Whether your company outsources to a local or international call center or just assigns a few staffers to answer the phone, get ready.
Your team members may want to do some vocal exercises today to make sure they’re ready for what will come tomorrow.
Seattle-based Marchex, a mobile advertising analytics company, predicts a deluge of post-Labor Day calls for several different types of businesses.
In a blog post, senior vice president of consumer insights and marketing John Busby noted that the typical business gets a 34 percent jump in phone calls right after Labor Day. It’s also the second-busiest day of the year, just behind July 5th and its usual 40 percent increase.
More Calls, More Jobs?
The phones are busiest in several specific industries.
The cable and satellite industry may see up to 65 percent more calls than usual, likely due to the kickoff of the NFL and college football seasons, Marchex reports.
A busy weekend may also cause a spike in contact to healthcare and insurance industries to deal with injuries or choose new plans because it’s the start of another school year.
The bump could really help some businesses this year. More call center jobs sailing back to the US from overseas, as US companies reduce or eliminate operations in places like the Philippines, Mexico and India.
In Michigan, for example, the state’s Economic Development Corporation estimated 1,400 call center jobs created in the state.
Marchex noted the same trend, attributing some of the reversal to a “better caller experience.” Employees in the US are given greater autonomy to solve problems and are more likely to have on-site supervisors.
When calling an international center, callers who request to speak to a supervisor may end up on hold a long time while the agent tracks someone down across the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean.
How to Manage Employees’ Time
But for smaller businesses, the challenge lies with managing everyone’s time. You don’t want to keep a customer at the counter waiting while you’re on the phone, even if it’s an important call. There are interactive voice services that help mitigate this, like offerings from Halloo, RingCentral or others.
But those sometimes help the business more than the consumer, who must work through an irritating menu of options.
Al McClain, the CEO of Retailwire, said there are systems that allow the caller to send a text or Facebook message, or get prompted to set up a callback time.
Thinking differently about the caller experience is key to keep someone from getting irritated, hanging up, and calling your competitor.
As for Tuesday, it looks like banks, attorneys and real estate offices are off the hook.
“If you’re in the legal, financial or banking industries, go ahead and take an extra day of vacation as the day after Labor Day isn’t particularly advantageous for your incoming call volume. Likewise, real estate doesn’t see a spike in calls as the drive to move is slowing down and people are settling into their new homes,” Busby said.
In general less people are moving, which means less need to sort out personal affairs or other details.
For More Information ...
- How Is Your Customer Service Team Doing?
- A Promise to Call You Back
- Call Tracking Company Wants to Help You Connect
Title image by Pavan Trikutam.