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Contact Centers and the Holiday Season

Posted by on December 17th, 2018 in Blog Posts, Contact Center

For many business owners, preparing for the holidays means working around vacation schedules and holiday parties while still trying to reach end-of-year sales goals. For retailers, in particular, the holiday season presents a whole other set of challenges – where do you add resources to keep up with the spikes in sales activity and customer interactions? When you consider the personnel, inventory, and contact center requirements, there can be significant challenges if you don’t address each of these properly.

Contact center managers that are unprepared can expect a variety of scenarios. Sales numbers are at stake. Your brand reputation is on the line. Loyal customers are calling, messaging, and placing orders online. The reality is this – successfully managing your contact center during the holidays can make or break your business’s bottom line.

Is your contact center technology up to par? 

Having enough contact center agents is only a small piece of the puzzle. Implementing the right technology means the difference between a customer experience your clients will be cheering about, or getting yourself put on your customer’s naughty list. Unfortunately, many retail businesses may be looking at holiday spikes from the wrong angle. A recent study published by Retail Dive shows that “53% [of senior retail decision makers] believe they can remain competitive by simply hiring extra staff, while 40% said they would increase inventory significantly to cope with peak periods.”

This indicates that while they are correct to focus on the people and products they have in place for the holiday rush, they fail to consider the critical aspect of leveraging technology to keep customers and support agents connected. 

Questions to ask yourself: 

  1. What are your holiday season trends? Using analytics to identify trends in wait times, issue resolution, and peak calling hours gives you a good indication of what to expect as you plan for the season.
  2. Do you have enough bandwidth? Increased customer interactions can put a strain on both your physical and virtual infrastructure.
  3. Is your contact center set up for holiday-specific traffic? Updating auto-attendants, call routing, and holiday messages can help customers get the support they need without seemingly endless hold times.
  4. What is your plan for the post-holiday season? Your customers are likely purchasing items as gifts, which means you can expect product returns and support calls in the weeks/months after the holidays are over

As the holiday season ramps up, keep these questions in mind to evaluate your current contact center solution. Not sure if your technology is sufficient? Give us a call.

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