In the early 80’s the big debate for call center managers was to have an 800 number or not. The debate went on to the mid 80’s for Customer Service 800 numbers. The Call Center Manager was much more concerned about telecom cost over abandon calls or customer care.
The world sure changed over the next thirty years. Now we live in an interactive call management world were we use dynamic staffing models to drive our call answering behavior. There are high-tech solutions such as staffing software based on models called “The M/M/s/(s+m) Model” or something similar. The Call Center Manager drives down cost by monitoring every second of the agents time on and off the call. It does help to cut abandons on days you have predictable behavior.
Unfortunately todays email/internet marketing effort can create over forecasted sales events. Or other unexpected external events such as the internet goes down or mother nature takes a turn for the worse leaving the Call Center Manager back in the same situation dealing with abandon calls again. Below are some old but proven ways to improve the abandon call rates in a time of need.
- Develop a back up team to step in when calls go out of control. Some companies install lights or bells in other departments and everyone helps get those calls. After all who really pays the bills.
- Keep vigilant watch the call arrival patterns of the preceding days even Saturday and Sunday. If the call arrival pattern is changing have a plan action to staff up before the calls arrive.
- If you have higher than normal absenteeism expect it to continue and bring in the reenforcement which includes anyone in your area of responsibility. Keep the reserves trained and ready to go.
- Actively request information from any department that could influence the call volume. Receive the Marketing Departments forecast. Get daily updates shipping department as to their current order ship status.
- What is e-commerce doing that will affect the calls through company announcements or special offers. Make sure IT lets you know if they are going to do maintenance or other issues.
- Monitor the weather and community events such as school closing. Planning for such events will avoid confusion and hasty mistakes that cause customer disappointment.
A Call Center Manager may never win the battle with abandon calls but you sure can go down fighting. If you need any specific help with your Call Center contact Crowe Consulting Inc.