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The holiday season is fast approaching and a whole lot of preparations are required to ensure minimum disruption for your customers. Festive times are great for businesses. In fact, about $690 billion is spent by customers in the November-December months, according to the report by National Retail Federation of the United States. All the more reason for you to be ready for handling all the holiday love coming your way from your customers.
As the admin, you can start preparing for the festive season with Freshcaller’s “Holiday Calendar” feature. With this new capability, you can declare certain calendar days holidays by adding them to business hour settings in the admin tab of your Freshcaller dashboard. This ensures that calls during such ‘declared’ holidays are treated similar to those during non-working hours and handled accordingly. For instance, if you normally direct calls on weeknights to your overseas call center team, calls during holidays will be directed to this team as well. If you have configured voicemail on your number, your customers can leave you messages during the holidays and your agents can follow up once regular business hours resume.
You can configure a different holiday calendar for every business hour setting in your call center to accommodate the requirements of support teams across different geographies. For example, teams based in the United States observe the Independence Day holiday on July 4th while teams in India celebrate their Independence Day on August 15th. Correspondingly, holiday calendars for these regions will differ. Cricket and football fans are familiar with the Boxing Day festivities held on December 26th in countries like the U.K and Australia but not observed prominently in any other cricketing nation. This difference in celebrations needs to be captured accurately in the holiday calendar for the different phone teams. This ensures that all teams have their specific sets of holidays covered using Freshcaller’s holiday calendar. If you don’t need to create separate holiday schedules for your globally distributed team, you can add the same holiday schedule for every team inside Freshcaller. To dive deeper into the Holiday Calendar set-up, take a look at this article.
To provide admins with the option of configuring holiday-specific routing (different from non-working hours routing), Freshcaller has an add-on “Holiday Routing” functionality. Admins can use this feature to direct calls to alternate lines that may be available just for the holiday, record a voicemail greeting suitable for a specific occasion, or temporarily divert calls to a queue that will operate during the holiday. This route exists outside the non-working hours routing and can be enabled selectively.
Call center administrators do not have to worry about handling calls during a planned holiday. Phone calls that come in during this time will be considered similar to phone calls received after working hours (unless the admin has opted for the “Holiday Routing” feature). This addition of holidays is usually a one-time task every calendar year since most local and national holidays are known beforehand. Admins can add the same list in their Freshcaller account and forget about it for the year.
Phone team admins can relax knowing that all the mandatory holidays can be configured in Freshcaller. This also helps them play relevant greetings and voicemail prompts on holidays to ensure that customers know the unavailability of certain teams of a particular organization. With Holiday Routing, you can create special messages to be played for every type of holiday and make them both relevant and personal to your callers. Tip: Remember to make it absolutely clear to your customers on the quality of service they can expect from your team during holidays.
Call center supervisors don’t have it easy in terms of understanding and appropriately staffing the phone support team to handle all the calls while ensuring no agent burns out during the holiday season. It is an unenviable task and the best way to understand your call volumes would be to check out the call metrics page in your Freshcaller account and filter out the non-working hour calls.
You can do that by regularly optimizing your call center. Understanding the ebb and flow of phone calls, especially during your designated holidays, will help you manage your contact center better. Agents can enjoy their break in peace knowing that their phone system will not notify them with calls during holidays. Your call center supervisors can manage the staffing and tweak the call flow accordingly. As an admin, with feedback from your supervisors, you can help tweak the greetings or call routing strategy.
Holidays are a stern test for businesses in terms of running their operations with a barely present crew. And who can blame the crew for wanting to celebrate and partake in the festivities? However, businesses will need to plan carefully to ensure that customers aren’t disappointed. Customers demand a greater quality of service and supporting them well through their holiday season is the surest way to deliver that. Agent accessibility and speedy resolution of problems ensure that retailers don’t lose loyal customers during the busiest seasons of the year.
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