It’s a busy day at the office and the phone keeps ringing. Customers have been on hold for far too long, and your team is struggling to keep up with answering high volume calls.
This is a familiar scenario for many business owners and managers, and it’s harmful in more ways than one. Keeping customers on hold for too long can anger them. Studies have shown that during customer service calls, 57% of people hang up the phone without a resolution, and many of them are unlikely to ever call again. Frequent high call volume can also lead to employee burnout and increased turnover.
The good news is that there are effective and affordable ways of answering high-volume calls without exhausting your staff. Keep reading to learn more about the options available.
What Is High Call Volume?
High call volume happens whenever your team’s swamped answering phones. A five-member team, for example, can’t handle 50 or more calls in a half hour without feeling the strain of high call volume, meaning that response effectiveness depends on the team’s size and capability.
In more definitive terms, the standard for high call volume is generally 10% more calls than your business’s normal average. However, some businesses — particularly small- or medium-sized ones — may hit a high call volume long before that.
6 Things You Can Do To Manage High Call Volume Like a Pro
Aside from the frustration that employees experience during a period of high call volume, this issue can also create customer service problems. Long hold times are inconvenient and frustrating for customers who want to feel that their time is valued.
Plan Ahead and Forecast
It’s impossible to predict exactly when you will have a higher call volume. After all, no one could have predicted the sudden influx of calls brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, it is possible to forecast when call volume will be at its highest. For example, if you have historical data that shows that calls increase at a certain time of the year, you can plan to have additional workers available at that time to keep up with the demand.
Implement Self-Service Resources
One management strategy involves finding a way to reduce call volume overall. In many cases, customers can find the answers and solutions that they need with self-service resources, like:
- An FAQ page
- A community forum
- A knowledge base or help center
- AI chats and messages
Incorporating these features on your website and mobile app reduces the number of calls you receive.
Leverage Chat and Encourage Customers To Use It
Although AI chat is useful, there are times when this system doesn’t have the information necessary to answer a customer’s question. In that case, customers should be able to chat with an actual agent. Place a chat link in a noticeable area of your app and website so that customers can easily access it.
Customers are increasingly turning to live chats to interact with customer service. This is a practice your business should encourage. If your call center is experiencing a period of high volume, make sure to mention the chat feature during the hold message.
Offer Callback Options
Businesses are increasingly turning to callbacks as a way of reducing customer wait times. With these systems, customers who contact your business when the call volume is high receive a message asking if they would prefer a callback. If the customer selects the callback option, the system makes note of the phone number and spot in the queue so that an agent can return calls in the order received.
More than 60% of customers prefer receiving a callback to waiting on hold, in large part because they are free to do other things while waiting to speak to a representative. This is crucial to maintaining customer satisfaction and reducing frustration.
Outsource (Or Hire More Call Workers)
While there are a number of ways to improve response and wait times during a period of high call volume, you may simply be understaffed. Frequent or constant high volume is an indicator that you need a larger team.
In this situation, you may want to opt to outsource your call center to a third party. Keep in mind, though, that an external call center is not directly affiliated with your business, does not necessarily share its values or standards, and may prove frustrating to callers who feel they are being rerouted.
Alternatively, it may be time to increase the size of your internal staff. Hiring effective, in-house team members will relieve some of the pressure that has been placed on your current workers, reduce burnout, and improve customer satisfaction.
Use the Right Tools
You don’t need to manage high call volume on your own. Instead, partner with Aloware and take advantage of the tools for both inbound and outbound calls.
Aloware’s smart queue feature within the Contact Center ensures that inbound calls are answered as quickly as possible and that no customer is ignored. By activating the smart queue, you can
- notify callers of their position in the queue
- offer a callback option
- offer the option to communicate by text
- allow customers to leave voicemails if they don’t want to stay in the queue
If you need to make a large volume of outbound calls, Aloware’s power dialer allows you to contact up to 500 leads a day. This far surpasses the typical outbound call volume of many small- and mid-sized businesses.
High call volume can feel like both a blessing and a curse. While it provides opportunities to connect and communicate directly with more consumers, it can also quickly overwhelm your communications system and employees, which ultimately leads to unhappy customers.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage high call volume effectively. You may need to outsource your call center, bring in more employees, or simply improve your company’s forecasting of call volume. To truly optimize your high-volume call management, make use of the high-quality tools and services available from Aloware, which can simplify and improve your inbound and outbound call system. Book a demo to get started!