Practical Strategies To Handle Volume Spikes and Restricted Capacity

Khoros Staff

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With an influx of volume and unpredictable spikes, there are good options to better operationalize your agents in Khoros Care. This article highlights immediate automation opportunities and offers some strategy and guidance on how to proceed.

We hosted a webinar where we further discussed this topic. Check it out on-demand!


Welcome Responses (Learn more)

Before more advanced chatbot and automation use-cases, you should consider auto-responding when you are not staffed and setting engagement expectations when you are. Be transparent, and although customers may wish you to respond all the time, they will feel better knowing you’ve heard them and will get back to them. If there is a spike in volume, letting them know it might be five minutes until an agent is available will help keep them from getting as frustrated as fast.

If you have already integrated your own chat-bot into Khoros Care, you may be doing this today with our Automation Framework and Current TAR api.  You should have your bot set expectations when it hands over to an agent about when the agent will be able to engage.

If you do not yet have a chatbot,  Khoros has been planning to add the ability to configure “Simple Welcome Responses” in our platform. And because of the current situation, we are accelerating this work.

“Simple Welcome Response” will allow you to send an auto-response when customers initiate new private conversations with you. This will be a free feature and we are starting its Early Access program today with the ability to have auto-responses by language, work queue, and business hours. At the moment, Khoros will need to manage the configuration of the Welcome Responses for you and we expect self-service capabilities by mid-May.

To participate in the “Simple Welcome Response” Early Access program and request configuration changes, please contact your Khoros representative. 

Automation - Triage and FAQ Deflection Chatbots

Beyond basic welcome messages, relatively simple chatbots can also have a profound impact on your customers’ experience. We recently released Khoros Bot, a chatbot intended for triage and FAQ deflection, but note that it does take at least a few weeks to put a new bot in place. Please contact your Khoros representative if you’d like to learn more.

The key is to always make sure the chatbot is not getting in the way of the customer getting help from a person.  The chatbot can gather information to help an agent be more effective quickly, or if it can deflect frequently asked questions away from an agent to give them more capacity.

It is worth highlighting again, that a chatbot needs to get out of the way quickly if it doesn’t understand or a customer wants an agent, especially in these times of emotional stress.

Workflow & Resourcing

With an influx of conversations occurring directly or indirectly about a crisis, update your tagging, routing, and prioritization rules to account for the additional volume. Additionally, configure shared dashboards to analyze the impact and measure the utilization of your agents. 

If you are an admin that needs help enacting the below best practices, our product coaches are here to help. 

Click here to book 1:1 time with a product coach to help you manage your increased volume. 


  • Supporting Product Doc: Creating Tag Rules
  •  Create a conversation tag with keywords, phrases, and hashtags that specifically mention the crisis.
  • Create a separate tag(s) for conversations where customers don’t mention the crisis specifically, but are posting about issues or problems related to the it.  These can be specific to your company, brand, or industry.   (These may be tags you already have in place)
  • When creating the rule, check the option to retroactively apply the tag to all open conversations. 

Work queues and smart views

    • Supporting Doc: Set Up Smart Views
    • To isolate conversations related to a crisis such as the 2020 pandemic for responding and/or reporting purposes, create a work queue and/or smart view that includes the conversation tags you created above. 


    • Use a work queue if you have a dedicated team of agents assigned to respond to crisis issues and assign the newly created queue to the correct team(s); use a smart view and assign to the correct team(s) if these responding duties don’t fall to a dedicated team. 
    • Click here to book 1:1 time with a product coach to walk through how Smart Views can be used across Analytics dashboards and widgets, Agent View, and Manage View based on your role and business needs.

Priority rules

    • Supporting Doc: Set Priority defaults
    • Consider whether crisis related content should have a higher, or dedicated priority.

Shared Dashboard & Notifications

  • Create a crisis-focused shared dashboard and configure notifications. Below are several widgets we recommend including on the dashboard.  Some of these widgets should be filtered to your specific crisis work queue/smart view, while others should display metrics for all work queues, ensuring you have a full picture of your Care operations:
    • Incoming Conversations - See how volume has increased/spike since the start of crisis related issues. 
    • Online Agents - A live view of how many agents are online. You can also this widget by your dedicated crisis work queue, if applicable. 
    • Queue Backlog - How is your team keeping up with the incoming volume? Is your backlog staying steady, or consistently increasing? 
    • Average TAR, Median TAR, Response Times, and Responses Meeting TAR - These widgets provide  a breakdown of your response times.   Are you consistently meeting/missing your SLA targets.
    • Agent States - Have your agents been logged in and available to work during their scheduled shift hours?
    • Top Tags - How many customers are posting to you about the crisis, and how do those tags stack rank against your other care issues?  
    • Live Workforce Utilization - (coming very soon) This new Analytics widget gives you insights into utilization percentage of teams and individual agents. If your team is fully utilized and still can’t keep up with incoming volume, you should consider adding additional agents. 
    • CSAT/NPS - Filter this widget by your crisis work queue/smart view to measure the quality of agent responses.
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      • Volume Alerts - configure incoming posts widgets to act as an early warning indicator when volume crosses your desired threshold with intervals of 5, 10, 15, 30 min or 1 hour. 
      • TAR SLA Alerts - Track when you are missing your SLA targets in a specific time period.
      • SHARE - Once your dashboard is created, share it with the appropriate members across your team and organization, including executives and leaders from other departments. Remember, you can share these Shared Dashboards freely, as Dashboard viewer users will not count toward your seat licenses. 

New Response Templates

    • Create response template(s) for repeatable responses specific to a crisis and share them with your agents. If there are multiple responses, use the header [CRISIS NAME] to organize them


  • If you have purchased Casual (Flex) User hours, consider using those named users now to help with capacity. Casual (Flex) users are designed to offer flexibility during times of high volume or crisis. They are purchased in bundles of 5,000 hours and calculated cumulatively, when users are active in Khoros Care. Remember, you are not limited in terms of the number of Flex Users -- only the number of hours they are active in Khoros Care.
    • If you wish to add additional Flex User hours, please contact your Khoros representative.

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