Was this an attempt to improve the Black Friday customer experience or not?


Share on LinkedIn

For the first time some stores got a jump on ‘Black Friday’ by opening on Thursday evening (Thanksgiving). After the leftovers from the turkey dinner were put away, I decided to venture out to see how this plan was going to work. What was I thinking?!?

Did you assume that the expansion of the Black Friday deals was due to the massive demand for goods on the biggest shopping day of the year? Was this a solution to lessen the pressure on their sales staff as well as the wait time for eager buyers? Was this an event that would improve the customer experience?

There were still long lines and delays (who saw that coming?) and I was met with disgruntled staff members that were long on attitude and short on customer service. Naturally I’m wondering about the cost to get these so-called deals. If this was the store’s attempt to create a better customer service experience by opening early, I’d say that it backfired. The loyal Black Friday shoppers were now flooding the stores the night before to avoid the risk of a picked over selection come early Friday morning. And don’t forget the sales staff which was equally overwhelmed at the sheer volume of customers and chaos, not to mention pulling an all-nighter while fighting the effects of tryptophan. How will this madness in the retail stores affect the call center customer experience?

Time to find out because here we are on ‘Cyber Monday’. What have you done to prepare your team for the season that is upon us? Are you a top leader that has leveraged your call center analytics to tell you how to predict customer behavior, and formulate a plan to reduce customer churn to increase sales? If you are a top leader, you already know this. For those wanting to be in front of the line make sure call center analytics is on your Christmas list!

Overheard on Thursday night:

“I can’t freaking believe this. I’ve been waiting in line for over 45 minutes and I’m only saving $5 off on this.”

“I wonder if the Pilgrims had intended for grown men to shove each other over a DVD player.”

“This is absolutely the craziest display of human nature that I’ve ever seen. I should have just eaten pie and called it a day.”

“I was so happy when I thought there were only 300 people in front of me until I realized that the line went around another corner and then another. I think there are 700 people in front of me. This was not a good idea.”

Happy (Cyber) Monday!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodie Monger
Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM) and a pioneer in business intelligence for the contact center industry. Dr. Jodie's work at CRM focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data for business action. Her research areas include customer experience, speech and operational analytics. Before founding CRM, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.


  1. Jodie, thanks so much for sharing your experience. What are you crazy? You are definitely a brave person, but I’m sure it was worth your time and effort to actually live in the moment of total chaos. When I think of these black Fridays, the first thing that comes to my mind is the associates who need to leave their families to be with many customers who may not treat them as family. I’m not really sure what the answer is, but it would be great if companies could still start the holiday season off with a bang, without throwing the customer experience out the window. As such as advocate for improving the customer experience, it must have been an interesting, but highly frustrating experience for you. Richard Shapiro, The Center For Client Retention @richardRshapiro


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here