The holiday season is a time full of joy, laughter, and valuable time with loved ones, family, and friends. For the call center industry, however, it is a chaotic time of heightened call volumes and jammed workflows. During the holiday season, many people are rushing to buy gifts and travel to places, meaning that they need to contact the businesses they love more than any other time in the year. For call centers, especially ones based in the retail, hospitality, and customer service industries, this means high seasonal demands and the need to be flexible enough to match this heightened seasonal demand. Here are some of the tools that your contact center needs to handle this year’s holiday rush.
One of the main capabilities that your call center solution needs is to be based on the cloud. Being based on the cloud provides a wide range of advantages for businesses that face heightened and fluctuating seasonal demands. The first advantage that a cloud solution provides is by allowing contact centers to add agents as needed. Since a cloud-based platform allows agents to gain access to powerful call center software with only an internet connection, businesses can easily supplement their contact centers with new agents when the seasonal demand heightens. There is no downtime, hardware upgrades, or software upgrades required to add new agents, meaning call centers can adapt to fluctuations instantly on a cloud-based solution.
Another advantage of a cloud call center solution is the ability to support a global workforce. Since a cloud call center solution gives agents access to full contact center functionality with only an internet connection, businesses can hire talent from anywhere in the world. This can help businesses become 24/7, operate in many locales, and hire talent from across the country to help supplement seasonal demands. Being cloud-based gives businesses the upper-hand when facing the holiday rush.
Self-Service and IVRs
A tool that contact centers should look for within their call center software is self-service options. Self-service options allow customers to interact with automated bots or voice commands over many channels, whether it’s voice, web chat, or text message. With self-service, customers can resolve simple issues and FAQs themselves, meaning they can get to the right resources they need quickly and without ever having to speak to a live agent. This saves both the customer and the live agent time, allowing the live agent to handle other, more specialized issues and requests as well as lowering wait times and call volumes.
One of the most important forms of self-service, the conversational IVR, is an example of how advanced self-service can be and how personalized self-service options can be for customers. A conversational IVR utilizes speech analytics and natural language processing to allow customers to utilize their natural voice to make selections through the phone. Connecting a conversational IVR with a CRM that can identify callers can create a streamlined, yet personalized, journey for the customer without them ever having to speak to a live agent.
Conversational IVRs and self-service can help agents find solutions to their issues or requests without ever needing to contact an agent, helping lower heightened seasonal demand and leave agents with more time to handle more specialized requests and issues.
Call centers should look for a solution that allows them to customize workflows to match specific use cases. By customizing the customer journey and guiding them through specific touch points depending on their issue or request, your customers will get a more personalized experience while streamlining the workflow for agents.
With specific workflows and categories, agents can have a guided approach to handling the customer’s request, lowering confusion for both the agents and the customers when it comes to resolving requests and issues. By creating a customized, yet streamlined workflow, agents can have a faster resolution time and even higher first call resolution metrics.
By lowering resolution time and increasing first call resolution, your call center can handle more interactions in less time, meaning your business can better handle the holiday rush.
AI Assistance for Call Center Agents
Finally, an important technology that can help with fluctuating seasonal demand and heightened holiday call volumes is AI assistance for agents. With Bright Pattern, for example, your call center can integrate best-of-breed AI from innovative tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM. This AI can be utilized to assist agents during interactions through features like sentiment analysis, suggested responses, and quality assurance.
Through sentiment analysis, AI can alert the agents when a conversation seems to have gone negative in sentiment. By alerting the agents about this, the agent can change the direction of the conversation to better assist the customer. With suggested responses, agents can quickly pick options that match the customer’s statements during the conversation. For example, if a customer has an inquiry about a specific order number or a specific question about a product, the integrated AI assistant can flash several automated responses to these questions or order numbers, allowing agents to pick them without having to think through and type the response.
Finally, AI can be utilized in quality assurance to alert supervisors on when an interaction has gone negative, allowing them to identify pain points in the customer journey and retrain agents accurately and fairly.
Handle the Holiday Rush with Bright Pattern
Bright Pattern’s cloud-based call center software provides all the advanced tools your call center needs to handle the holiday rush, like self-service and IVR options, AI integrations, customizable workflows, and cloud-capabilities. Ensure smooth and efficient contact center operations with high customer satisfaction on every interaction, even in the face of heightened call volume from the holiday rush.
To see the full list of features that you can get access to with Bright Pattern’s call center software