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Holiday Checklist for Contact Centers

According to studies, sales increase by 40% over the holiday season, making it a prime time for customer service from website sales to customer support. Even though demand is high, customers still expect their calls to be answered and problems to be solved. Here is a simple checklist to help your call center prepare for the holiday stress.

  1. Plan for the best, expect the worse. It’s expected that over the holiday season, customers will come to you aggravated, whether it be over a delayed package of a defective product. Tensions are especially high during this season, and so to ensure customers remain happy, prepare your representatives with credits, discounts and free product to keep customers happy when necessary.
  2. Hire representatives who engage and connect. People connect with people, and sometimes the right candidate is worth waiting for. As Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, get the right people on the bus, and then find the right seats for them. The best representatives have an interest in their products. Take the time to screen candidates well in order to create a team of representatives that will help solve a customer’s problem in the first interaction, leading to happier customers.
  3. Hire early and hire many. Call center strategists advice hiring in September for the holiday season. According to a study by Vcare, out of every 50 interviewees, 10 representatives will fit your culture. Additionally, they recommend hiring 30% more representatives than you need, recognizing that some may drop off.
  4. Stay in touch with past potential hires. Keep tabs of everyone who has shown interest in employment with your company. Having a pipeline of candidates allows you to hire speedily when volumes increase.
  5. Train Innovatively. During the holidays, you may need a face turn around for new hires. Consider creating a more engaging and innovative training program developed specifically for the holiday season. Use role play, replicate real-life problems, make policies and procedures visual opposed to a lecture-based training course.
  6. Monitor, monitor, monitor! With an increase of representatives, the strain on management is also increased. Be sure to monitor phone conversations, emails and chats with customers to ensure quality does not become diluted.

Use these tips as a guide to succeed this holiday season – and remember to incorporate joy and spirit in all of your interactions this season!




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