Customer Experience News & Trends

How to prep your contact center for summer no-shows

Summer brings an increase in barbecues, pool parties, sun tans and unplanned absences. Prepare yourself for that now so customer service levels never drop.

Your customer service pros will likely plan vacations and long weekends to enjoy the summer months — and you can schedule appropriately for those. But flight-delays and holidays that just got to be too fun can lead to unexpected absences.

Be ready for the worst

These tips can help your entire team cope with the pressures that come with increased absences:

  • Review your system now. Remind your contact center staff of your policies and practices for call-outs. Most companies ask for a phone call or email message at least an hour before the shift starts. You can ask them to also let you know why they’ll be out and when you can expect them back. Even better, ask employees to note anything that needs attention that day — meetings, reports, follow-up with customers, etc.
  • Know your backups. Create a list of employees who can fill in for each position. You might be able to tap people who previously worked in the contact center or reps who share similar duties. If possible, ask employees who are calling out to update their backup on anything critical that needs to be done.
  • Keep information accessible. Backups can only do a thorough job if they have access to the files and passwords of their colleague who is out. To facilitate this, use a database that all contact center pros can access at any time.
  • Be friendly. Employees will be less likely to call out unexpectedly if your policies allow for some flexibility. For instance, if they only need to miss a few hours, work with them to make it up at a point in the future. That will make them less likely to call out an entire day.

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