Create an overflow capacity in your contact center without burning your budget

Whenever required, the Belgian government enables the emergency number 1722 to enable people to report their specific problem.  Related to a recent storm, more than 78000 calls were done to this number.  Officials indicate that all procedures worked extremely well.  Except, most people calling the 1722 emergency number were in queue far too long

Contact Center capacity

The scenario described here above is a typical example of where overflow capacity is needed.  There are 2 pain-points:

  • You need more people fast to handle the incoming load of calls
  • You need to have these people available in a very short time frame, as most calls were done in a time frame of less than 3 hours (in this case)

The government feedback that all procedures were correctly followed are probably correct. The process being that all people available in the office answered calls as much as they could. Except, there were far too little call center agents available.  “Everybody available did its job correctly”… But does that solve the problem when another emergency happens tomorrow?  No, it won’t.

Overflow capacity

While there could have been more agents available to take calls, the people could not reach the office in time.  But…why would customer service agents need to go to the office to help in this emergency situation?  Would it not be an option to have them work from home?

With Amazon Connect, this problem could have been solved very easy.  Agents could answer incoming emergency calls from home or any remote office if that would be available.  A scenario could be that, when a call is in queue for 3 minutes on the original PABX, it gets forwarded to an Amazon Connect number on which customer support agents are logged in when working from home.

So, why would Amazon Connect get used for such scenario:

  • No hardware infrastructure is needed
  • Very limited cost for overflow capacity that is needed in rare circumstances
  • The actual cost is calculated based on the effective usage of the platform
  • Calls are handled via the Internet, so people may work from any place where they have a broadband Internet connection

So, how do you handle accidental overflow in your call center?  Do your customers accept having to wait for 15 minutes in queue before getting to talk with a customer service rep?

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