Just as most businesses that operate call centers experience seasonal spikes and busy seasons, almost all will experience slow seasons as well. However, the slow season is not always a bad thing. While it’s true that there may be a dip in sales or revenue during this period, the slow season can actually be an incredible opportunity for you to strengthen the performance of your call center and increase profitability in the long term. Here are four ways to take full advantage of the slow season.
Taking the time to provide comprehensive training to new hires is critical for improving agent retention as well as customer satisfaction. But almost as important is making sure to offer training periodically to your existing agents—and since you may be able to have fewer agents manning the phones, the slow season is a great time to schedule these. Training for existing agents can help keep their skills in tip-top shape plus teach new techniques or strategies. These are also a great opportunity to get all of your agents together, either physically or virtually, encouraging a sense of camaraderie amongst the members of the team.
Complete Performance Reviews
You should be constantly collecting data throughout the year on the outcomes of calls and how your agents are performing, but the slow season offers a chance to conduct more in-depth performance reviews. This is the time to schedule one-on-one performance reviews, during which you can use call recordings collected at other times to discuss things the agent is doing well and areas in which they could improve. You could even incorporate role playing or mock calls into these reviews to get a feel for how your agents react to different situations in real time as a way to offer constructive, actionable feedback.
If your agents are normally tied up with inbound calls during your busier seasons, so much so that they aren’t able to assist much with customer growth strategies, the slow season is the time to bring them in on these initiatives. Agents can make exploratory calls, send introductory emails, conduct research on prospective leads, or complete other outreach or outbound marketing tasks. Even if you have a designated team responsible for these tasks, bringing in the agents from your inbound or customer service call center will help maximize their slow season and the results of your outreach initiatives.
Last but certainly not least (and perhaps the most obvious) is to give your agents time to relax. If your call center is normally available 24/7 during busy time periods, consider cutting back the hours during the slow season so agents won’t need to work overnight. Offer access to resources that encourage relaxation and refreshment, both mental and physical, such as yoga or meditation classes. Finally, encourage agents to use their vacation days during the slow season. Promoting relaxation during this period will help guarantee that agents are energized, refreshed and productive when the next busy season arrives.
The easy-to-use tools and resources that CallShaper provides will help you and your agents take full advantage of the slow season. To learn more about how, request a demo today.