In call center setups, regardless of size, coping with call volume and managing call handling procedures are of utmost importance. Spikes in call volumes are not rare and sometimes this can be somewhat unpredictable. With a limited number of agents and timing limitations, coping with call volume can be quite tedious. Streamlining the call density, therefore, is something the call center management needs to master. Not answering the excess callers is surely not an option. That will be detrimental to the company.
The best methods to streamline call density and excess call management in call centers
The call center management can resort to a handful of tried and tested methods to cope with additional calls during the peak hours and streamline call density. While training the agents well is necessary and so is deploying strategic changes, deploying a suitable IVR and tweaking it is also necessary.
Tweak the IVR properly
Modern-day IVR systems can be tweaked in a number of ways to ensure they meet the user needs better. The call centers or companies using the IVR systems can equip the applications with required information and resources for the callers. This will ensure a section of callers does not have to talk with human agents. They can find the answers to their queries using the menu system of the IVR. In fact, they can also lodge online tickets for grievances using the system when all agents are busy attending other calls. This ensures both customer needs are met and the agents are not overtaxed. When the agents deal with fewer calls per shift, they tend to perform better, naturally.
Make the IVR menus simpler to handle
A lot of people need calling human agents in a call center simply because they find dealing with the lengthy and multi-layered IVR menu system cumbersome! It is better if the IVR menu is tweaked and it is made simpler and shorter. The menu should be made easy to understand for all types of users, including those who are not much tech savvy. The menu description should be easy and precise as well.
Making the IVR more flexible
When the IVR system used in a call center setup is made more flexible, it helps in attracting more customers. These callers do not end up talking with agents, thereby reducing call density in the peak hours. It may so happen that at certain times of the day, all agents are engaged in talking to the callers. If more callers try the helping number they will get to know a message that calls center agents are busy. However, an option can be kept to let the agents call back those callers at a later time. The callers can also be asked to leave a voice message for the agents describing their issues. This will ensure those people do not keep on calling the helpline number again and again!
Taking feedback/opinion of the callers
You may tweak the IVR system used in the company in numerous ways and feel it meets the need of the callers. However, there can still be some rooms for enhancements. This becomes clear when you take feedback from the callers themselves! The feedback of callers can be collected through the IVR menu itself or you can also opt for an email-based survey. After taking the ideas of the customers and enhancing the IVR accordingly, you may witness a drop in call volume during the peak hours.
Switching to visual IVR
A number of companies have started using visual IVR systems and that can be an option for the call center setups as well. Visual IVR is more user-friendly and it can actually be suited for users who are more concerned about their data privacy.
Offering multiple choices to the callers
It is natural that a section of callers may not find answers to their queries even after exploring the menu of the IVR system. However, at that juncture, they should be given many options to pick from. Of course, they can talk with an agent but the availability of some other interaction choices will help in keeping call density within reasonable limits. The callers can be given options like using live chat and email. Some companies also offer access to a dedicated knowledge base section with FAQ section for the customers.
Using fast, flexible internal communication system
Sometimes, the customer care agents of a call center or company may need to interact with other teams in the company. This can be necessary to resolve specific queries of the callers. Now, the presence of an internal communication system helps ease the process. The agents can interact fast with the other teams and get back to the callers. This is helpful when they deal with excess callers in the peak business hours.
While utilizing the IVR system can help a company/ call center set up to streamline call density and cope with excess callers better, there are some other methods too. The training given to the agents is very important here. The agents have to be trained to deal with call surges while adhering to the communication protocols of the company. The agents must be given the right shift timing to ensure they are not stressed at all times. The companies also need to pick the apt IVR software, given the fact that there are many such apps in the market.