As the summer months approach, you’ve likely been thinking about scheduling, or even approving vacation time for your team so that they can get some well deserved R & R. Many businesses perceive summer as a time when business slows down, which may be true in some departments, but not in the Customer Service department.
With others on holiday as well, some will likely have more time to make that phone call that they were putting off while at work – and they expect the same level of customer service regardless of any possible staff absences in your organization.
Here are some ways you can provide the same exceptional customer service during staff vacation season, and all year round:
Create a plan. Time is of the essence, so it is important to consider how your customer service needs will change now. If you are considering hiring new staff, remember to consider their training time. If appropriate, schedule some goal-setting activities with your current staff in preparation for the possible longer hours, and higher call volumes.
Create or improve self-service options. Review your FAQ section on your website and social channels. Is it up to date? Make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for on their own in an effort to alleviate peak period call volumes.
Hire a call centre instead of temporary staff. Temporary staff can be costly to train, and are less reliable than hiring an entire organization to take responsibility while providing a service. A call centre can provide seasonal support, or even long-term support depending on the needs of your organization, without you having to focus your energy on in-house hiring, turnover, additional time off, etc.
Get creative. Is it possible to offer your staff work-from-home options that could enable them to work outside of the regular 9-5, or even outside on sunny days? Perhaps there are opportunities for cross-functional training for your current staff that will help support vacation coverage. Or, maybe there is an easy mix of some of these suggestions that would work to cover absences without denying customers the great experience they’ve come to expect.
Remember that summer is supposed to be a time to get outside, relax and stress less. With a plan, and the right supporters in place, you might even be able to find a little bit of restful time spent pool-side with a good book for even yourself.