. Use these tips to minimize stress and maximize productivity:

Get Into the Mindset of Your Callers

Empathy is critical to providing effective customer service. Without it, your callers are the sonic equivalent of mosquitos, interrupting your day and distracting you from more important tasks. While it’s natural to feel some anxiety about the sheer volume of calls National Telephone Tuesday generates, it’s important not to fixate on the potential for stress. Instead, focus your attention and energy toward the experience of each caller.

Good customer service requires you to get into the minds of your callers, so consider the greater context of the conversation when picking up the phone. Most people aren’t aware of National Telephone Tuesday and have no idea that they’re one of thousands – if not millions – of people calling for assistance that day. Many are simply eager to cross tasks off of their to-do lists. By relating to your callers on a human level, you’ll be able to provide better service and maintain your own sanity in spite of high call volume. 

Take Frequent Breaks

While empathy is certainly required for excellent customer service, it’s important to remember that it’s a relatively finite resource. Taking call after call can be exhausting, and empathy fatigue is all too real. That’s why it’s so important to take frequent breaks on National Telephone Tuesday. Rather than going in with an all-or-nothing mindset, segment your day of calls with built-in breaks. Time to breathe is important in any job, but when dealing with a high volume of incoming calls, it’s more crucial than ever. 

Before taking your first call of the day, map out when you’ll take short, five-minute breaks to go for a walk, refresh your coffee, and check email. Also be sure to schedule a lunch break – sneaking bites at your desk between calls will be virtually impossible on such a busy day. Don’t have time to take a break? You’ll need to line up colleagues or outsourced call centers to help you find the time. Without a moment to relax, National Telephone Tuesday can be the most stressful day of the year.

Find Your Allies

No man is an island, and that’s especially true on National Telephone Tuesday. It’d be impossible to answer each call with the care, energy, and effort necessary to keep customers happy. Even if you typically man the phones by yourself each day, it’s a good idea to find people to help during especially busy periods like this. 

Maybe your budget is too tight to hire additional administrative support. Maybe you don’t have time to find and train a new employee before calls begin rolling in. Maybe you believe you can handle National Telephone Tuesday in-house. Whatever your limitations, you’re going to want to make plans and find your allies ahead of time. Backup may or may not be necessary, but having a lifeline to reach for when you’re swimming in incoming calls can be incredibly helpful. Just knowing you have support if you need it can provide much-needed peace of mind.

Not sure of who to reach out to for help? Consider bringing MAP Communications on for support. Our team of highly-trained call center employees and virtual receptionists have the experience and bandwidth necessary to take on all your National Telephone Tuesday calls. Outsource the day’s calls entirely, or bring MAP on only when you need a break. Our service is highly customizable, and you’ll only pay for the calls we take on your behalf. This makes MAP one of the most affordable administrative resources available. 

Start planning for National Telephone Tuesday now. Sign up for MAP’s free, week-long trial and see how much value we can bring to your organization!