Managing Call Center Peaks

I’ve learned some great CX lessons from my favorite coffee shop in London.

Here’s the story:

On my morning commute every day, I’d stop at a popular coffee place that usually had long queues.

Somebody from their team would always walk along the queue, talking to each person.

If it were a regular customer, they’d ask, “Same as yesterday?” or “Same as usual?”

If it were someone new, they’d say, “I don’t know you yet, but I want to get to know you. What do you want?”

Then that person would relay the orders back to the baristas, who distributed the orders among themselves for efficiency.

So by the time you reached the counter, the baristas would have your coffee ready for you.

It was such a great experience that I actually looked forward to the queue.

I often give this example to our customers on how they can turn a bad situation such as Monday morning peaks into something positive.

Some of the best folks in CX function like that coffee shop.

– KYC and customer data:

They use data to know what the customer wants, which cuts down the time for everyone.

– Optimization:

They ensure super efficiency by having one agent do only one task at a time.

– Prioritization:

Since they already have the data on why you might be calling:
– your call will be delivered to an agent in seconds if you emailed them about canceling your account yesterday
– you’ll be offered some automation if it’s a routine query

– Monitoring:

Just like the coffee shop’s queue guy, they have a bunch of people whose whole job is to look for efficiency and user experience.

With the kind of tools we have today, it’s not very difficult for anyone to manage our peaks like that coffee shop.