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Mar 31, 2020 Thomas Cannon

Advice to Customer Service Teams Struggling During COVID-19

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As we continue to take measures that curb the spread of COVID-19, employers across North America are recommending that their employees practice social distancing and self-isolation. 

It’s likely that your customer service department has been impacted heavily. Employees won’t be working if they feel sick, they might not have the capacity to work remotely and those stuck abroad may not yet have found a way to get back home. 

This means your customer service department is not operating to the capacity it once was. 

As a result, your customer service representatives likely no longer have the capacity to handle the call volumes coming into your organization. Unfortunately, this will have a negative effect on the quality of your customer service, damage your brand’s reputation and cut into profits.

While it’s essential that you put the safety of your employees first, having a smaller and inconsistent customer service team will leave your business with an inability to fill customer service levels and even lead to your company losing out on sales.

Each call to your customer service team is an opportunity to earn new business and create a world-class customer experience (CX) that builds a loyal customer base. In fact, according to American Express, 90 percent of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

Meanwhile, further statistics from New Voice Media show that 49 percent of American consumers switched companies last year due to poor customer service. 

Answering every customer call is critical to the success of your business. That’s why you should consider setting up an overflow contact center service to ensure your company is able to manage call volume effectively.


What is overflow management?

If you have an already stretched customer service team during peak demand, then it’s possible that missing a member of staff or two can seriously impact your ability to offer a high-quality customer experience. 

If callers get busy signals, put on hold or calls rejected then customer satisfaction will drop significantly. Not only will this immediately affect customer happiness, it will lead to a decline in future sales. 

That’s why in times of uncertainty, like now, it is absolutely essential that your company has an overflow management strategy to ensure you have an additional customer service team on backup if needed. 

In its simplest definition, an overflow contact center service is pretty simple. Overflow occurs when your customer service department is nearing, or has reached, its call handling capacity. When call volume reaches this level, calls will be redirected to a contact center who trains their customer service representatives as experts in your product or service.

Once call volumes drop or staff members get back to work, your customer service team will be able to resume its regular schedule without the assistance of the overflow team.


What are the benefits of overflow preparation?

An overflow contact center solution should be set up when calls become overwhelming, or an emergency happens. That’s because an overflow management solution will give your business the scalability it needs to answer what would be unanswered customer service calls without it. 

By increasing your customer service resources with additional highly-skilled customer service representatives that can help handle call volume overflow, your business will realize benefits such as:

  • Improved call quality during times of higher demand.
  • A significant reduction in hold times.
  • Higher customer satisfaction and a far superior CX.
  • The ability to offer 24/7 customer service throughout all days of the year.
  • Significant cost benefits since you won’t need to invest in new full-time staff for short-term call volume spikes.
  • More opportunities to increase sales figures, revenue and profit.
  • Significantly better first call resolution (FCR) rates.

Are you interested in learning more about a contact center overflow solution? Contact Advantage Communication’s team of customer service experts today. We would love to answer any question that you may have. 

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Published by Thomas Cannon March 31, 2020