The holidays are inevitable events that happen every year. While it’s one of — if not the busiest — time of the year, it’s also a time when many companies ramp up temporary hiring, see how well operational processes are performing, and stop operations for a few days to have your team spend time with their families.
We put together this guide to help you think about items to review and complete during the holiday season to ensure operational efficiency.
Plan for the holiday rush #
Hiring and Training #
- Onboard seasonal workers early – aim to have them fully trained by the end of October of any year.
- Use Gladly Connect Learning to train and certify your new hires (it’s free!)
- Conduct a Rules audit, specifically those for spam and reassignment (e.g., make sure emails don’t get stuck with an Agent if they are offline). Check out our Sample Rules Library here.
- If not included, add hyperlinks to your email auto-replies and/or Agent signatures to direct Customers to important FAQ documents or other web pages.
- Use Business Hours Rules for email/SMS/social messaging to incorporate holidays by using exceptions. You can have different automated messages go out at any time during the day during business hours.
- Consider shortening your Conversation Reopen Window (default is 24 hours) so more Conversations are treated as new. This may help manage your backlog.
- Make sure your IVR holiday hours are accurate if they are different from your regular business hours.
- Update your IVR recording to mention high call volume, if applicable.
- Consider adding an SMS or voicemail option in your queue IVR for Customers waiting on hold. You can do this yourself or contact Gladly Support to scope an SOW if you’d like assistance from our Professional Services team.
- Utilize Proactive Voice to send bulk messages to your Customers about shipping delays, carrier changes, or delivery status.
- Make sure you have auto-throttle enabled for chat.
- Ensure your Glad App throttled message includes alternate Channels to reach you if chat is not available (SMS, email, etc.). Have the contact channels clickable with a hyperlink, so it’s one click away.
- Activate a Priority Boost for chat using People Match if chats are waiting too long.
- Reduce cart abandonment by activating Proactive Chat on your checkout page and/or activating chat payments to help drive revenue. Contact Gladly Support or CSM to activate chat payments.
- Consider shortening your auto-end (not auto-close) times for messaging (default is 15 minutes). This gives your team more throughput by waiting less for Customers to reply before new messages are routed.
- If you use Glad App, consider Quick Reply buttons in addition to Quick Actions as a way to streamline your Customers’ chat experience and also customize routing, if needed.
- Utilize Proactive SMS to send bulk messages to your Customers about shipping delays, carrier changes, or delivery status.
- Revisit the email setting going back to the same Agent (temporarily or permanently).
- Save precious time! Automatically apply topics based on keywords or Entry Points using Rules.
- Audit your auto-replies and make sure they include alternate Channels like SMS and are clickable using a hyperlink.
- Utilize Proactive Email to send bulk messages to your Customers about shipping delays, carrier changes, or delivery status.
- Glad App Self-Service: Use Quick Actions proactively to get ahead of questions you anticipate, like shipping delays, new promotions, advertising new product lines, etc. You can change your Quick Action content easily so it can be dynamic based on your market needs.
- Pull Glad App Answer Search and Glad App Answer Usage reports on search results/answer usage. Use these insights to update Quick Actions, and/or create new Answers. Think if there are any holiday-specific phrases, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, that you want to link to your promo/discount Answers.
- Remove additional contact numbers from truly self-service processes.
- Check the order in how you list your communication Channels on your website. It makes a difference! List your most efficient and least expensive Channels first, like email.
- If you don’t have one, establish a Help Center on your website so Customers can quickly get and search for answers to their top holiday questions.
Blocking Contacts #
- Get familiar with ways to block contacts if you see spam or inappropriate messages.
Monitoring Trends and Volume #
- Use the Summary Liveboard to monitor live trends, like Agent capacity and SLA attainment.
- Use the Topics Liveboard to monitor trending topics for the day.
- Use the Agents Liveboard to monitor Away states and more.
Measuring Performance #
- Use the Daily Trends dashboard to monitor key metrics like FCR and handle time.
- For more granular data on Contact trends, look no further than the Contact Summary report.
- If you’d like to monitor Agent performance and workload, the Agent Summary Glance report will provide you with what you need!
Review Gladly Support Access and Procedures #
- Make sure to give the appropriate folks Team Manager (or Administrator) access in Gladly so they can contact Support.
- Review the list of support priorities and how you should use them!
Before you leave for the holidays #
Close the phones #
Set up your IVR so that Customers who call while your team is out for the holidays to hear your greetings and messages during your holiday hours. You can even set up the IVR to have callers leave a voicemail so you can call them back during non-holiday hours.
See How do I close our phones to learn how.
Close Chat #
Hide the Chat option on your website for days you are closed and allow Customers to use your self-service options for Glad App.
- A week before the day(s) you are closed, check the Closed box next to the days you are closed for the week coming up on the Glad App configuration page. Click Save when you’re done.
- As soon as the holiday(s) pass, go back to the Glad App configuration page and uncheck the Closed box if you are open on those days.
Set up auto-replies for email #
Like emails, you can’t stop Customers from sending an SMS, but you can set up your SMS auto-reply to inform them of your holiday hours.