Josh O’Farrell of Spearline shares three tips for proactively preparing your contact centre before the Black Friday rush.
With the built-up excitement for Black Friday about to be unleashed at the end of the week across all retail stores and websites, it’s another sector that can easily get affected and should be prepared for the increase in traffic: contact centres.
If you manage and run a contact centre you should ensure your agents aren’t left in the dark and are proactively prepared for your customers during one of the busiest times of the year.
Last year, the American market saw shoppers spend a total of $717.5 billion, a 4.3% increase since the financial crisis in 2008.
The Irish market is forecast to spend a total of €250m on Black Friday this year. So what should your contact centres think about and how should they prepare themselves in the run-up to this hysterical day?
Spearline has provided some of the best tips for contact centres in dealing with the run-up to Black Friday:
1. Don’t Forget Quality
In a frenzy of activity, it could be easy to let quality slip, and research has shown that many retailers see their 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 your customers’ experience.
2. 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…
If you have callback functionality – use it! Your customers will feel time pressure more than ever on Black Friday, so allowing them to request a callback will be a welcome relief for many.
3. 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 cause frustration for customers.
Ensuring they get to the best person to handle the call easily will help 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, if issues on your inbound phone lines mean that DTMF (touch-tone) signals aren’t being transmitted, then 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.
For further information about Spearline, visit www.spearline.com