The one thing harder than hiring? Hiring for the holidays. You invest a lot of time, money, and effort into searching for the right seasonal support to onboard and train - only to let them go as soon as the holiday rush is over.
Not only is it a huge investment for businesses and a large responsibility for managers, but it disrupts the team culture, places a lot of pressure on temporary hires, and makes it harder to retain top talent. Not to mention, any slip-ups along the way are going to impact the customer experience. It’s high-stress for everyone involved. To put it plainly, the struggle is real.
So why are support teams enduring the challenges of seasonal hiring year after year? Is it really necessary? The reality is that seasonal spikes in ticket volumes are never going to go away. If anything the holiday rush will become more intense in the upcoming years as consumers go more digital. To keep their sanity and keep up with customer demands, businesses need a viable and stress-free solution that does not require big time, effort, and monetary investments.
While the need for extra support during the holidays is absolutely a necessity for many businesses, seasonal hiring is not. At least not at the rate it is currently at. With the right technology, CS teams can minimize their seasonal hiring efforts and continue to deliver high-quality service at scale.
Autoscaling With AI Automation
Fully resolving a significant percentage of customer queries without human intervention, AI automation allows for autoscaling capabilities. It creates elasticity when it’s needed most - daily fluctuations, hypergrowth, and seasonal rushes. And while humans have a ticket capacity, AI does not; so even during rapid and unprecedented spikes in ticket volume, it can handle issues with consistency and ease. AI also works around the clock, handling tickets 24/7/365 and ensuring your customers get the help they need when they need it.
With an AI Agent scaling to take on influxes in tickets, you can deliver high-quality service even during the busiest time of the year while cutting back on hiring temporary support for the holidays.
Less Holiday Stress
No matter the time of year, customer service agents have a taxing job. Add peak season and aggravated holiday shoppers into the mix and it’s no wonder the turnover rate for agents is so high!
Implementing AI automation not only reduces the demand for seasonal hiring but also alleviates the pressure on your core support team; in turn, reducing employee churn.
With AI taking on large quantities of repetitive transactional ticket types, your human agents can put their time and energy towards more particular customer queries. It will decrease repetitive burnout and enable them to focus on delivering meaningful experiences this holiday season.
AI automation checks off the boxes for a viable and less stressful holiday support solution. But you’re probably wondering if it is cost-effective and if it requires less time and effort than hiring seasonal support staff? Short answer: yes, yes, and yes.
Long answer: While AI automation does come with expenses, with the right partner it is more cost-effective and a huge time-saver - especially in the long term. Hiring seasonal support requires advertising for open positions, interviewing, onboarding, and training. According to data from Workable, the average time to fill a customer service position in the United States is 38 days. That's over a month just to find someone. Along with two weeks of classroom training and two weeks of on-the-floor training, there is generally a three-month learning curve. AI automation, on the other hand, can take just a few weeks to deploy (Thankful’s AI Agent can be fully live in as little as two weeks!).
When hiring seasonal support, there’s a loss of productivity to account for. New employees are slower at first and might not be adept at solving customer issues specific to your brand. And before they’re up to speed, your team can't handle as much volume—potentially causing customers to become unhappy and leave. This, of course, is a major issue during peak season. Properly trained AI solutions are capable of high-level performance and accuracy straight out the gate - continuing to strengthen over time. You can ensure your customers are receiving top-notch service without the time and financial burden required by hiring and training temporary support staff.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
The best part about the AI implementation process? You only have to do it once! While you’ll want to test new strategies and deploy new processes over time, the implementation itself is one-and-done. And unlike seasonal hires, you won’t need to let go of your AI Agent after the holidays. You’ll be covered for all the upcoming holiday seasons as well as any daily fluctuations and hypergrowth. Consider it a gift to your business, your agents, and your customers!
Want to minimize your seasonal hiring and scale your support? Request a demo with us to get started.