Call centers must reduce their call volume to provide a better customer experience and lower operational costs. When call volumes are high, more staff is needed to handle requests, which drives up operational expenses. Additionally, long wait times resulting from high call volumes can lead to frustrated customers and an overall negative customer experience. Therefore, decreasing call volume is essential for call centers to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction.
If you’re looking to decrease call volume in your call center and free up time for your agents to focus on more complex customer requests, an effective solution is to empower your shoppers to find answers to routine questions on their own through customer self-service tools.
Through preparation and self-service best practices and with the right tools on hand, your team will learn how to decrease call volume — resulting in an improved customer and agent experience, as well as better overall agent productivity. In this post, we’ll cover:
- What causes high call volumes
- How to calculate call volume
- Tips for preparation and management
- Call volume best practices
What Is Call Volume?
Call volume is the number of inbound calls received over a set time period by a customer support team. This is often measured hourly, daily, or weekly.
What Causes High Call Volumes
While every brand will experience periods of higher-than-usual call volume, there are some common contributing factors that will always lead to increased calls. These include:
- Not offering additional non-phone support channels, especially IVR and self-service options
- Understaffing non-phone support channels
- Incomplete or contradictory product information on your website
- Minimal updates to customers regarding transactions or purchases
- Not optimizing existing IVR options
How Do You Calculate Call Volume?
Call volume is measured by tracking the number of inbound calls received during a period of time.
For example, if you receive 100 calls every day, seven days a week, then your weekly call volume is 700 calls. Your average daily volume is 100 calls.
Why Decreasing Call Volume Is Urgent for Support Teams
Decreasing call volume is an essential part of keeping your customers happy. High call volume leads to long wait times, which leads to frustrated customers. By cutting down your call volume, your team will have more time to dedicate to complex issues while keeping wait times short for your shoppers. This helps build confidence and loyalty among your customers and protects your team from burning out or wasting resources.
Pro tip: Call volume is just one of the many key metrics CX leaders should track. Learn more about which customer retention metrics your team needs to know.
How Do You Decrease Call Volume?
The best way to decrease call volume is to offer your customers the autonomy to solve their own issues through a broad mix of channel options, without requiring the help of an agent.
By giving your customers self-service tools to solve common issues, or providing them with alternative service channels to phone calls, your team will see a reduction in call volume. When you decrease contact volume, your team can dedicate more time to complex issues and experience less burnout.
1. Offer self-service tools
Natively built-in self-service allows users to handle simple issues themselves, or helps provide initial information to speed up complex calls. These tools help empower customers and decrease the number of inbound calls to your call center.
2. Provide access to resources
Knowledge bases offer answers to common questions and provide your agents with uniform responses to prevent misinformation. FAQ pages solve quick-turn, common issues that don’t require an agent’s help.
3. Diversify your contact channels
Channels like SMS, social, and email lower the burden on your call center by offering alternative contact methods. They also allow your customers to choose the communication that best suits their needs or preferences.
Pro tip: Using the right tools is one thing, but having the right contact reduction strategy to back them up is another. Check out our helpful checklist that will help you reduce call volume.
How Birdies Shoes Leveled Up With SMS
🛑 Shoe brand Birdies used Gladly to add SMS and an improved self-service option, both of which were able to switch seamlessly to other existing channels. For their small service team, these new functions dramatically cut wait times and workloads while maintaining their commitment to exceeding customer expectations.
Call Volume Best Practices
While the above tactics offer a few ways to lower a high volume of incoming calls, there will always be busier times of the year. To prepare your team for these high-volume waves, consider implementing the following best practices:
1. Use forecasting to schedule your team to handle high-volume time periods
Historical data can provide insight into how call volume fluctuates, lending a hand in scheduling.
2. Offer a call back
If your team is overwhelmed by incoming calls and leaving customers stuck on hold, consider offering shoppers a call back or the option to schedule a time that works for them.
3. Use IVR to streamline calls and deflect self-service issues
IVR intelligently routes customers to the right agents for their needs and offers solutions to simpler issues that don’t require an agent.
Proper planning and staffing for high call volumes will help your team feel prepared, provide better service, and evenly distribute work.
Pro tip: Knowing when and how to best schedule your agents isn’t a simple task. That’s why modern call centers are relying on workforce management tools to help make informed scheduling decisions.
Manage Your Call Volume With the Right Tools From Gladly
Equipping your team with the right tools for the job makes all the difference in reducing call volume. Gladly tools like IVR, chat, SMS, email, social, and self-service help decrease the number of direct calls coming into your call center.
Gladly also helps you empower your customers with access to the answers they need right away through a scalable knowledge base. Learn more about how Gladly can help you optimize channel efficiency for your support team.
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