Luckily, a contact debt is a false need. The staff hours needed to resolve the issues are still the same because you haven’t increased the number of issues by 75%. Only the number of contact attempts. Your only focus should be to cut response times and increase your solution rate so that the contact cycle negative spiral stops.
Turn off the call-back feature! Yes, you will give lousy service and forcing your customer to wait during the time when you’re doing it. You can turn it back on once the contact debt is fixed.
Find every single resource that you can possibly use! For 48 hours, don’t staff the other channels and utilize every single resource to fix the most urgent channel first (where the customer expects the quickest response which is usually phone or chat).
Turn off other channels that are not critical e.g. social media and chat! Yes, you will take a hit in CSAT and NPS and receive complaints, but it can’t be worse than the contact debt.
Utilize every possible staff hour to fix response times! Cancel all internal meetings, training, if possible approved leave etc. Remember that this takes place in real time and every contact solved, pays off the contact debt.
Empower you Team Leaders! If your team leaders are active in their leadership and focus the entire team on a single issue you unlock an unprecedented potential
Wait with administration if possible! If no one is dying from it and you’re not required by law to do it directly you can find solutions to do this back log later
Do not lower handling times if possible! The reason why you get a contact debt is that a customer’s need must be fulfilled. If you try to shorten the conversation – especially if the customer has had to wait for a long time to fix their problem, you risk that you won’t solve the issue. Empower your agents to make decisions and ensure that your resolution rate is as high as possible
Think of this as a football game that needs to be won. There will be a fallout with this tactic – but the alternative is much worse for your customer, your brand and the long term strategy of all you want to accomplish.