Call center best practices to beat the holiday rush

For everyone else, the holiday season is the most exciting part of the year. But for brand managers, this season can be quite stressful.

As soon as November creeps in, the holiday rush begins. Customers are rushing to and from stores, hurriedly filling their baskets with gift items, grocery essentials, and holiday decorations. Sudden spikes in the number of online shoppers are also widely common, and of course, global brands and bilingual call centers must brace for surges in customer calls.

To provide the best holiday experience for your customers, you need to strengthen your customer service strategies. Although we’re halfway through the busiest time of the year, there are quick call center best practices you can incorporate to your customer care strategy. Here are some of them.

1.     Keep your team happy.


Good services are a result of good team dynamics and passionate employees. During the holiday season, agents may feel quite sluggish and unproductive. This is a pretty normal response among employees who feel they’re missing out on holiday festivities.

Remember that everyone, including your employees, should have fun during this season. Here are some ideas on how you can keep your team happy and energized over the holidays:

•     Offer year-end incentives and rewards.
•     Exchange gifts! They don’t have to be expensive, but this fun activity will give everyone something to look forward to.
•     Bring the holiday spirit to your office by putting up decorations.
•     Take a day off to gather everyone to a team party.
•     Recognize top performers.

2.     Monitor calls constantly.


The last thing that bilingual call centers need is an additional task. Because of the volume of transactions agents have to deal with during the holidays, monitoring calls may seem largely impossible. However, the sudden increase in calls is precisely why you should pay closer attention to your performance.

Listening to customer conversations serves three main purposes. It will allow you to:

•     identify common hurdles to customers’ purchasing journey;
•     avoid recurring issues by implementing a permanent solution; and
•     improve current call center practices.

3.     Optimize employee scheduling.


It’s common for agents to work extra hours during the holidays. This helps companies compensate for customer demands, and that’s a good thing. The sad part, however, is that this might result in a total burnout among your agents later on.

Managers must look out for any signs of employee burnout, including frequent absences, poor health, and declining performance. Aside from creating a fun office environment, one way to avoid these is by offering flexible schedules or work-from-home options.

4.     Communicate with brand managers often.


During the holiday season, it’s crucial that you keep your communication lines open. Integrating the call center and the management teams will help in ironing out disorganized processes or unclear instructions. As much as possible, bilingual call centers and brand managers must regularly communicate to keep one another updated on the most recent developments and changes.

5.     Conduct a year-end review.


The holidays also signal the end of another year, which means it’s a great time for firms to take a look back and evaluate their performance for the past 12 months. A close scrutiny of the past year’s activities will reveal the following important points:

•     Were annual customer service goals achieved?
•     What went wrong, and what went right?
•     How has the company’s customer service evolved?

Moreover, the company’s year-end evaluation will inform next year’s strategies. It will help managers determine the objectives that must be set and the call center practices that must be adopted.



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