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GigCX: How To Smooth Out Seasonality By Taking Control Of CX

This is the second article in a series of four where I will be explaining the opportunities and value that can be achieved by exploring GigCX. In this article I will be exploring how GigCX can offer greater business agility.

One of the biggest problems faced by any customer service manager is estimating how many agents are needed to serve the customers that are calling, texting, chatting, and sending social media messages. With some analysis it is possible to estimate the approximate levels that are required for most times of the year, but most businesses have some form of seasonal peaks that throw the normal rules out of the window.

Retailers see this every Black Friday and when the Holiday sales begin. Sports and event companies see it every time they release tickets for a new event. Restaurants are packed at certain times of the year and quiet at other times. Auto manufacturers know that they will be quiet after the New Year and then sales will pick up again. Seasonality affects most companies to a greater or lesser degree.

This naturally affects the number of customer interactions. A retailer will see many more transactions over Black Friday and then that leads to an increased number of queries, requests for help, or even complaints.

The increase in customer engagement varies from one industry to another, but a good example of how extreme this can be is sport. I have seen major sports associations that require 30 times their normal customer service coverage just for a short period when new tickets are on sale.

How does a traditional contact center manage this? Managers can ask agents to work some overtime, pull in agents from quiet accounts to the busy ones, and hire some temporary agents, but how can a traditional operation using physical contact centers with team members on standard 8-hour shifts manage to ramp up to 30x normal capacity just for a week?

It’s not possible. No matter how many temps you call, this level of seasonality is extremely hard to cope with and usually results in tricks like the IVR discouraging non-essential calls, or call-backs being arranged so the customer can only speak to the brand when an agent is available – several hours later.

Now consider how seasonality can work in a GigCX environment.

You are using a virtual contact center platform so you can decide exactly how many shifts are needed and exactly when you need those agents ready for customers. This means that you define exactly how many agents you have available at all times. You don’t need to worry about space in the contact center if you want to scale up quickly to ten times your normal team size – you just do it. As soon as the spike is over you can cut back on the available shifts and ramp down as quickly as you ramped up.

That’s it. Simple and effective. It even works for more complex arrangements, such as split shifts. Some companies see a morning spike and then a quiet period all day until the evening. A traditional contact center would have idle agents all afternoon. In a GigCX environment you can specify that the available shifts match with the busy periods when you need those agents utilized effectively.

If you want to build an agile customer service solution where you only pay for agents that are utilized then you need to understand GigCX. Seasonality is no challenge when you can scale up and down just by controlling how many people you need on the team – down to the nearest half hour. That’s the kind of control GigCX offers – business agility in a world that is constantly changing is going to be your key to thriving in the post-Covid-19 new normal.

In my next article in this series I will be focusing on the opportunity for greater business flexibility, leading to resilience, offered by GigCX. Stay tuned because it will be published soon!

Check out our LinkedIn page for more ideas and information on GigCX and feel free to leave a comment here with your own thoughts or get in touch directly via my LinkedIn.