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Get your contact centre ready to avoid Black Friday chaos


17 November 2016

Dr Nicola Millard

Blogs by author: Dr Nicola Millard, Head of Customer Insight and Futures, BT


Black Friday is coming. Do you know what channel your UK retail customers will use this year? Get your contact centre ready for any eventuality.

Back to black.
One certainty about Black Friday is that the UK is on track to spend a record amount of money. Last year, retailers took an incredible £1.1 billion, and it was the UK’s biggest day for online sales ever.

But as to how UK retail consumers will spend, spend, spend their money this year — that’s not so certain. Will there be a rush to the shops (and possibly a few fights in the aisles)? Will we choose the online route and tap furiously at our screens and keyboards? Or will we mix ‘n’ match our shopping methods, seeking out the best omni-channel experience?

Covering your Black Friday bases.
The good news for retailers is that the booming omni-channel trend is encouraging consumers to become more exploratory and to seek out more variety — and this has the potential to unlock more sales.

By enabling a seamless experience for the consumer (whether they’re using digital channels via a desktop, phone or tablet, giving you a call or visiting you in store), you’re making it easier for them to build a profitable relationship with you.

And, the omni-channel model — with the right contact centre support systems in place — can serve you well at times of high stress, too.

Let’s imagine the unthinkable happens: your website is creaking under the weight of Black Friday traffic and customers are getting frustrated. They want help, and they want it now. So they try to contact you by phone, over social media, via email or using live chat.

Smart businesses have their contact centre geared up precisely for situations like this by making the most of what they’ve got available.

Make the most of your resources.
Your organisation is packed to the rafters with expertise — and a big part of swift and efficient customer service is simply a matter of matching your customers with the people who can help. Create a network of experts that your contact centre agents can call upon easily and promptly. Make it straightforward for them to contribute when you need them, via any device. And the result? Faster issue resolution and more satisfied customers.

Make the most of your channels.
Omni-channel consumers have a flexible approach to the methods they use to get in touch with you. So, use this openness to keep your communications with them flowing smoothly. Guide customers towards the channel that will provide the most efficient result for both you and them.

At times of high pressure it’s all the more important to share the load. Make email your go-to for confirming and tracking actions, but push contact about issues that need a fast solution to your chat channels. Webchat can make the most of your network of experts, and help you get the most out of your contact centre agents.

Make the most of the cloud.
The cloud is the key to giving you the flexibility in your contact centre capabilities that will mean you can take events like Black Friday in your stride. The days of physically building a bigger contact centre and staffing it with more agents ‘just in case’ have long gone. Now, your network of experts only needs an internet connection and a browser to become part of your contact centre function via the cloud.

Be prepared for Black Friday: find out how our cloud contact centre solutions can give you the flexibility you need, and discover how we can help you meet the challenges of digital retail.

We’re at NRF 2017, Retail’s Big Show, from 15 to 17 January 2017. At our booth (#3181, Level Three) you can chat to our experts about your digital retail challenges and learn more about our Acuitas Digital Alliance solutions. If you’d like to schedule a demo appointment, contact judith.joost@bt.com. During NRF 2017, you can also book a tour of our Alexander Black Retail Experience, showcasing the latest digital retail technology, here.