How to Prepare Your Call Center for Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Is your call center ready to face the onslaught of calls that you get on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Is your VoIP for call center up to the task of handling the tsunami of calls that are about to flood into your agents?
These two days make up an increasingly significant portion of holiday spending, and the support for almost all customer purchases over those two days hangs on the professionals that make up your call center team.
Last year (2019) saw $7.4 billion in sales on Black Friday and a whopping $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday. Increased call volume during these critical shopping days sometimes stretches a call center’s capacity to the breaking point.
How you have prepared for the busy holiday season – especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be reflected in how your agents are able to effectively represent your clients’ brands. Key to your ability to handle the call volume is the call center PBX that you have in place and the features it is capable of delivering.
First things first: What is a Call Center PBX?
A PBX phone system (or Private Branch Exchange phone system) is a configuration of hubs, switches, routers, and physical telephones that allow for internal calling between employees within an organization. A PBX system in a call center allows for the call center to have many internal phone extensions utilizing comparatively few incoming telephone lines. This saves money. Modern PBX systems are virtual in nature and require very little of the above-mentioned hardware as all calls are routed by cloud-based software. Call centers rely on VoIP PBX because of the system’s flexibility, range of features, and scalability.
What Problems Are Call Centers Experiencing Around Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
You are already aware of the fact that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are hectic days at most call centers geared toward retail. Unfortunately, some call centers are pushed to and beyond the breaking point with the influx of calls on those days. Failure to meet demand sometimes results in unhappy corporate clients and lost contracts.
Some of the more common issues within call centers on days of heavy holiday call volume are:
- Employee burnout and frustration
- VoIP for call center systems stretched to, and past, the breaking point
- Customers having less than ideal call-in experiences
- Agents breaking their training and protocols
- Security that is compromised either intentionally or unintentionally
What Can You Do Right Now to Get Your Call Center Ready? What Call Center Solutions Can You Put into Place?
Because we want you and your call center to be able to successfully navigate the turbulent waters of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we’ve put together the following suggestions.
Harden Your Security
Cyber criminals don’t take a vacation on the holidays. In fact, when you are the busiest is the very time when they can do the most damage to your systems, your corporate clients, and your reputation. Added to this, is the fact that over those two days, you will handle thousands of sales and support transactions, every one tied to personally identifiable customer information.
Call centers around this time of year are such an attractive target, that lone hackers, cybercrime syndicates, and rogue nation-states make attempts every year to steal call center data. To combat this threat, make sure that your antivirus, firewall, network, and wireless IT security are all up to date. Because your VoIP for call center system is a part of your overall IT environment, it has to be protected.
Train Your Agents
While your agents may seem to do okay from day-to-day, the season of high call volume will show where the cracks are. This is the time to do customer service and security refresher courses or seminars with your agents. With their job expectations clear and fresh in their minds, they will be much more likely to closely follow the guidelines you have outlined for them.
Make Sure Your VoIP for Call Center Telephone System Can Scale with Demand
Not all VoIP for call center systems are created equal. No doubt, you’ve already identified some functional or systemic issues with your current call center PBX. The most important question to answer right now is, “Can my VoIP for call center system handle the high volume of calls that we are expecting on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?” If the answer is “no,” your agents are going to be frustrated by angry callers that have experienced dropped calls and busy lines.
A few of the easily-scalable VoIP for call center solutions that we suggest for your present and future consideration are:
Make Sure That Quality Standards Have Been Explained and Can Be Measured and Enforced
We have no doubt that you are already driving a high standard of quality for your agents, but what about your VoIP for call center solution? Are you treating your call center solutions analytics with the same critical eye that you use for your agent’s call statistics?
While it’s important for you to care about how well your agents are doing on their calls, it’s equally essential that the VoIP for service center system you have in place be examined according to its analytics.
- How many calls get dropped?
- How many steps do the callers have to make to get to the right agent?
- At what call volume does the system put out a busy signal to callers?
- Can wait times be shortened with VoIP for call center automation?
All these questions, and dozens of others, can be answered if you dive into the analytics that define the call quality of your VoIP phone system.
Find VoIP PBX Systems with Well-Built Self-Service and Call-back Options
Some of your callers’ questions can be dealt with by automated systems. By comparing VoIP phone systems, you can find the option that will integrate with your other IT assets to provide your callers with self-service options that will take some of the burden off of your team of agents during the high-volume holiday season.
Call-back options lower the frustration for the caller as they do not have to wait on hold, but can still hold their place in the queue, go about their day, and wait for a call from your agent.
Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? We Wish You Well
No call center can prepare for all the potential circumstances that might come with the frenzy of shopping and support calls on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but we’re confident that your call center will survive the storm.
These high-demand shopping days are just weeks away, and we hope that some of the information that we’ve provided will be helpful as you look over the capability of your current VoIP system and prepare your employees for another successful holiday shopping season. We wish you all the best.