How to handle high call volume: 10 effective strategies to rely on
Table of Contents
Introduction to high call volume
High call volume is nothing but a phase wherein you receive an overwhelming inflow of calls, which can be from people inquiring about your business, existing customers wanting to have a query resolved, or a customer following up for a service. The call volume is considered high when the employees cannot accommodate the number of calls on a given day. On average, the increase in the call volume for a business is around 10 percent more than the expected calls. But what are the reasons that cause a rise in the call volume? How can businesses handle high call volume and keep their customers as well as employees happy? Stay tuned to find out!
“I am extremely disappointed with the customer service of the business. I had some issues with my account and when I called the support team, I had to wait for a long time before an executive answered my query.”
Have you had a customer complain about your business and leave a review like this?
Well, it is not your fault because you might have been getting more calls than you could handle. Have you experienced days when all you could hear was the phone ringing without a break? That frazzled look on your call center agents’ faces, trying to take as many calls as possible; the frustrated customers, wanting to have their queries answered as soon as possible; all of it means that you are experiencing a high call volume.
Identifying the nature of high call volume: is it good or bad for your business?
How do you identify that you’re getting a high call volume? Well, here are some key factors to look at:
- When your phone is ringing more often than usual
- When your employees are unable to handle calls
- When more calls go to voicemail
- When customers are complaining about long wait times
The question here arises is: is high call volume a good or bad thing?
Well, it can be either. High call volume can be a positive sign when you have callers inquiring about your offerings. This is an indication that your business is being searched about by people and is growing. However, when you have callers complaining about your products and services, then the high call volume is a red flag and a fair warning for you to make things right before it is too late. The complaints can be a result of negative publicity or a fault in your product or service. When you don’t handle high call volume?
Well, your inability to handle calls can gravely affect customer acquisition and retention. It can lead to higher wait times and cause customer satisfaction to plummet. To avoid going down that road, it is high time that you implement strategies that help you manage that heavy influx of calls and ensure that your customers are happy.
Managing high call volume: 10 effective strategies
Offer self-service resources
Offering self-service resources on your website is a great way to direct those customers who often call you for answers to general queries. The customers can make use of all those resources to find answers to their questions such:
- Operational hours
- Any changes owing to the pandemic
- General information about topics
- Information related to product/service specifications
- Details of pricing
Adding a knowledge base to your site will deflect your audiences from those calls to the website where they can access information easily, without having to wait for any customer care executive to answer your queries.
Introduce a call-back service
When a business experiences high call volume, customers might need to wait for a couple of minutes until they have their chance to get answers to their queries. When customers are asked to wait for a long time, it is natural for them to get frustrated, and as a result of the same, they might complain about long wait times and might not avail services from you again. To avoid that, you can adopt the call-back option, which allows the customers to hang up the call and receive a call back later on at a preferred time. Doing this will save the customers’ time and will also reduce the high call volume at that point in time. With this, your agents will not be overwhelmed with the high volume of calls and can take their time to address customers’ queries efficiently.
Use an online chat tool
In order to reduce the inbound call volume, one way is to adopt as many communication channels as possible. One such channel is an online chat tool that will allow the customers to chat with a live agent in real time. Not only will this offer instant responses to the customer, but will also divert those potential calls towards live chat, thereby saving time and energy on the part of callers as well as agents. This channel of communication will prove to be fairly efficient as your customers will be able to get assistance as and when needed.
Dedicate more resources
If you feel that your existing employees are having a hard time handling the high call volume, then you must hire more resources to help relieve the burden off their shoulders. With this, not only will the existing call agents feel rushed to take calls, but will also help them address customer queries with a clear mind. If you are running on a tight budget, then you can direct the employees of other departments to take calls during the busiest hours of the day, where you receive maximum calls.
Be honest with your customers
When customers are asked to wait for more than a couple of minutes, they will get upset and as a business, upsetting customers is the last thing that you would want to do. What you can do is be upfront with your customers and tell them that you are experiencing a high volume of incoming calls, hence the wait. To communicate the same, you can have position announcements such as “Hi, thank you for calling. We are experiencing a high volume of calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. You are caller number 4”. With this, the customer will have an idea of how long he/she needs to wait, and as your agents finish dealing with those customers, the customers in line will be updated with their positions.
Use an online scheduling software
If you run a service business that includes booking, confirming, rescheduling, or canceling appointments; then online scheduling software can work wonders for you, and reduce the burden of calls on your agents. Generally, customers call for booking and rescheduling appointments. When this task is automated, and the customers are given the opportunity to do so at their own convenience, the call volume decreases, nobody gets upset; everybody wins. An online scheduling software like Emitrr can help you direct your callers towards scheduling appointments in real-time on their own.
Invest in customer service tools
On customer service calls, agents might need to transfer calls manually to each other, in order to provide better assistance to the customer. Due to this, a lot of time is lost, which is when you need to adopt customer service tools that can help reduce that manual work. A service tool like a shared chat can help your representatives easily tag their colleagues and assign tickets to them. So as soon as the colleague is assigned with the ticket, they have the entire case of the customer in question in the shared chat and they can take it forward.
If you have a sound budget at your disposal, then you can reduce the high call volume by outsourcing those calls. Doing so will save you a lot of effort with respect to adopting new technology or training new employees. With this not only will you be able to meet customer demand but will also keep you on track to achieve your customer service goals.
Install an IVR system
An Interactive Voice Response system is an excellent way to eliminate call wait times and give an immediate response to the customers. The automated agent can take all the calls and transfer those to the concerned departments. The customers do not have to wait on the support lines, rather they will have to choose from a series of options, after which, they will be directed to the department that would best resolve their query.
You can also automate the workflow of your team and ease their burden by employing various tools. From ticket routing to pre-written follow-up emails, you can use these tools to save your agents’ time as well as that of the customers. While the ticketing option will help streamline employees, the email templates will eliminate the need to write a new email everytime the representatives address a query. The time saved can make a huge difference in the overall productivity of your business.
How forecasting can help you big time
While high call volume isn’t in your hands, you can surely make the use of data and anticipate if there is any chance of receiving more calls during a particular season or as a result of your campaigns. Keep a close eye on the call data and analyse it to see if there are any surprises incoming with respect to the calls you receive. You need not do that on a daily basis as that is practically impossible. You can do it every two weeks to ensure that your customer service goals are being met and bottlenecks, if any, are being resolved. If you lean on forecasting, you can easily pivot in the case of an unprecedented situation and effectively align your resources towards the same.
How Emitrr can help you deal efficiently with high call volume
Emitrr’s customer communication and engagement capabilities help you deal with high call volume efficiently. You cannot miss calls because a missed call is a missed opportunity for you to acquire new customers or retain existing ones. Whenever you miss a call, Emitrr’s 24/7 Answering Software will immediately respond to the caller with a follow-up message even after hours or during holidays. The software will automatically send a two-way text message to the customer, in case you’re facing a high call volume. This software will answer those customer queries automatically. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a demo and see how Emitrr can solve the issue of high call volume.