During peak season, customer support staffing can become a major issue. It will be difficult to meet the needs of your customers, especially when there’s a sudden surge in customer demand, if you don’t have enough staff. So how do you solve customer support staffing issues during peak season?

There are several strategies that you can do to try and solve customer support staffing issues during peak season. These include using predictive analysis, hiring temporary staff, offering remote work schedules, cross-training staff, and a lot more.

In this article, we will discuss some strategies to help you solve customer support staffing issues during peak season.

What Causes Customer Support Staffing Issues?

Before everything else, let’s first talk about what causes support staffing issues. What are the possible reasons why a business may experience shortage in customer support agents? There are several factors that we can look at, including:

Seasonal Fluctuations

Many businesses experience seasonal fluctuations in customer demand. This is the peak season we’re talking about. In some months, Since the exact increase in sales and engagements can be unpredictable, it can make it difficult for businesses to staff customer support teams effectively. 

These peak seasons can include holidays, summer, and winter; holidays like Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year being the busiest. Peak seasons will vary depending on the industry, so it’s best to consider your company’s field to know when your customers are most likely to increase.

Lack of Forecasting

Businesses may also face customer support staffing issues because of lack of forecasting. If you don’t plan your operations in advance, you’ll end up either overstaffed or understaffed.

What you need to do instead is to use your company’s historical data, and try to predict when the next peak season is. Do this months in advance, so you’ll have the time to look for the right employees. It will also help you in preparing a sufficient budget for labor costs.

Lack of Training and Development

There are times when a company may have enough staff to handle the surge of customers in peak season. However, what’s missing from the equation is the right training and development for the customer support agents. This leads to them being unable to provide high-quality support to customers. 

To utilize your workforce, make sure to equip them with the necessary customer service skills. You also need to walk them through the certain platforms and software you’ll use. 

What Are the Effects of Insufficient Customer Support Staff?

Your staffing issues are not something that you can overlook. Insufficient customer support agents during peak season can have several negative effects on a business, such as:

In summary, insufficient customer support agents during peak season can have significant negative impacts on a business's reputation, revenue, and employee morale. It's important for companies to plan ahead and ensure that they have enough staff available to handle increased demand during busy periods.

How Do You Solve Customer Support Staffing Issues During Peak Season?

As many businesses know, peak season can be a challenging time for customer support teams. With increased demand for assistance from customers, businesses may struggle to staff their support teams. In turn, this will heavily affect your sales, engagements, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and employee motivation.

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: How do you solve customer support staffing issues during peak season? Here are some strategies to help:

Use Predictive Analytics

One of the most effective ways to solve customer support staffing issues during peak season is to use predictive analytics

By analyzing existing data about your business and its operations, you can predict the expected volume of customer queries and support requests during peak season. From there, you can start planning how many employees you’ll need to meet the demand.

Predictive analytics can also help you identify the most common issues that customers face during peak season. By addressing these issues proactively, you can reduce the number of support requests that your team receives, which in turn reduces the staffing requirements.

Hire Temporary Staff

Hiring temporary staff is a common strategy for addressing staffing issues during peak season. When it comes to dealing with an unforeseen increase in customer support needs, hiring temporary staff can provide you with the flexibility you need to meet them.

Of course, there are still pros and cons in hiring temporary staff, so it’s important that you choose who you’ll employ carefully. Set a standard, provide proper training and support, and give clear guidelines to ensure that they’ll be able to provide the highest quality of service possible.

Offer Flexible Schedules

One of the biggest challenges in solving customer support staffing issues is finding enough employees to cover all the shifts. That said, you should consider offering flexible schedules to your staff. This can include options such as split shifts, flexible start and end times, and part-time or casual work arrangements.

Flexible scheduling can also help you ensure that you have enough staff available to meet customer needs, even during periods of high demand. At the same time, you will have no problem retaining your regular staff by offering them more flexibility and better work-life balance.

Use Automation

Since we’re living in a digital age, you may want to take advantage of automation tools to solve your customer support staffing issues. These include chatbots, self-service portals, and other automated systems that can handle common customer queries and support requests.

Using automation will reduce the calls and emails that your customer support team needs to respond to, ultimately leading to lower staffing needs. It’s also a good way to improve customer experience by providing faster and more efficient service.

Cross-Train Your Staff

Cross-training your staff can help you address staffing issues during peak season. It offers opportunities for greater flexibility and coverage. Doing this ensures that your current set of employees has a variety of skills and knowledge to handle a wider range of customer queries and support requests.

Moreover, cross-training can help you reduce the workload of your regular support staff by allowing them to focus on more complex issues. This can help prevent burnout and improve staff morale.

Implement a Remote Work Policy

Implementing a remote work policy expands your pool of available staff. This policy can be particularly useful for part-time staff who may have other commitments during peak season. It will also allow you to reduce the overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical office space. 

Offering remote work will also make it easier for you to source the additional employees that you need. Since work-from-home setups are in-demand among job hunters right now, you can use it as a selling point to attract employees to your company.

Provide Incentives and Rewards

Providing incentives and rewards can be an effective way to motivate your staff and improve their performance during peak season. You can offer bonuses, commissions, and other financial incentives, as well as non-financial rewards such as recognition and praise.

By providing these benefits, you can encourage your staff to go above and beyond in providing excellent customer service, ultimately improving customer experience and customer loyalty. 

Not only that, but similar to offering remote work policy, these incentives can also be a way for you to attract more employees.

Outsource to a Reputable Service Provider

Outsourcing customer service agents can be an effective solution for businesses facing customer support staffing issues. By outsourcing customer support services to a third-party provider, businesses can access a larger pool of qualified professionals, save costs, and gain more flexibility in staffing levels. 

Outsourcing providers often have advanced technologies and processes in place that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of customer support operations. This will result in faster response times, better issue resolution rates, and higher customer satisfaction levels. 

Outsource Professional Customer Support Staff From the Philippines

Looking to enhance your customer support services while reducing costs? Consider outsourcing to the Philippines, where you can access a talented pool of English-speaking professionals for lower costs

At ManilaPros, we offer five-star customer care for retailers. We're a full service company, so we'll take care of all your customer service needs, from providing vetted, trained, and certified agents, to managing your CS operations for you. 

Book a call with us today to learn more.