4 ways to manage overflow

Overflow within a business isn’t just applicable to contact centres - overflow relates to all areas of an organisation. Any department or function that suffers from ‘too much work, too little resource to complete it’ is experiencing overflow issues. 
4 ways to manage overflow | Probe CX

If you’re witnessing productivity levels plummet and don’t have the resources on-hand, whether that be the people or technology, to fix these issues, then your overall customer experience may be at risk. Employees will start to become frustrated that they don’t have the necessary support to deal with the heightened workload and your customers will mirror this frustration.

From lengthier response times for customer service enquiries to long hold times for just a booking confirmation, overflow trickles down through the organisation. It doesn’t take long for those stress factors to resonate with your customers - and no one wants a stressed and unhappy consumer.

There is no cookie-cutter approach for overflow concerns and each business requires a versatile and flexible solution to meet the challenges that come with unexpected peak demand.

Four overflow solutions

Consider the following four overflow solutions to help improve your overall customer experience in times of peak demand.

1. Be proactive by investing in automation

Wouldn’t it be great to pre-empt and prevent overflow situations before they even occur? Through the power of big data analytics and artificial intelligence, there is technology that can let you know when an increase in customer demand is likely to occur. Unexpected spikes in inbound call volume become a thing of the past. Using historical data, you can create an AI-powered dashboard that informs of future potential influxes so your customer service managers can plan ahead - whether they need to hire additional headcount or update workforce management plans.

Hyper-personalisation and predictive routing or call routing are both great examples of implementing CX-driven automation into an organisation to improve overflow. Hyper-personalisation leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and real-time data to deliver more relevant content, product and service information to each user and ultimately personalise their entire experience.

Predictive routing or call routing is technology within a contact centre that is able to identify which customer service agent is best suited to the individual customer calling. The introduction of both technologies can evaluate past customer behaviours and identify their persona type, product preferences and other criteria to predict the necessary skills or even personality traits of a customer service agent that would be the best fit for the individual caller. This means reduced overflow customer queries and faster customer resolution rates.

2. Consider external resourcing strategies

Australia is facing one of the most challenging recruitment markets to date, organisations do not have the time to source and hire additional staff to meet overflow demands. Instead, consider finding an external overflow solutions partner that can take care of finding the additional headcount for you.

To help maintain your current teams, outsourcing could be a very practical solution. An expert outsourcer can help your organisation tap into local and global talent pools to hire experienced customer service representatives to meet overflow issues. They can also ensure your new team hit the ground running by having experience with your technology to ensure a seamless transition.

3. Offer callback services in your contact centre

Despite your best efforts to invest in proactive overflow solutions and hire additional team members, sometimes overflow issues still occur. To minimise the damage of increased customer frustrations, a quick and easy resolution comes in the form of a callback service. IVR systems are a great way to offer customers who contact you over the phone the chance to get a call back when either the ‘influx of calls’ has ended (automated callback) or they’ve disconnected the call but maintained their spot in the queue (intelligent callback).

4. Review workforce management processes

Making sure your workforce is positioned to handle overflow services efficiently can make or break peaks in demand. If you haven’t scheduled appropriate cover or streamlined communication, your issues could double due to inefficient planning.

Designed to get the most out of your employees at any given time, workforce optimisation is all about implementing a business strategy focused on balancing customer satisfaction, service levels, workforce scheduling, operational costs, employee engagement and other key performance metrics. Workforce optimisation eliminates the grey areas such as how much time an employee should spend on a certain task or whether their skill sets are suitable for a specific task.

Investing in workforce management solutions for your business that put the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time can dramatically improve your overflow situations.

Where to start?

Why not get expert, tailored advice from an organisation that’s helped many clients improve their customer experience through quick, efficient and easy-to-implement overflow solutions? Probe CX overflow solutions helped one of Australia’s leading health and wellness groups save up to 233 hours per day in receptionist cost across all business locations and even improved caller efficiencies by 75%. Read the full FREE case study here.

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