It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As brands battle for consumer spend in this key retail period, our data is showing there has been a significant year-on year-spike in call volumes to retailers during Black Friday sales chaos.
Customers have always been prepared to spend extra time shopping around for the best deals on Black Friday. This year, the economic crisis in the UK will force them to spend even more time looking for ways to save money.
Customer service teams need to prepare their staff as best as possible for the likelihood they will be on calls for longer, being asked more questions about their products. It’s critical for retailers to build and maintain a good reputation as a brand. To help you prepare for the increasing number of calls throughout this busy period, we’ve compiled three things to bear in mind.
Empathise with the customer
The festive sales period is a stressful time for people- especially when they are likely having to cut back on expensive purchases during the cost-of-living crisis in the UK. Customers will be shopping around for the best deal, but an excellent customer service representative can help persuade even the most cautious buyer to part with their cash. Investing in tools that give them real-time insights into how call agents are handling calls, such as Conversation Analytics, can help pinpoint exactly what enabled a positive call experience and outcome. Those insights can be used to then upskill and train other agents.
Reduce call handling times
Our Moments that Matter survey found that 60% of consumers would only wait up to 10 mins before hanging up on a brand. This demonstrates that waiting in long call queues has a huge impact on operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Disgruntled customers are also far more likely to report a negative customer service experience if they can’t find the information they need quickly. Analysing each call to identify issues that displease customers will help minimise these points of friction and speed up call handling times. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but also the efficiency of call centre operations.
Make use of call deflection
Call deflection is where a brand looks to handle simple queries on other channels, such as an online FAQ, to keep phonelines free for sales enquiries. Call deflection can help customers get access to the support they need quicker and can help to boost their experience as a result. Analysing each call also reveals important common queries that come up from customers. This data can be applied not only to improve customer service, but to also improve the overall experience of interacting with a brand by discovering what customers want, and when they want it.
Forecast for 2022 suggests that retail sales during the Christmas period could amount to 82.2 billion British pounds. Therefore, this busy sales season represents a critical opportunity for retailers to establish themselves as a reliable brand and capitalise on these huge financial profits. If retailers don’t optimise their customer call experience, they risk entering the 2023 economic crisis one step behind their competitors.