There have been various instances whereby a massive number of calls have hit a call center company and the agents have had a really tough time handling such outbursts of calls. They can be both anticipated as well as unanticipated outbursts.
When a company launches a product and it reaches a high number of sales, customers call customer center service of that specific company for inquiries. In such scenarios, the company would definitely be prepared to handle the situation by staffing agents accordingly, training and informing the agents on what the majority of the calls would be for.
During situations of unanticipated outburst of calls, agents tend to panic and they are likely to interact with callers who are frustrated, scared, inquisitive, etc depending on the reason for the sudden hike in call volumes. In various such situations earlier, call centers could not help much because they did not plan or train their agents for such scenarios. For example, during the 9/11 attacks in the United States of America many victims had called 911 and the agents attending those calls could not provide them with the right instructions to escape or to handle the situation in the best possible way. There were instances during that phase whereby agents instructed the workforce not to evacuate the place which resulted in chaos. Over 2750 people were killed in those attacks. Hence the urgent requirement of proper call center training.
Many call center companies now provide call center services and call center management assure that they would handle call volume hikes in the best possible way. The best ways for accommodating high call volumes are
- Staffing enough and more agents for the process
- Accommodating multi-skilled agents so that they can attend calls for a different process in case the need occurs.
- Training the agent on the most common issues the call center handles
- Providing informative wait messages for callers waiting on the queue
- Always having a backup team available 24/7 for emergency situations
Call center companies that are able to handle large call volumes are the true call center management kings.