Dealing with demand: what makes or breaks your customer service team?

Dealing with demand: what makes or breaks your customer service team?
Dealing with demand: what makes or breaks your customer service team?

In business, putting the customer first is invaluable. A positive customer experience markets your brand better than anything else and is essential for a good reputation. For many companies the customer service team are the most important members of the business. They are the first and, often, only interface with the customer. A conversation between customer service advisor and a customer can result in the difference between a life-long customer and a lost opportunity. But how do you achieve a consistent and positive customer experience when your business is under the increased strain of high call volumes?

Unforeseen spikes are inevitable, but problems need not be.

The solutions

Don’t panic, prepare

The business will already have plenty of useful information regarding peaks and troughs in customer demand, this simply needs utilising. Analyse call stats from the past three years by quarter and communicate with colleagues to gage their perception of when increased work load generally hits. You can relieve huge quantities of stress by listening to the staff who regularly engage with it. Understanding seasonal surges can inform a holistic approach to recruitment. This would involve using a mix of temporary, fixed term and permanent recruitment to meet key peaks in work load so as not to place pressure purely on permanent employees.

Look after your team

Unique company incentives and benefits will keep morale high and make the company a positive place to be even when workload increases. Additionally, make sure development plans are in place for team members. Morale takes greater hits when staff feel their time comprises all work and no rewards. Whilst you may have great customer service staff in place and begrudge moving them into other positions, staff have little incentive to stay at the company without a strong progression plan. Utilise those who have stand out customer service skills to your advantage and progress them into senior training positions so that they stay within your team.

Hire wisely

Whether hiring temporary or permanent staff to aid with the busy business peaks, it is essential in all respects to take on the right people. Engaging with a resourcing business who understand your specific needs will connect you with the right candidates quickly and easily. An expert resourcing company will help you develop a unique Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and help bring that to life in the candidate market. Think about maximising your candidate pool when hiring. Offering part time and flexi hours will open up a pool of strong candidates who wouldn’t have been able to consider the role before. You can even consider home based workers if office space is an issue. Look at candidates who can field the volume of calls coming in and divert to the appropriate team. They won’t need full training or full system access but can hold the calls until an advisor becomes available. Don’t lose the time spent training your temporary staff, look at your fixed term and temp employees for longer term opportunities. Converting temporary workers to permanent roles is low risk to business, cost effective and will create capacity to progress your more developed permanent staff.

For more help and advice for hiring candidates feel free to contact us at Resource Management and we’ll be happy to help. If you liked this blog, remember to follow us on social media to receive updates on all of our newest content.

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About Resource Management: we provide a comprehensive range of services throughout the UK and Europe and specialise in the provision of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Managed Service Provider (MSP) programmes. We have been trading for almost 20 years, providing resourcing solutions to a range of blue chip clients from SME to FTSE 100 constituents.

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