I previously discussed an article by Pete McGarahan, “How to Survive Call Volume Spikes: A Practical Guide to Successfully Handling Call Volume Peaks and Valleys.” In my last post, I covered McGarahan’s recommendations for mapping both planned and unplanned peaks in call volumes at your contact center. Identifying patterns is really only the first step; you also need to take steps to efficiently manage the peaks and valleys. McGarahan also offers several tips for managing service demands.
The help desk manager should … reward them for uncovering information regarding unplanned events. If all support members can maintain regular contact with the decision-makers affecting call volume, you'll be surprised how easily unplanned events will turn into planned events and how quickly this will affect call volume and customer satisfaction.
Standardize. “The fewer variances you have in desktops, operating systems, office suites, e-mail and printers, the better.” Work with the various departments in your organization to do what you can to reduce variances that may cause problems with updates or releases, which could ultimately lead to call spikes.
Know Your Own Environment. Real-time performance management and keeping your agents informed to better self-manage themselves will free managers and supervisors to coach specific agents on specific skills.
Call-to-Action Plan. “ An action plan for your emergency team includes training and preparing the support crew for any number of possible emergencies-invaluable in handling call volume spikes that are due to unplanned events.” A key element of your action plan should be a trigger point that indicates when the plan should go into effect; for example, digital displays from Inova Solutions offer advanced threshold alerts to let you know when you may be headed toward a critical call volume peak.
Awareness and preparation for the unplanned are key elements for successfully managing the peaks and valleys in contact center call volume. “Don't let call volume manage your support organization! Get out in front of it, understand it, measure it, analyze it and pull together an action plan that puts you back in control.”