You will need more than good planning to assemble a support or service team in anticipation of high peak seasons such as the end of the year holidays.
Seasonal peaks can be hard to manage, when an increase in sales results in a burst of customer inquiries larger than the capacity of your team. You will need someone to come to the rescue, here is where outsourcing your seasonal support can come very handy.
Without pre-planning, peak season can become stressful weeks and even months. So select an outsourcing partner that can help you when you need it the most. Research to find the company that covers all your needs, don’t choose the cheapest option, most times those extra dollars can mean a customer retention and satisfaction.
When you plan a social or marketing campaign during an upcoming peak season, you will certainly need a solid backup plan, ready to come in and help your company get through the heavy work flow.
An outsourcing partner is key when you are uncertain of the work flow over a seasonal peak, the more flexible the partner the better, you may also research all the services an outsourcing partner can provide, you will need to look for high quality customer service agents and select the one with most experience in the area you will need support.
We wanted to share eight points to ensure you get the most of outsourcing your seasonal support:
Availability, Scalability, and Flexibility
The best outsourcing partners will help you plan the most cost-efficient amount of coverage hours and will work with you to scale up and ramp down as your business needs it.
Don’t lock a deal with a set number of hours throughout the season, find a flexible provider who can offer the scaling you may desire during the contractual time. Seasonal peaks are very unpredictable so a flexible partner will be very beneficial for your company.
Highly Qualified Team
You will need a highly qualified and trained team that are capable of handling all types of customer interactions and high volume calls and inquiries. Your coverage may require a variable number of professionals, including content moderators, engagement moderators, social media specialists, community managers, and/or social strategy consultants, so look for a partner that can provide the best of what your company needs.
Your customers not all speak just one language, this is why being prepared with a multilingual strategy is the best approach. You need to be prepared to answer a crucial question from your audience in the US, but for non-bilingual US hispanics, or in France or Spain. So start working on assembling the right team in place, so you can be ready.
This is an advantage for multinational companies as well as local ones that are looking to have a broader customer base.
A Full-Service Approach
Many companies are looking to purchase bundled services for a reason, as it is the most cost-effective and convenient way to do it.
It is easier to hire just one outsourcing partner that can help you in more than one customer support area, having the same outsourcing company taking care of your social media, customer support, community management, and other digital services, will make easier the task of supervising the whole process and getting the right feedback from your customers.
A dream team is the one that brings enthusiastic and genuine passion for your product or service. But is also one that already has some acquired knowledge about how to handle all types of customer interactions with the best attitude. This is why hiring an outsourcing partner with an experienced team of agents that can bring their full dedication to your project.
Ready at all times!
The outsourcing partner’s team of agents should be comfortable on whatever tools and systems you’re already using, without need for extended training periods. But always take into consideration the possible tools and software suggested by your partner because these companies have top notch technology at their disposal that can be very beneficial to your brand.
Detailed reporting that goes beyond basic metrics and makes recommendations on how to better engage your audience are completely necessary to guarantee the reach of the season goals. You need to promote this feedback oriented work environment given your outsourcing partner guidelines on the development of the business strategy and helping them understand your goals, so they can help you reach them.
Creating a clear two-way communication channel will guarantee the success of the season, providing great results for your company and establishing a good work relation with your outsourcing partner will benefit you both in the long run.
Another aspect that needs to be treated with transparency is pricing, which will clearly illustrate the cost-effectiveness of the solution.
It would be great if your customers could hold their inquiries to the traditional nine-to-five workday. But this is not today’s reality, your audience is looking to be able to engage with you 24/7 throughout this and every season, so get ready and follow the 8 tips outlined above, and you will be able to easily go through the process of finding the ideal partner to help you succeed in the next seasonal rush.