Contact Centers: Readying the Call Center for Next Season
As you analyze the results from your last busy season, have you discovered what you need to know in order to improve your contact center for the next spike in calls? Contact center managers from Omaha Steaks and Orvis offered several ideas to improve the ramping up process for your next peak season in a session during the recent NCOF in Orlando, Fla.
Cheryl Holtzen, Omaha Steaks’ customer care manager, recommended the following strategies for catalogers to implement shortly after their peak season:
-hold post-mortem sessions;
-get front-line employees involved because they know who your customers are;
-immediately identify improvements that need to be made;
-look at the quality of staff and determine staffing needs for next season;
-identify where training went well and where it didn’t;
-conduct focus groups; and
-make employees accountable for improvement.
Angela Wolfe, Orvis’ contact center operations manager, shared some of the outdoor sporting goods merchant’s practices in the ensuing months after its peak season:
-outline what worked, what didn’t and what to do about it next season;
-figure out what to do differently to woo temporary employees to come back to you before other distribution centers can grab them next peak season;
-determine out what manual processes can be automated next season;
-get IT people involved in the process when brainstorming about customers’ experiences on the phone, e-mail and chat;
-determine which seasonal workers haven’t cut it in recent years;
-conduct a survey of new hires to see what was missed in company training and what you did right; and
-get executives involved in order-taking phone calls. Let them hear the calls first hand so they have “a little empathy for you” when determining potential call volume.