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Article : Preparing For Peak Rate Calls

#contactcenterworld

More than meets the eye

When logistics companies and home delivery partners are preparing for the busy Christmas period, the headlines tend to focus on major investments made across hubs and depots, increasing the size of their fleets of vehicles and supplementing their workforces with extra manpower. However, this activity can often overshadow the huge amount of preparation that takes place back within a typical head office environment.

For example, as Head of Customer Experience, I have the responsibility of organising my own department, which includes a 100-strong customer contact centre, for the busy peak period. Whilst our delivery crews are making sure customers successfully receive those important items before Christmas or are busy fulfilling those big-ticket purchases made in the Boxing Day sales, it is my role to ensure the customer experience team is fully prepared, engaged and motivated to efficiently handle an uplift in enquiries.

When we begin our preparations for the festive season, which can be as early as the previous summer, we primarily concentrate on two separate areas – the first reaffirms our "customer first approach", whilst the second focuses on the "hearts and minds of our people".

Customer First Approach

This element of the plan revolves around what we need to do within the contact centre in order to deliver a very high standard of service to our retail clients and their customers. Similar to how the operations team would calculate volumes they are expected to deliver, we will also use a specific algorithm to forecast the number of anticipated enquiries across social media, live chat and through inbound calls. As a result, we will be able to identify how many people I will need directly liaising with customers at any given hour, day or week over the peak season. We carry out this important analysis three months in advance, so we have sufficient time to recruit and train the candidates best suited to the available roles.

Secondly, we will proactively examine the data from historic enquiries to understand how we can eliminate any reoccurring issues throughout the customer journey. This will often involve working very closely alongside the operations team and the client services team, identify any weak points across the entire supply chain and collaborate over improvements. This could be down to unclear wording on the website during a purchase, an issue during the delivery itself, or the content we share with the customer when they contact us. As the department that directly communicates with the end customer, we play a vital role in this process.

Moving forward, more companies may choose to invest in automation and deploy self-service technology to improve the overall customer experience. For instance, we utilise an online platform, accessible via an SMS link, which allows consumers to alter or re-book their scheduled deliveries automatically without the need to speak to an agent. This provides an enhanced experience for the end customer, who will be able to complete an action within just 30 seconds rather than having to speak to someone, whilst we benefit from a reduced number of inbound calls. In addition, we are now encouraging consumers to fill our Customer Satisfaction Survey following a delivery or interaction – and we can use this feedback to shape our service offering, as well as rewarding agents who have done a fantastic job. We will also phone customers who have left negative comments to discuss how we can make any improvements.

Hearts and Minds of People

Our contact centre will be handling an increased number of calls during the peak season - typically 40% - and therefore we understand it is imperative that our agents are fully motivated and have the energy levels to deliver exceptional levels of service at the very busiest of times.

We are prioritising employee engagement by launching a range of initiatives that will help us to better deal with the peak season. For instance, from November to January we are rewarding those colleagues who register the highest Customer Satisfaction scores with extra break times, cash prizes and vouchers. Meanwhile, we are making sure they stay refuelled with free breakfasts, fruits, drinks and of course (as it is Christmas!) some festive sweet treats.

I believe a positive work/life balance is very important, but we also promote a number of activities in the workplace that help our agents to relax and unwind throughout the peak season. Answering customers’ enquiries is tough work and our themed games and quizzes promote a sense of togetherness and team spirit.

Most importantly, we recently welcomed our senior management team into the contact centre. Our CEO Charlie Shiels, Operations Director Peter Scraton, Commercial Director Paul Tyson and others, spent time sitting with our agents, listening in on calls and understanding the nature of their daily tasks. It became clear that the senior executives are here to support their colleagues, which provided a welcome morale boost.

Conclusion

As we reach December, many industries begin to slow down activity as the countdown to the Christmas break begins, but retailers and their home delivery partners must ensure they are operating as effectively as possible to navigate their peak season in the most efficient and profitable way. A proficient contact centre will play a crucial role in fulfilling that objective – and companies must not hesitate when it comes to advanced preparation, investment in technology and employee engagement.

#contactcenterworld

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About Fauzia Mulla:
As Head of Customer Experience I have the responsibility of organising my own department which includes a 100 strong customer contact centre.

About ArrowXL:
Company LogoAs a 2-person home delivery provider in the UK, we deliver 2 million customer orders every year, We are committed to innovation and continuous improvement - we continue to invest in technology, new services and training.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Team Names

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, January 4, 2019

Printer Friendly Version Printer friendly version

2021 Buyers Guide Computer Telephony Integration

 
1.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.
PH: +1 512-872-7565

2.) 
ComSys S.A.

CLink for CRM and Call Center Integration
CLink by Comsys is a middleware that connects in real-time the CRM and the contact center applications. CLink enhances the CRM with interaction management capabilities from the contact center that allow agents to work more productively across all communication channels.
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect Software®, and Microsoft® for the delivery of innovative interaction management and contact center optimization solutions.
PH: +302109241486

3.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniAgent™
Today’s call centers need their agents to work more naturally, and respond better and faster. Here, we talk about the innovations Consilium has made with the latest desktop and mobile agent releases of the UniAgent™ CRM connector. From small enterprises to Fortune 500 companies and governments across 110 countries, UniAgent™ comes into action right at the moment of reckoning, making every contact center experience engaging and personalized, powered by simplified customer identification and anticipating customer needs.
UniAgent™ provides CRM integrations between all the Cisco contact center solutions (UCCX, PCCE, UCCE and HCS-CC) and over 20 CRMs, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368

4.) 
IntraNext Systems

IntraNext Systems develops agent efficiency tools and data security software solutions for medium-to-large contact centers. Our Event Intelligence® Platform solutions include SmartCTI™, iGuard®, and SmartSIP™. SmartSIP is based on our patented SIP layer technology and provides a DTMF masking solution for VoIP environments.
PH: 888.638.6398

5.) 
Megacall

CRM integration
CRM
We know how important it is for a business to obtain data from its customers and to manage them effectively, so we help small to large companies by integrating their CRM with the Virtual Switchboard.

This type of integration will simplify the work of your team and improve the management performance of the contact list and its information.
PH: +34 952 667 511

6.) 
NovelVox

NovelVox CTI Connector
NextGen Cisco Finesse, Genesys & Avaya Embedded CTI Connectors for Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, ServiceNow, Zendesk & more.
PH: (+1) 301 202 3672

7.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS - a robust contact/ call center software that helps organizations provide a seamless customer experience across all channels in the customer service journey. All interactions from various channels come to a single unified queue on the InterDialog platform. With unified view agents get to see all historical interactions , enabling him to give a resolution quickly. InterDialog UCCS is a comprehensive Contact/Call Center Software with robust CTI, Unified Q ( ACD), Reporting, Unified Agent Management, Administrator, Supervisor - Monitoring (Pmonitor)
 

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