Industry Commentary

Seasonal Demand Management is a Competitive Advantage for Outsourcers

By July 10, 2017September 17th, 2021No Comments

With more channels being used to purchase goods and services than ever before, supporting commercial activity during busy periods places significant burdens on captive contact centers.  However, for outsourcers, this presents a commercial opportunity.  Providing the resources and expertise needed to ensure consistent customer experience delivery is essential at any point of the year. Thus, by helping enterprises through peak periods, outsourcers will prove their value to clients in helping to cement end-user loyalty.

It may seem obvious to weathered CRM veterans, but to those unfamiliar with the space, managing seasonal consumer activity remains one of the most challenging facets of running a contact center.  Recent research concluded by Ryan Strategic Advisory in conjunction with SPi CRM confirms that regardless of vertical, being able to handle periods of high interaction volumes is something that captive contact centers are finding difficult.  This is especially pronounced in face of consumers no longer simply interacting with enterprises by telephone, but via a multitude of non-voice channels.

As a departure point, determining the most important periods of demand over the course of the year is a must for any enterprise contact center decision-maker. But, seasonal consumer activity is not only driven on the back of a few festive periods; rather, managing uneven demand is also influenced by vertical nuances, which need to be factored into contact center strategies. There are multiple industry-specific pressure points during the year that contact center managers need to consider in terms of ramping up the physical capacity and labor needed to satisfy peak interaction volumes.  In some cases, activity during these periods may be magnified depending on the sector (e.g. – requests for floral delivery and gifts on Mother’s Day or enquiries to tax preparation providers during filing season).

This is where it gets very tricky for captive contact center operations. With roughly sixty percent of captive contact centers likely to face flat or shrinking CRM budgets (as per the recently published 2017 Omnibus Survey of 300 enterprise CRM decision-makers), being able to adequately prepare for peak interaction periods may not be straightforward.  How best to find temporary staff and facilities that are compliant to current standards are but two of the biggest challenges in running an enterprise contact center during periods of seasonal demand.

If front-office outsourcers can position their seasonal demand solutions creatively, these are capabilities that have the potential to yield new business from exasperated captive contact center decision-makers.  Providers that understand how best to efficiently find and ramp up front-line talent in modern facilities will have an immediate competitive advantage.  Of course, this is predicated on the outsourcer’s ability to do so with the aim of delivering a consistent level of interaction quality for consumers during both low and heady demand periods.  Cash-strapped clients that are unable to invest strategically in seasonal demand management cannot sacrifice loyalty among existing consumers, and any outsourcer positioning their experience accordingly will see an immediate advantage relevant to less seasoned players.