It’s that time of year when contact centers are looking to supplement their existing staff to be ready for the upswing in purchasing. To ensure great customer experiences, it’s important to have a solid seasonal strategy in place. Whether you outsource extra volume to an outsource partner, supplement with internal staff, or utilize a hybrid plan, the reality is that once you have added the agents, it’s time to train them.
Seasonal upswings often do not allow the luxury of long training cycles. This will put your existing training team through the rigors of condensing existing training plans if there are not already plans in place for seasonal training. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure quality training without adding too much stress.
Outsource Partners Have Existing Systems
If you have not already, consider working with an outsource partner to handle the seasonal upswing. The outsourcer will already have a training system in place, and have the ability to recruit and staff quickly while bringing in quality agents with appropriate expertise. When considering an outsource partner, look for the following:
Rearrange the Training Cycle
In an ideal situation, training can occur up front with lots of time for scenario-based learning and role playing. However, when the timeline is condensed to accommodate a flood of incoming transactions, it’s time to consider reworking your existing training cycle to accommodate the rapid ramp-up:
Communicate, then Communicate Some More
Whether you decide to outsource your entire seasonal increase in transactions, bring in your own people, or use a hybrid plan, it is important to have a strategy that ensures all the bases are covered. Look at previous years and make sure that the agents are trained for any hiccups that might have occurred before. It is the unexpected that can derail your efforts.
Be ready to increase your communication cycles to be much shorter. Don’t forget to add those “atta boys and girls” to the communications so everyone knows how much you appreciate all the extra effort. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate – it may just be the thing that puts you on top of your seasonal increase and keeps your customers happy!