8 Ways To Help Your Support Teams Survive the Holiday Rush

By: Hugo
Published December 01, 2020

While the holiday season has looked a little different this year thanks to the pandemic, the holiday rush is well underway. From extended Black Friday & Cyber Monday promotions to various holiday deals, this is an especially busy time for support teams; and with high-order volumes thanks to extended shipping times plus COVID-19 restrictions, most support teams are sure to face challenges. It’s never too late to adapt your support strategies and help your teams stay afloat this season so here are 8 ways you can give your team that extra bit of leverage.

Review previous trends and learn from them

Historical data is always a good place to start but it’s important to review your analytics on a daily basis for new trends. Identify metrics such as tickets created, inbound calls & chats, agents hired, resolution time, and anything directly affects your customer’s experience. Then use these learnings to create a plan for your business status quo and forecasts. Look out for frequent customer questions/issues and create a plan of action to mitigate bottlenecks before they begin.

Invest in the right tools

Having the right tools can be the difference between efficiency and chaos. Whether it’s assigning tickets appropriately or providing agents with the right information at the click of a button, the right tools should ensure a smoother workflow. A robust CRM goes a long way here but if you’re a small business, don’t be afraid to keep it simple– a centralised living document with standard agent replies for frequently asked questions can help improve efficiency.

It’s never too late for training

A well-trained team will perform better when under pressure, that’s a fact. Your support channels may already be experiencing spikes but it’s important to take the time to refresh on the basics especially if you’ve expanded your team recently. Little adjustments like making sure everyone understands how to escalate issues can greatly limit unnecessary backlogs on key channels and reduce the burden on more seasoned agents.

Keep your Knowledge base up to date

A good knowledge base helps customers solve their problems without contacting support. An excellent knowledge base is one that is easy to navigate and kept constantly updated. Going back to our earlier point of daily data reviews, if a particular inquiry pops up more frequently, update your knowledge base and include this update in your communication funnel as well. That’s not to say that customers won’t contact support, but it should help with the workload (i.e quicker resolution times or reduced number of tickets for the same issue).

Manage customer expectations by communicating proactively

From longer wait times to reduced support hours around the holidays, customers tend to get frustrated easily. Whatever the situation, be sure to communicate any delays or breaks in service clearly and as early as possible. It’s important to avoid any vague responses or responses that don’t provide clarity on the status of their issues.

Inspire and keep your agents motivated

This is a tough season for most support agents; the hours are long, ticket volumes are at their peak, and customers are increasingly frustrated. It can and does take its toll so it’s important to keep your support teams motivated. Share positive news, give shoutouts for good performance, if you can, provide opportunities for remote work and if your teams have to come in to work, offer meals on you. Rewards and incentives go a long way in keeping teams motivated so get creative!

Expand your support team by outsourcing

This may seem like a big complicated step, especially if you’ve never outsourced your support functions before but rest assured that’s it not. Many companies are built to quickly scale depending on your business needs and come with experienced agents. At Hugo for example, we provide simple, cost-effective solutions with support teams that are trained to speak with the same tone and accuracy of your in-house teams. The key element with outsourcing is to ensure that all your onboarding and training materials are up-to-date, that way your expanded team can hit the ground running.

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