1. Plan Ahead. Take a look into your metrics to determine “busy times” that you have experienced in the past and track any patterns that you see. Once you figure out what hours, days, or months you are busiest the better you can plan and prepare for those times. Planning ahead is essential to effectively managing your busy times and providing your customers with the highest level of customer service. The level of customer service you provide plays a huge role in whether you receive repeat business.
2. Staff Adequately. During your peak times of business, it is detrimental that you are adequately staffed to handle your excess call flow. You should know your busy times well in advance, and have a general idea of how many staff you need to accommodate your influx of calls. Being understaffed leads to customers hanging up, being agitated, or having an overall negative experience that could impact their decision on doing future business with you.
3. Show Gratitude. When a person has waited an extended time to speak to a customer service representative, it is important that their wait time be acknowledged and that they feel valued as a customer. This can be done by simply by apologizing for the “long wait time” at the beginning of the call, and saying “thank you for your business” at the end of the call. Creating a positive and memorable experience where your customer feels appreciated builds brand loyalty and keeps them coming back to do business with you.
4. Advise Customers. When you have a “busy time” coming up, be sure to make your customers aware of it well in advance. Remind your customers that the busy time could cause delays or other service issues. This reminder should be automated on your phone system, and should also be advised by your customer service representatives. If possible, give your customers other options for having their needs met during your busy times.
5. Self-Service Options. In the world of technology we live in, people tend to have a preference for receiving immediate gratification. One way you can cater to this preference during your busy times, is by advising your customers on how they can quickly have their questions answered by going to a specific section of your website, communicating with you via online chat, or utilizing your automated portion of your phone system. This creates a win-win situation for both you and your customer.