Butterball’s Turkey Talk Line: leading with customer success delivers a better experience

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On Thursday, the United States celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, the pandemic means it’s going to look a little different. The Centers for Disease Control have made their recommendations, and state and local governments have additional guidance as well. The bottom line: small gatherings are the better, safer choice.

This means those that in the past have gone to relatives’ or friends’ house for the big meal might be taking a crash course in cooking–preparing one of the most important meals of the year, no less. And nothing is more critical than getting the centerpiece–the turkey–just right. Spoiler alert: many mistakes are possible.

But there is some good news. Butterball, a name practically synonymous with turkey, has heard the cries for help over the years. The company offers tips for every step in the process, from shopping to carving, providing the means to get the chef through the stress and deliver a successful meal.

How it began

Butterball’s modern customer experience started from humble beginnings by simply extending customer service hours and adding specialists. Launched in 1981, six home economists staffed the telephone lines and answered 11,000 turkey cooking questions over that year’s holiday season. Now operational for the 2020 season, the TTL is ready to handle the over one hundred thousand inquiries they expect from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve during the service’s availability.

To be a member of prestigious TTL team, the skills and experience levels are high. In addition, staff must delay their own Thanksgiving celebrations to assist those in need. One reward is probably the humorous tales they can take to their own holiday meals that result from customers attempting things on their own.

Butterball continues to offer the soothing voice of a poultry preparation expert on its TTL by telephone at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. To help them scale their customer service to handle such a high volume of inquiries during the holiday period, they have adopted some other strategies, as well.

Diverse service channels

Visit the Butterball.com website today, and it’s clear the company wants success for its customers. Every page header prominently displays the TTL telephone number for any visitor that needs immediate assistance or is unable to find the answer to their question.

Butterball recognizes the journey from selection to meal takes place across a variety of locations. Its website is mobile-optimized, perfectly displaying the pages on any device. There will be no slow-to-load or incorrectly formatted pages adding to the chef’s frustration.

In addition to its website, Butterball has gone further to embrace the mobile needs of their customers. The TTL accepts and responds to text messages. This allows customers to have an ongoing conversation over the course of their planning and preparation period, from the store to the kitchen. Online chat via computer or mobile device is also available.

If this weren’t enough, help is also standing by with a voice command. The Butterball Alexa Skill offers assistance and even features some of the real TTL experts’ voices. There’s even an option to hear a pep talk!

Organized for success

For those wanting to have a go at it themselves, a link to the Turkey Talk Line page is available from the home page. On that page, Butterball further commits to making this as easy as possible for its customers. A six step process is outlined–shopping, thawing, prepping, cooking, doneness, and carving–on a single page so as put all resources in one plan for the chef. For each step, like selecting the bird, helpful tips are available for that phase.

But that’s not all. Useful, stage-appropriate tools like the “Portion Calculator” are a click or tap away. Some steps like prepping offer multiple methods for consideration.

More self-service options

Butterball’s one-page approach to addressing the most basic needs of its customers makes things easy to find all in one place. For customers that want to go beyond essentials, Butterball has things covered.

Years and years of selling turkeys and helping customers cook them has helped Butterball amass a high volume of knowledge on the topic. It has captured that in many different knowledge article-type pages in their “How To” section. Articles link to other relevant subjects, such as how to properly place a thermometer when checking for doneness. This provides the customer a deeper understanding of that step or to satisfy curiosity. Who knew spatchcocking was so simple?

A well thought-out article is helpful, but sometimes a visual is needed. In addition to pictures, Butterball also provides short video tutorials. In professionally produced short segments, actual TTL staffers walk through steps like thawing or roasting.

From anxiety to achievement

Amazing customer service and experiences are what today’s customers expect. Butterball is an example of a company using technology readily available in a modern customer service platform to deliver great customer service by leading with customer success. The TTL offers not only information and advice but also encouragement and help-in-the-moment in customers’ communication channels of choice.

This holiday season, COVID-19 will force many people unfamiliar with the kitchen out of their comfort zone. Butterball is way ahead of things: well before the pandemic, it had recognized the challenges of delivering the perfect meal. By taking a proactive, success-oriented approach, Butterball ensures victory in the kitchen for both the novice and seasoned cook and the assurance of delivering a great holiday meal.

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