Take a look at these five post-season reflections and consider how they can guide your organization’s efforts in the 12 months to come.
The 2014 holiday season has finally wrapped up, and while your call center may still be buzzing with heightened activity, it won’t be long before things return to a normal pace. Now is the perfect time to take a moment and reflect on this past season, and determine how these developments will impact your call center strategy moving forward into the New Year. To help jumpstart a productive 2015, take a look at these five post-season reflections and consider how they can guide your organization’s efforts in the 12 months to come:
- Were you fully prepared for holiday volume? If your business is in a consumer vertical, the holidays likely bring a spike in your contact center volume. Still, it can be hard to predict the exact trajectory of your seasonal demands, especially if your call center experiences reasonably even traffic throughout the year. Compare your forecasted call, chat and email volumes with the actual patterns of past holidays and determine where your workforce management team could have shored up – or toned down – levels of support.
“Now is the perfect time to take a moment and reflect on the successes of this past season and identify areas to improve.”
- Was your team ready to handle the pressure? To navigate the challenges of the holidays, call center agents must be fully prepared to take on the demands of increased traffic, higher consumer expectations and tighter deadlines. This calls for exceptional product and process knowledge on your part, as well as the ability to make educated assessments based on prior experience. As Judy Philbin recommended in a Business 2 Community article, bolstering agent training programs and resources is a powerful way to ensure competence and confidence across your call center service, especially if you’ve brought in short-term hires for seasonal support.
- How did your program structure perform? With new channels and communication methods taking center stage in the contact center universe, the holidays are an excellent time to gain an understanding of where your customers are going for support, as well as the expectations they hold for interactive checkpoints. Observe how your program withstood the demands of this year’s peak season and structure your strategy accordingly in the new year. This also means determining the ideal mix of shared and dedicated team structure to meet customer needs. Philbin suggested looking into additional, cutting-edge channels of support such as social media outlets and mobile applications.
- Did your IT strategy deliver on all fronts? Technology can be a make-or-break factor when it comes to meeting the significant demands of the holiday season, and your agents require the right systems and support to deliver optimal service and exceed expectations. Your organization must foster strong connections between the contact center and the tech team if you are to rise to the occasion during the holidays and beyond. A recent article from CIO Magazine article pointed to IDC research revealing only 46 percent of business leaders believe the IT department to be an ally in the decision-making process. Consider strengthening channels of communication across these vital teams in the new year to address technological pain points more quickly and accurately.
- How did you stack up compared to last year? It’s important to stay focused on the tasks at hand during periods of heavily saturated call volume, but once the holidays cool down, you’ll need to assess how your call center performed with a comprehensive year-end review. This evaluation should include a wide range of metrics that give you an idea of how you improved over last-year’s seasonal spike, as well as areas that may be in need of further improvement. Make sure that your call center is on an upward climb in terms of efficiency, business intelligence and customer satisfaction, and let this momentum carry you through a record setting 2015 for your brand.