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How To Handle Peak & Seasonal Customer Support Coverage: The 4 Best Approaches

Luna Tidrick

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Peak and seasonal demand can put a strain on your resources. To be successful you need to be prepared to handle the extra volume of inquiries while still providing quality service. By preparing for these fluctuations in demand, you can ensure that your customers receive the best possible service during these times.

No matter what industry you operate in, providing quality customer service is essential to your success. However, when demand for your products or services reaches its peak, it can be difficult to provide the same level of support you offer during slower periods.

Fortunately, there are a few approaches you can take to ensure that your customer support coverage remains high during busy times. In this article, we'll explore four of the best methods for achieving quality peak customer support coverage.

1. Introduce A Process-Driven Mentality To Your Ticketing System

One of the best ways to manage increased demand for customer support is to implement a ticketing system that's tailored to your needs. This will allow you to track and manage all customer requests in one place, making it easier to provide timely support.

A process-driven ticketing system also enables you to create standard workflows for different types of support requests. This will help ensure that all tickets are handled in a consistent manner, regardless of the time of year.

How to create a process-driven ticketing system

Although there are many ticketing system platforms to choose from, make sure you're in the best platform suited for your business needs. For example, Gorgias may suit your ecommerce business or perhaps Zendesk offers a more in-depth plan for your large and growing company.

After the platform is selected, you'll need to create workflows for the different types of customer support requests that you typically receive. Find a workflow example in our "Making The Transition: In-House To Outsourced Customer Support" article.

Since every business has a different approach to delivering customer support it's important to define your customer support process. When documenting via worksheet or flowchart, focus on addressing the most common questions to help route more complex issues or questions to dedicated agents.

2. Automate As Much As Possible & Implement Self-Service

Scale your customer support

Another key to providing quality customer support during peak periods is to automate key routine needs. Automated systems and self-service can take care of many everyday tasks, such as responding to common questions or tracking inventory, freeing up your team to focus on more complex issues.

Automation & self-service best practices to prioritize

Automation and self-service continue to be some of the most important investments you can make in your customer support operations. In recent years, they've grown in popularity among consumers who seek instant gratification and prefer finding answers on their own. According to a report from Statista, 89% of US consumers expect brands to have self-service options.

When implemented correctly, they can result in significant cost savings for your business as well.

Consider the following methods to help address the volume of inbound customer support ticket requests:

  1. Create a knowledge base. When choosing automation and self-service strategies like a knowledge base, always consider what a customer expects from your brand and voice. Personify your brand in a way that can be experienced even in automated or self-service contexts.
  2. Standardize routine copy. Create standard chat macros, email templates, etc. that lower first response time and increase CSAT. A framework can save time and money when done correctly and thoughtfully.
  3. Reevaluate your tools. Does your company have tools in place that meet your customer support needs? Do your tools enable you to automate when possible? Do they meet the needs of your digital transformation strategy? Do they provide the capabilities to, for example, measure KPIs or personalize the customer experience?

Even though automation can seem like an ideal solution, it's not always the best choice given the context. In several cases, you'll need a dedicated support team to manage queries more efficiently and effectively, but not all.

3. Invest In A Comprehensive Customer Support Agent Training Program

A well-trained customer support team is essential for providing quality support during peak periods.

When building an extensive training program the most important attributes to focus on include:

  1. Making sure your team is familiar with your products and services, as well as company policies and procedures.
  2. Providing your team with training on how to handle common customer issues. This training should include strategies for dealing with upset customers, as well as techniques for resolving disputes.

Customer support can be a challenge during peak periods, but by following these tips, you can provide quality support that exceeds your customers’ expectations.

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4. Allocate The Right Resources & Partner With A BPO Company

If you’re unable to staff an in-house customer support team during peak periods, consider partnering with a BPO company. A BPO company can provide you with experienced and dedicated customer support professionals who are familiar with your products and services.

To best prepare for a partnership conversation, make sure to ask targeted questions that not only address technology and support capabilities but also general culture at the BPO company. When an outsourcing partner prioritizes it's employees, your customers are more likely to benefit through quality customer support.

Always Prioritize Quality & Your Customers

No matter what route you choose, your customers should always come first even if it means making a few sacrifices in terms of cost or convenience.

Remember, to provide outstanding customer support is to invest in your brand, your customer relationships, and your company's future. Consider partnering with us, the people-centric outsourcing company, to not only meet your customer needs but exceed them.

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