It might seem crazy to the rest of the world to start thinking about the holidays in August, but that is exactly what most contact centers are thinking about right now. In fact, contact centers—especially those in retail, travel and logistics—start planning for the next holiday season as soon as the current one passes.
If the holiday season is the most financially significant time of year for your company, then it’s also your busiest time for customer interactions. Whether customers are coming to you for the first time or the 10th, those interactions greatly affect customer experience. The best way to create a positive experience for your customers is to create a positive experience for the agents in your contact center.
Everyone knows that having the right agent, on the right call is a recipe for success, but how do you manage that, especially during the busiest time of year?
Starting the seasonal staffing process early is just the starting point for a successful holiday season. Having the right workforce management (WFM) tools and practices in place can help take your contact center from hectic and stressful to a smooth-running machine during this important time.
Allowing proper time for hiring and training is the base-level step that most contact centers should be following. Many companies start the seasonal staffing process as early as May, or in some cases even sooner. Starting early is great, but how do you attract the right talent and keep them engaged through the busy season?
Because you can expect competition for the best agents, it might take a little bit of creativity to find and hire top talent for the holiday season. Be open to looking at part-time employees and you’ll expand your talent pool. If you can offer a flexible work schedules, or a work from home option, your pool will grow even larger. Expanding your flexible scheduling options will attract candidates who previously thought their schedule was simply too hectic for such an opportunity.
It’s no secret that today’s agent wants flexibility and freedom in their job, and like most people, they value their time with family and friends around the holiday season. Giving agents the power to choose, whether it be additional time off, or extra hours can make a difference in their engagement level and in turn positively impact absenteeism and adherence levels.
Trying to satisfy everyone’s requirements and preferences can make scheduling and planning a nightmare for WFM professionals. An already complex task is now multiplied by additional seasonal support staff, and topped off by the pressure that comes with the busiest time of year.
Having a set of tools like Calabrio’s WFM can help alleviate these pain points, while maintaining the power of choice for agents.
This type of forward thinking can make all the difference when it comes to preparing your contact center staff for the busy holiday season. To learn more about how WFM can help prepare you for contact center seasonal staffing, check out our WFM demo to learn more.