8 Ways to Help Contact Centre Agents During the Holiday Rush

Santa Claus hat and headset


Contact centre interaction volumes skyrocket over the holidays. The National Retail Federation forecasts that 2023 holiday spending will surpass 2022 spending by three to four percent, totaling between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion.

That means a lot of customer service and support interactions. To make sure busy agents doesn’t become burnt out, enlist these eight ways to help staff during the holiday rush:

1. Improve Usability

Ease of use is one of the most important features when it comes to contact centre platforms. If a suite of tools is easy to use, it vastly improves agents’ lives, boosts productivity, and increases the employee experience.

If a platform is unintuitive, difficult to use, and gets in the way of agents’ performance, then, to put it bluntly, you’ve got a mess on your hands.

By using a platform with purpose-built workspaces for agents, operating from a single pane of glass, organizations can set the foundations for resilient employee experience over the busy holiday season.

2. Enable Integrations

Having an environment that has several easily deployable and simple to use integrations can help to reduce the cognitive load on agents.

For example, bi-directional data synching with a CRM can give agents up-to-date information on customers, saving them from searching for the information themselves.

Almost half of companies (48%) aiming to transform their customer experience (CX) cite integrations as part of their project.

3. Engage AI Where Needed

As call volumes increase, agents need to perform more efficiently to not get overwhelmed. By using an AI-augmented contact centre platform, organizations can alleviate pressure on agents and help improve efficiency.

For example, AI can triage customer inquiries, via a chatbot or interactive voice response (IVR), as they come in, collect data, and help direct customers to the right department.

According to Metrigy research, contact centres that don’t use AI will have to hire 2.3x more agents compared to those who do.

4. Secure Staffing Levels

To deal with the busy periods, contact centre managers need to secure the right staffing levels at the right times.

To do this, they need workforce management tools that can forecast expected volume across all channels, track performance KPIs, and automate scheduling.

Research shows that this is a priority for the majority of organizations, with 53% adding or improving their current workforce optimization.

5. Leverage Callback Functionality

Increasing call volumes can be accompanied by lowering customer experience. Customers will typically have to wait in call queues, and they may even have to channel switch and repeat information.

For agents, the knock-on effect is potentially difficult customers, which has a drain on morale. A simple solution is a scheduled callback functionality.

By using a feature like Queued Callback, organizations can eliminate queuing for customers and reduce pressure on agents.

6. Get Help From Organizational SMEs

The complexity of customer inquiries can often be an issue, especially when they rely on expertise that’s not typically within an organization’s formal contact centre.

In these cases, agents need the ability to reach out to experts across the wider organization for support. The only way to facilitate this effectively is by using a single-platform CCaaS and UCaaS solution.

This allows for enterprise-wide connection, enabling subject matter experts (SMEs) to assist with or be brought into customer calls.

For many organizations, expert support could be a CX differentiator, as only 30% of employees currently help agents that need their support, according to Metrigy research.

7. Empower Supervisors

Just like agents, supervisors are integral personas within the contact centre. Bombarded with demands during the busy holiday season too, supervisors need to focus and perform their roles at peak efficiency.

Organizations can empower supervisors by giving them a performance-centric unified interface designed specifically for them.

A Supervisor Workspace gives supervisors dashboards with at-a-glance insights on key performance indicators, along with proactive management capabilities, and AI-driven decision intelligence. It’s also fully customizable.

8. Connect the Workforce in the Cloud

On-premises contact centres make up the majority of global contact centres, but that’s changing as the benefits of cloud-based solutions are becoming clearer.

As well as enabling the previous seven aims, cloud-based contact centres allow agents to work remotely from home or in a hybrid environment, which can go a long way to reducing the pressure around holiday periods.

8×8’s cloud contact centre has been recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CCaaS for nine consecutive years.

These measures should help to support contact centre agents during the holiday season rush.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of 8x8 – View the Original Article

For more information about 8x8 - visit the 8x8 Website

About 8x8

8x8 8x8 is transforming the future of business communications as a leading Software-as-a-Service provider of voice, video, chat, contact centre, and enterprise-class API solutions, powered by one global cloud communications platform.

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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.

Author: 8x8

Published On: 18th Dec 2023 - Last modified: 19th Dec 2023
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