Patrice Orenes-Lerma of Diabolocom shares his advice for delivering world-class service over the busy Christmas period.
With Christmas just around the corner, high street and online retailers are preparing themselves for what is often the busiest time of the year.
Indeed businesses such as Photobox report dramatic increases in web traffic of up to 400-600% during Christmas and other seasonal peaks.
At the heart of customer service for most retailers lies the contact centre, and as sales multiply online and in-store, so too does the need for customer contact.
As 70% of these enquiries occur before the point of purchase, driving customers from intention to order is key.
Savvy retailers know that it isn’t just the storefront or website that must be equipped to deal with intense sales and promotional activity; the service to customers must also be able to stand the pace.
The contact centre must be able to cope with customer demand that peaks over the Christmas period while maintaining the exceptional standards of service customers expect.
A business that fails to fully prepare for the festive period does so at its peril as damage to brand reputation through poor service can be impossible to repair.
A Scalable, Flexible Solution
During seasonal peaks or indeed any peaks in traffic, expected or otherwise, the cloud solution really excels at offering businesses the opportunity to boost productivity without disruption to centre staff and customers.
Scaling up contact centres for periods of increased demand and seasonal peaks is a known requirement, yet many traditional centres still find themselves overwhelmed by volume when the event occurs.
The ability to easily scale the workforce up or down allows businesses to effectively utilise their resources without making a long-term commitment to staffing level and costs.
Without the restrictions of hardware and licensing associated with traditional on-premise centres, the cloud contact centre can seamlessly adapt to the ebbs and flows of customer activity.
The cloud allows maximum flexibility according to demand by taking an adaptable approach to pricing on a per seat or per use (i.e. per minute or message) rather than a rigid fixed-costs basis.
Providing a Seamless Service to Customers
Today’s consumers demand a high level of service and will happily take their business elsewhere should the experience they receive not meet expectation.
With a recent survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) revealing that 82% of respondents would shop elsewhere if they experienced poor service, the need to maintain exceptional customer experience couldn’t be clearer.
Automated services can be invaluable for handling simple customer interactions, but when dealing with complicated complaints and issues at an emotive time of year, call agents provide the backbone of the contact centre.
Customers want to have an interaction with a human being who can effectively resolve their issue while providing an empathetic ear.
The cloud solution allows businesses to easily add new clients and double, triple or quadruple the workforce with ease and scale back down once the festive period is over.
A cloud-based contact centre solution can enable accurate workforce management alongside exceptional customer service and personalisation by easily integrating with legacy company databases, customer relationship management (CRM) and workforce management (WFM) systems.
The ability for the agent to access accurate and up-to-date customer information without the need to switch to another system is imperative for a seamless customer service. This is very useful at all times, but particularly at peak times such as Christmas as it ensures a high standard of customer service can be maintained despite an increase in demand.
When agents are overloaded with long caller waiting times, system delays and difficulty in accessing customer information, their stress level will increase and can be translated to the caller.
Business as Usual
Customers should be able to expect the same high standard of service from providers regardless of volume, or risk losing loyal customers in the process.
The festive season represents a boom time for retailers, with greatly increased revenue opportunity. However, the increase in demand must be managed and supported effectively to ensure smooth service delivery.
There is no doubt that a cloud solution offers the highest level of flexibility that can easily complement the highs and lows of contact centre activity.
As customer activity escalates to a climax throughout Christmas and into the new year, the cloud-based solution can easily map demand with agility, providing a seamless service to customers.
Once the festivities have ended and life returns to normal, the centre is easily scaled back down to size… until the next peak!
To find out more about Diabolocom, visit: www.diabolocom.com