The holidays always seem to be right around the corner, don’t they? This is especially true for customer help centers, where holiday madness is typically accompanied by a seasonal spike in support tickets.

Take Cyber Monday 2016, for example. According to the Marchex Institute, inbound call volumes increased 16 percent on average. Not only that, but there was an 11% spike in abandoned calls. Spikes like these usually indicate understaffed and overtaxed call centers.

So, what can you do to prepare your call center to support seasonal spikes?

Quality help content to the rescue

Content is at the center of any good self-service customer experience. Organized, findable content helps customers solve their problems. But it also improves the ability of novice agents to deliver a better customer service experience.

Effective support content can:

1. Speed up agent ramping time

New agents need quick access to user guides, knowledge base articles, and training materials. And they need it without ever leaving their customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Done right, your knowledge management system will give agents the info they need “in the flow.” This way, they can quickly prepare themselves to handle customer issues in a timely manner.

2. Enable self-service customer service

Most people would at least prefer to solve problems on their own, even if they don’t know how. The better equipped customers are to find and use help content, the fewer calls your support team will receive. Imagine if, for example, your customer could watch a self-help video that shows them how to resolve their issue. It might mean one less inbound support call.

3. Increase agent efficiency

If the top twenty ticket-generating issues account for 80% of incoming calls, new agents must understand how to quickly solve for those twenty issues. This means the content that corresponds to those issues should be well-structured and easy to find.

4. Help you improve your product

Data around what content your customers and agents use most during seasonal spikes can provide useful insights. Once things settle down, examine this data in the off-season to identify actionable trends. If customers are constantly stumbling on one aspect of the product, you can use this data to recommend product improvements.

5. Feed your chatbot

Chatbots are on the rise for a reason: they can solve simple cases that can otherwise take up 70-80% of the typical rep’s day. And guess what? The better you structure, tag, and organize content, the more effective your chatbots will be.

As you prepare your customer service center for the next seasonal spike, take a look at your content. Because access to good support content isn’t just a help center best practice—it’s central to shouldering the increased load that comes with the inevitable holiday rush.

ROI for Agent Onboarding

Evaluate the potential ROI for self-service onboarding automation made possible by a knowledge management platform

Additional categories: Customer Support