One of the most important responsibilities of customer service teams is responding to customer inquiries quickly. It’s the first step to making customers happy.

If you wait too long before getting back to customers, they’ll become frustrated and question your dependability. Nobody wants that.

So how can you make sure that your service team is there for your customers when they need you most? The trick is to adapt your schedule to meet the demand of customer case submissions.

In other words, you need to make sure your team is laser-focused during time periods when you have the highest influx of cases. This will allow you to respond to customers faster than ever before and impress them with your attentiveness.

Your customers will be pleasantly surprised to see you getting back to them within minutes. They’ll gain respect for not only your service team, but your entire company.

Before you know it, they’ll be raving about you to their friends and family – here come the referrals!

So what’s the first step in optimizing your schedule?

Identify the Time Periods When Your Team is Busiest

Analyze your case submissions by time period (week or day) to find out exactly when the highest volume of customers are reaching out to you.

When visualized, your data will probably look something like the chart below.

case submissions

Look for peaks in case submissions – these are the times when your customers submit the highest volume of cases. During these time periods, your team should be heads down and concentrated on responding to new inquiries.

In the chart above, you can easily see that there’s a spike in case submissions every day right before lunch. This is the time to have all hands deck and focus on responding to customers.

For an even more granular analysis, you can home in case submissions by day to find out which 15 minute time periods you are busiest. This will help you plan your days accordingly.

By decreasing your first response time, you’ll have no problem maintaining your SLA. More importantly, your customers will be pleased with your attentiveness and reliability.

But the benefits of optimizing your schedule go beyond decreasing your first time.

Why Should You Optimize Your Schedule

By ensuring your reps are working during the right time periods, you’ll increase the output of your team. You may even be able to delay hiring a new rep by maximizing your efficiency.

It’s obviously important to know when your team is busiest, but it’s also useful to know when things are slowest. By identifying time periods with the fewest case submissions, you can have an easier time deciding when to schedule meetings

Optimizing your schedule typically involves shifting away from 9-5 hours. If there are any night owls on your team, they’ll be psyched to work 10-6. And the early birds will be pumped to work 8-4. Your reps will be excited about optimizing their schedules, if you go about it properly…

How to Implement Schedule Changes

After you’ve identified your busiest and slowest time periods, you need to actually make changes to your schedule.

The first step is sharing your findings with your service team. Be transparent and explain to your reps how optimizing your schedule based on customer data will help you achieve your goals.

Once your team is on board, talk to individual reps to find out if they’d prefer to work slightly earlier or later hours. They’ll appreciate you involving them in the decision-making process.

When you’re ready, you should make changes to your schedule. Move meetings to your slowest times. Make sure your reps are all available during peaks of customer inquiries. Adjust your reps’ shifts slightly to have some of them work earlier or later hours to match customer demand.

As time goes on, keep tabs on the impacts of optimizing your schedule. Track your first response time – ideally, it should be decreasing. Your customers should be happier, and that should show in your Net Promoter Score and customer satisfaction surveys.

Want to learn more about optimizing your schedule?

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