Customer Service Secrets: How to Deal with High Call Volume
If your business is feeling overwhelmed by high call volume, this could be a sign your business is doing well. Many businesses experienced a surge in customer expectations and service requests in early 2020 and had to make changes to keep up with demand. Some are still experiencing the effects of that customer service surge.
Businesses that fail to keep up with high call volume tend to experience high levels of customer frustration, especially if it happens regularly.
Whether high call volume is a frequent occurrence for your business, or you’re trying to plan to avoid a disaster, there are ways to effectively deal with high call volume. Keep reading to learn some of our best tips.
- High call volume is any increase in customer calls that your team struggles to keep up with.
- While high call volume is typically a sign of business growth, it can indicate a serious problem if most of your calls are from unhappy customers.
- Offering self-service options is a great way to reduce call volume.
How to Define High Call Volume
High call volume is when your business receives more incoming calls than you can typically handle. Ongoing high call volumes can lead to significant customer service delays and issues with customer satisfaction.
Some businesses define high call volume as a 10% increase in the expected number of calls, however, there are other ways to identify it:
- Increase in the number of voicemails
- Overflowing email inboxes
- Customers complaining about long wait times
- More abandoned calls because of wait times
What Does High Call Volume Mean?
High call volume can either be a great problem to have or a sign of serious trouble. Usually, more callers correlate to more customers and sales. If most of your calls are from happy customers, or people inquiring about your products and services, high call volume is a sign your business is growing.
On the other hand, a high volume of unhappy customers could be a sign you have a problem with your products or services.
No matter the cause, if your team can’t handle the increased call volume, your customers will quickly lose their patience with your team, causing you to lose customers and revenue.
5 Ways to Effectively Manage High Call Volume
If high call volume is a problem you’re dealing with or want to avoid, try these five solutions.
1. Add Self-Service Options
You can avoid some incoming calls by offering self-service options. Many customers prefer trying to solve their problems on their own before contacting customer support. The 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience report shows that 81% of customers want more self-service options.
Many self-service solutions are simple to get started, including:
- FAQ pages
- General business information
- Overview of your products
- Pricing structure for your products and services
Putting information like this in a highly visible area on your website can dramatically reduce call volume for customers with general questions.
2. Use Online Chat
Many customers prefer to communicate with businesses through chat messages instead of talking on the phone. Adding chat capabilities to your website can help reduce the incoming call volume.
Many businesses use chatbots to gather initial customer information and start conversations. If the chatbot can’t resolve the issue, the chat goes to an agent. Chatting generally requires less time and energy than phone calls, making it a great way to reduce the stress on your agents.
Online chat also makes it easy for agents to quickly add links to relevant resources customers can explore on their own, further enhancing your self-service options. Agents can sometimes work through multiple chat conversations at a time, relieving the customer support volume.
HubSpot saw great success with its online chat option, which it introduced in early 2020.
3. Offer a Call Back Option
If customers have to wait too long for you to answer their calls, they will likely hang up. According to a RingCentral report, 57% of callers find long hold times frustrating and 40% say responding quickly to their needs is the best way to improve customer service.
To reduce the frustration of waiting on hold, your call center can offer a call back option. With this solution, the customer would follow the prompts to confirm their contact information. Then, an available agent would call the customer back.
Not only does this reduce hold times, but it also helps spread the call volume more evenly throughout the day.
4. Keep Customers Informed
While waiting on hold is frustrating, adding an automated greeting can help set the expectations for your customers. This message would explain that you’re experiencing unusually high call volume and it may take more waiting time than usual. You could even prompt customers to call back later.
If they choose to stay on the line, they know they can expect a long wait time. This may temper their frustrations and make them less likely to lash out at your agents after waiting for an extended time.
5. Outsource Your Phone Support
If your in-house team continually struggles to keep up with the incoming call volume and you don’t want the added expense of hiring new employees, outsourcing could be an affordable, versatile solution.
Many outsourcing companies, like Televerde, can quickly take on some or all of your inbound customer support. The best outsourcing companies will work closely with your business to learn your procedures, so the switch will be imperceptible to your customers. With the right outsourced partner, you could even see an increase in customer satisfaction.
For even more strategies to reduce call volume, watch this video.
Relieve Your High Call Volume with a Partnership with Televerde
If any of your teams have been struggling to keep up with a high call volume, it may be time to expand your business. At Televerde, we offer outsourced solutions for businesses, including incoming calls for sales and customer support.
We can quickly help you scale up your phone support to meet the demands of your customers.Ready to relieve the pressure your business is under? Contact Televerde today to learn about our solutions.