Is your contact center prepared for Black Friday?

If you manage a contact center, follow these steps to ensure your agents are proactively prepared for your customers.
On Thursday 19 November 2020 by Josh O'Farrell

 

With Black Friday's built-up enthusiasm about to be launched across retail stores and websites, contact centers are another industry that will quickly be affected and should be prepared for the spike in traffic. 


If you operate a contact center, you must ensure that your agents are not left abandoned or fatigued. You need to be proactively prepared for your customers during one of the busiest periods of the year.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 84.2 million people shopped in stores on Black Friday in 2019, spending a total of $729.1 billion. In the same year, 93.2 million people shopped online on Black Friday, compared to the 65.2 million that did in 2018. 

Unfortunately, 2020's holiday shopping season may look very different from past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the NRF's October survey found that shoppers plan to spend about 1% less than they did in 2019, it also found that about 53% of shoppers say they plan to spend more this year because they won't be traveling for the holidays. Even with a majority of retailers offering free shipping, 44% of shoppers still plan to pay online and pick up gifts in store.

Spearline wants to proactively prepare your contact center. Here are some of the best tips for dealing with the run-up to Black Friday:


1. Don’t neglect audio quality

In a frenzy of activity, it could be easy to let quality slip, and research has shown that many retailers see their Net Promoter Score (NPS) dip during November and December. But during a time of increased competition for customers, maintaining quality is more important than ever. Top up training for agents may be an option so that they’re better able to deal with customer queries quickly and efficiently.

Don’t neglect audio quality. Poor audio quality can impact call handling times as well as customer experience. And during busy times telco providers may be more tempted to save bandwidth by compressing your audio, thus impacting the audio quality of your customer’s experience.

 

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2. Make sure callers are getting where they need to be

Take a little time to review and check that your IVR system is working correctly and routing customers as efficiently as possible to the correct agent. Complicated or malfunctioning IVRs will only lead to frustration for customers. Ensuring the best person can handle the call will help to maintain your NPS scores as well as keeping Talk time down and first call resolution rates up.

It’s also worth remembering that even if your IVR is optimized and functioning, issues on your inbound phone lines could mean that DTMF (touch-tone) signals aren’t being transmitted, and your IVR will not work in your customers’ eyes. 

By proactively testing your global contact numbers using in-country testing, you can ensure that your customers are able to connect, and are achieving the audio quality they expect (and you’re paying your providers for)! Checking for DTMF transmission will also ensure that customers are able to navigate your optimized IVR and reach the best agent to resolve their call quickly.  

Outbound testing can also be used to ensure that lines used for agent callback are functioning correctly and achieving quality standards.


3. Don’t inflict your hold music on customers for too long

We’ve all experienced the endless hold music, where we know the playlist order by heart by the time the call is answered...

So if you have callback functionality - use it! Your customers feel time pressure now more than ever, so allowing them to request a call back will be a welcome relief for many.

If you would like to take a Black Friday health check of your international toll and toll-free contact numbers, talk to us about a free trial. 
 

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About us

Spearline provides quality assurance tools for business communication services, allowing you to proactively manage your inbound and outbound voice, SMS, and Fax services. Spearline is cloud-based, which means no physical infrastructure is required at your end and provides worldwide coverage with a presence in over 70 countries. For further information, or if you have any further questions please get in touch with us.

 

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