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How retailers should
prep for Black Friday

By Quantanite | October 2020

“Celebrated” in many countries across the world, Black Friday’s scope has grown significantly. No longer confined to retail, many companies across various industries offer deals and incentives to customers to boost sales of products and services in the last quarter of the year.

Black Friday is the start of a stressful holiday shopping period both in-store and online.
But, this year it will be different. Compounding that stress is the impact which COVID – 19 and its restrictions will have on in-store shopping. And while Black Friday is approaching quickly, many companies may feel that they are ready; but, the reality is that despite the greatest efforts and intent, companies fail or neglect to take into consideration the importance of customer service and customer care. This on its own will ease the strain and make not only Black Friday and Cyber Monday less stressful but also ease the pressures going into the holiday season. And for this reason, companies must explore and identify the best ways to improve on and deliver the best customer experience (CX) and customer service.

See below some options to consider

• Making use of an outsourced service provider
• Making improvements in tools and technology to better simplify and streamline work
• Adding new content to self-service channels
• Managing Teams
• Increasing customer care force

It’s been nearly 7 months since the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted normal life and this has had different effects on companies but, what is evident is that the pandemic is driving a substantial step-forward and a change in online shopping and E-Commerce and this is due to increase as we approach Black Friday, the holiday season and beyond.

E-Commerce sales have seen an incremental growth during the pandemic period. But the question is, whether or to what extent the “new” online shopping and buying behaviors will “stick” after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, leaving companies with no choice but to be prepared. Some research has suggested that the shopping behaviors triggered by the pandemic will be long-lasting.

Below we highlight some stats as evidence of the pandemic-driven growth of E-Commerce and online shopping. We highlight the recent quarterly earnings of 5 large U.S retailers compared to the same fiscal quarter of 2019.

 

• Lowes – Lowes.com sales increased by 135%
• Home Depot – Sales “leveraging” Home Depot’s digital platforms increased by 100%
• Target – Digital sales increased by 195%
• Walmart – U.S. e-commerce sales grew by 97%
• Amazon – Online product sales increased by 40%
(Note: This does not include revenues from AWS, Amazon’s cloud platform.)

The paradigm shift

During busy, high energied shopping periods, many companies and business
owners underestimate and forget the importance of convenience in buying
decisions and the importance of continued and better customer care which will
directly impact the future growth and sustainability of their company and this
requires a paradigm shift.

Setting your customer service team up for success

For consumers, the use of online channels for purchases this Black Friday and the
coming holiday season will be the norm. This means that not only must businesses
ensure digital transformation but ensure that they make the customer experience a
priority. These two aspects must run parallel to each other.

The paradigm shift

During busy, high energied shopping periods, many companies and business owners underestimate and forget the importance of convenience in buying decisions and the importance of continued and better customer care which will directly impact the future growth and sustainability of their company and this requires a paradigm shift.

Setting your customer service
team up for success

For consumers, the use of online channels for purchases this Black Friday and the coming holiday season will be the norm. This means that not only must businesses ensure digital transformation but ensure that they make the customer experience a priority. These two aspects must run parallel to each other.

Here are some tips to navigate ahead of Black Friday, reduce customer
service agent stress, and set your customer service team up for success.

 

Here are some tips to navigate ahead of Black Friday, reduce customer service agent stress, and set your customer service team up for success.

 

1. Use effective tools – ensure customer service systems are easy to use and take advantage of embedded tools that suggest answers to make agents’ work easier (and means they can serve customers faster).


2. Ensure that your customer service agents are niche experts in your industry.


3. Online is global. Ensure that your customer agents are culturally aligned with your customer base. 


4. Make available Multi-Channel platforms such as phone, email, chat, text and social media to help ensure that you reach your audience wherever they are in the buying journey.


5. Ensure that you are able to rapidly scale teams in line with fluctuating demand.


6. Working with customers can be exhausting work. Customer problems might require lengthy troubleshooting. Stress means emotions can run hot at times for customers and agents alike. In addition, training is not possible without non-customer time. Ensure agents have some non-customer time available and it is used appropriately.


7. Offload common tasks – mundane tasks should be eliminated from the agent’s daily life. Machine learning can perform jobs like sorting, prioritizing, and assigning cases. Ensure customer self-service (chatbots, knowledge bases, communities, and automation) offer alternate service channels for customers that then allow agents to focus on higher priority work.

Any kind of transformation is not easy. It is a multi-step journey, but with an experienced
team to guide you through, your process can be seamless. But as daunting as this sounds,
getting started is not as difficult as you think. Start small, stay focused, but move quickly.

Retail is one of the most cut-throat and fastest moving sectors but by delivering
never-ending, great customer experiences and services, will deliver significant and
measurable rewards. This coupled with a perfect blend of online and offline experiences.

At Quantanite we recognize the importance of customer service. And, the quality of your
customer service is what sets your company apart from its competitors. It defines your brand
identity and determines each customer’s lifetime value.

From a customer’s point of view, they simply want a positive outcome – fast and effective
resolutions through whichever channel is most convenient for them. Quantanite offers a
different approach to customer service; We take a consultative and collaborative approach
specifically designed to help your business succeed and grow. With onboarding processes
that are fast and seamless, we help scale your business.

Any kind of transformation is not easy. It is a multi-step journey, but with an experienced team to guide you through, your process can be seamless. But as daunting as this sounds, getting started is not as difficult as you think. Start small, stay focused, but move quickly.

Retail is one of the most cut-throat and fastest moving sectors but by delivering never-ending, great customer experiences and services, will deliver significant and measurable rewards. This coupled with a perfect blend of online and offline experiences.

At Quantanite we recognize the importance of customer service. And, the quality of your customer service is what sets your company apart from its competitors. It defines your brand identity and determines each customer’s lifetime value.

From a customer’s point of view, they simply want a positive outcome – fast and effective resolutions through whichever channel is most convenient for them. Quantanite offers a different approach to customer service; We take a consultative and collaborative approach specifically designed to help your business succeed and grow. With onboarding processes that are fast and seamless, we help scale your business.

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