Days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with frantic shopping, huge discounts, and eager deal-seeking customers.
However, for contact centers, these days represent high-stakes situations that require meticulous planning and preparation. Lack of adequate preparations lead to contact center struggles with queries, causing a decline in customer satisfaction.
Salesforce research indicates that Black Friday 2022 had $65.3 billion in online sales globally, and Cyber Monday reached $46.2 billion. As such, on these crucial days for e-commerce, contact centers become the front line in ensuring customer satisfaction and the retailer's reputation.
This article outlines the essential steps contact centers should take to prepare and provide exceptional service during some of the busiest global shopping days. These include scaling up, ensuring technology readiness, focusing on enhancing the customer experience, and prioritizing call quality.
Four Tips to Prepare for Major Shopping Days
1. Scaling up
Scaling up becomes imperative during these peak periods. As a result, chatbots and conversational AI can prove invaluable for easily increasing capacity and their ability to handle multiple queries simultaneously. This allows contact center agents to direct their attention toward more complex requests or those that demand high levels of empathy. Achieving this typically requires the effective use of clear call routing logic, queuing systems, and escalation policies.
Contact centers should leverage historical data and predictive analytics to forecast the expected call and inquiry volumes on these days. Using these insights, they should create a schedule ensuring high agent availability during peak times, and adjust staffing as demand decreases.
2. Ensuring technology readiness
Contact centers must maintain up-to-date systems, handle traffic surges, and conduct quality assurance testing for optimal service quality on various communication channels. These channels include phone lines, chatbots, video, and social media.
Contact center testing becomes more complex when agents work remotely as it multiples the number of networks requiring testing. So prioritizing understanding and analyzing each agent's home network performance is crucial when scaling contact centers to full capacity.
The Cyara testRTC product suite proves highly valuable in this regard. It provides a comprehensive overview of an organization's remote networks and helps to enhance agent productivity. This enables them to concentrate on what truly matters—their customers!
3. Focusing on the customer experience
Contact centers must prioritize delivering a comprehensive and seamless customer experience. In today's landscape, omnichannel customer service support isn't merely a luxury—it's a requirement. Therefore, organizations must provide consistent and uninterrupted support across all channels.
Additionally, for contact centers equipped with callback functionality, it's crucial to leverage it. Customers, increasingly mindful of time, will appreciate the ability to request callbacks at their convenience. This approach benefits customers and prevents the frustration of long hold times and repetitive on-hold music.
4. Giving priority to call quality
During peak periods, carriers and service providers may economize on bandwidth by compressing audio quality, potentially affecting the contact center's quality. Diminished audio quality not only hampers call handling times but also reduces the experiences of both the customer and agent.
Cyara Voice Assure replicates inbound and outbound calls exactly as customers experience them, providing an objective audio quality score. This score verifies the providers' adherence to service-level agreements (SLAs) and reduces the likelihood of any unauthorized audio compression.
Cyara Alerts on Major Black Friday Outage
In the middle of the day on Black Friday, a major United States retailer received a Cyara platform alert about a contact center issue. They soon noticed a problem where response times for card processing increased significantly for every fifth customer who called in.
By looking at the detailed information and recordings from Cyara’s monitoring platform, they quickly identified a number of issues. This included a server delay on their end, paired with a failure stemming from their third-party credit card processor’s connection.
Through Cyara’s monitoring platform, the retailer was able to access and analyze individual numbers, call recording and URLs. Armed with this data, they efficiently identified and rectified the issues within minutes. Rather than investing hours in manual troubleshooting, their operations team were able to immediately understand the problems and collaborated with the third-party card processor to resolve them. The quick resolution time minimized any adverse effects on customers, brand reputation, and business operations.
Major US retailer
Contact centers should conduct thorough post-event evaluations, especially after significant events like Black Friday, to prevent future challenges. Gathering voice of the customer feedback and insights through surveys and other methods is crucial to understand and integrate their real-life experiences into future preparations and plans.
Implementing the above tips and ensuring essential contact center performance testing capabilities will better prepare centers for peak traffic days. And a well-prepared and high-quality contact center translates to enhanced customer experience.
Remember, it's not only about meeting expectations; it's about surpassing them and creating a lasting positive impression on customers. Through the right strategies, contact centers can use busy shopping days to excel, boost their brand, and nurture customer relationships.