As we move through 2021, two of the most exciting shopping days are ahead of us - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While it may seem a little early to start planning your customer service strategy just yet, trust us, you can never be too prepared for the huge surge in online demand that Black Friday brings.
And 2021 is expected to be bigger than ever.
Driven in large part by convenience but also as a result of the pandemic, Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw record-breaking sales in 2020.
According to data from Adobe Analytics, spending online on Black Friday last year surged nearly 22 percent (from the year prior) to hit a new record with consumers spending $9 billion on the web. This made Black Friday 2020 the second-largest online spending day in history in the United States (at the time), behind Cyber Monday 2019.
But that statistic didn’t last long, and the record breaking didn’t end there! Festive shoppers spent 10.8 billion on Cyber Monday 2020, setting a record for the largest US internet shopping day ever.
Why great customer support is crucial during seasonal demand, and why your organization must prepare early
While we’re focusing solely on Black Friday and Cyber Monday here, in truth the entire seasonal period from Black Friday to New Year’s Eve has never been “the most wonderful time of the year” when you work in customer support.
Customer support demand is typically blown through the roof during the end-of-year period, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, festive sales and the “season of giving” driving a boom in retail sales during the period.
These spikes in customer demand will test your organization and, more than likely, put your resources over the edge.
With customers now placing the customer experience (CX) as a more important purchasing decision than price - according to Zendesk, roughly 50 percent of customers would switch to a new brand after one bad experience, while 78 percent of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience (Glance) - it’s never too early to start preparing your customer service program for a significant rise in demand.
That’s why it’s crucial you create a plan that ensures your business is able to seamlessly scale up its customer service strategy, helping your brand to meet customer expectations and come out of the period stronger than ever.
How to scale up your customer service for seasonal Black Friday/Cyber Monday demand
With that in mind, Advantage Communications has listed four of the key things your organization can do to scale up its customer service program for this Black Friday/Cyber Monday 2021- which will certainly be another record breaking one.
1 - Prepare to scale your customer service early!
There’s nothing worse than getting a few weeks away from Black Friday, only to realize your brand doesn’t yet have a plan laid out on how it is going to scale up its customer service program for a huge rise in seasonal demand.
The earlier you start preparing for the festive period, the better you will be able to meet your customers expectations. We recommend starting to prepare how you will scale up your customer service strategy right now, drawing insights on past performance data to build a strategic plan for how your brand will meet customer demand.
2 - Build an omnichannel customer support strategy that delivers 24/7 support
While traditional phone lines are still a crucial component of your organization’s customer support strategy, today’s customers now expect to be able to answer their own queries, on their preferred device, at any time of the day.
Building an omnichannel customer support program means your brand can provide customers with the tools they need to answer their own questions, while at the same time freeing up time for your customer service representatives to provide higher value over the phone. These self-service tools could include anything from chatbots on your website, an FAQ page, rich messaging and much more.
3 - Scale up your workforce
There’s no way around it. No matter how effective your self-service strategy is, your brand is always going to need more hands on deck during periods of seasonal demand. Scaling up your customer service workforce is an important aspect of meeting customer expectations and delivering superior customer care.
The problem is, scaling up your workforce in-house is expensive. You have to source the right workers, onboard them, invest in new equipment - only to let them go once the seasonal demand has passed.
Outsourced call centers offer scalable solutions, allowing your brand to easily and seamlessly scale up and down its workforce depending on the number of customer queries you are receiving. No matter how busy your organization is, you’ll always have the resources to deal with it.
4 - Outsource your customer service program to a contact center
There’s no better way to scale up your call center, and achieve your customer service goals, than to outsource your customer service program to an outsourced contact center that specializes in customer care success.
An outsourced contact center has the innovative technologies, scalable solutions, customer experience expertise, highly-skilled customer service agents and experience needed to drive up customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction and help your brand generate additional profits.
Want to learn how? Contact Advantage Communications today. Our team of highly-skilled and experienced customer service specialists would love to answer all of your questions about scaling up for periods of high seasonal demand, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.