Seasonal Demand Management is a Competitive Advantage for Outsourcers

Peter Ryan outlines the challenges faced by captive contact centers in seasonal demand management, and the opportunity for outsourcers to assist them.

seasonal demand

With more channels being used to purchase goods and services than ever before, the act of supporting commercial activity during busy periods places significant burdens on captive contact centers. However, this seasonal demand presents an enticing commercial opportunity for outsourcers.

At any point of the year, it is essential to provide the resources and expertise needed to ensure consistent customer experience delivery. Thus, by providing assistance to enterprises through peak periods, outsourcers can prove their value to clients by helping to cement the loyalty of their customers.

Year-long Challenges for Captive Contact Centers

It may seem obvious to weathered CRM veterans, but, to those unfamiliar with the space, the management of seasonal demand remains one of the most challenging facets of running a contact center.

Regardless of the vertical market, the ability to handle periods of high interaction volumes is something that captive contact centers are finding difficult. This is especially pronounced by the reality that consumers no longer simply interact 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; uneven demand is also influenced by vertical nuances, which need to be factored into contact center strategies.

Vertical Pressure Points

There are multiple industry-specific pressure points during the year that contact center managers need to consider when ramping up the physical capacity and labor required to satisfy peak interaction volumes.

In some cases, activity during these periods may be magnified depending on the sector. For example, requests for floral deliveries and gifts on Mother’s Day, or inquiries into tax preparation providers during filing season.

This is where it gets very tricky for captive contact center operations. With roughly 60% of captive contact centers likely to face flat or shrinking CRM budgets, the ability to adequately prepare for peak interaction periods may not be straightforward.

Sign up for our Nearshore Americas newsletter:

Outsourcer’s Competitive Advantage

Two of the biggest challenges in running an enterprise contact center during periods of seasonal demand are how best to find temporary staff and how to ensure that facilities are compliant to current standards.

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.


What strategies does your enterprise use to manage your seasonal demand? How are your services partners supporting you during peak periods? Let us know in the comments. 

Tags