June 19, 2020

Scaling a support team to handle spikes in volume

Kaytlin Louton

As customer service leaders we strive for consistency and predictability. At the same time, we  need to expect the unexpected to prepare for things like product launches, service outages, and the like. But what can you do when there's a crush of volume that you couldn't have fully prepared for?

In this video, we bring together customer service leaders from various industries to describe their experiences and approaches. Nick Martin from Harry's, Shelton Wirth from Daily Harvest, and Adrien Seldon from Stripe share the unique ways in which they've managed to keep customers happy through times of unexpected spikes in volume.

Among other things, they'll talk through:

  • How to build flexible capacity by working with a BPO
  • How to incorporate buffer into your staffing plan
  • How to implement "support rotations" to enlist the rest of the company for help


(1:05) The pros and cons of utilizing a business process outsourcer (BPO)

(1:51) Bringing support back in-house after using a call center - it's all about hiring!

(3:16) Scheduling dedicated hours to email versus live channels and the benefits of a granular schedule

(4:32) Scheduling agents to handle topics where they thrive - the "customer support flow state"

(6:03) When you're under water, enlist the whole company for help

(6:55) Keep your customers in the loop with honest IVRs, FAQs, and auto replies

(7:34) See the benefits of effective workforce forecasting software- Assembled plug (promise we didn't plan this!)

(8:01) BPO's making changes quickly to ensure metrics remain stable as call, chat, and email volume skyrocket

(9:45) Be prepared for volume spikes by building a buffer into your staffing plan

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