Will your customer service shine on Black Friday? Key statistics


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As Black Friday hits the UK today, with retailers slashing their prices in an effort to replicate the biggest day in America’s shopping calendar, the pressure on staff in-store and within the contact centre mounts.

Traditionally a post Thanksgiving discount shopping day, marking the start of the Christmas shopping season in the US, UK retailers are keen to follow-suit, offering consumers discounts of up to 70% off today. Mega Monday or Cyber Monday – the busiest online shopping day of the year – will shortly follow on 2nd December, placing a huge stress on retailers customer service departments.

So how can retailers arm staff in-store to deal with the overnight onslaught of customers eagerly wanting instant answers to questions on a range of gadgets and gizmos they may be purchasing for the first time? Add to this the increased pressure on contact centre agents, dealing with a massive increase in enquiries via phone, web chat, e-mail and social media channels.

Being prepared for sudden increases in traffic to your store or other customer channels – whether planned or as a result of an unexpected event – will be paramount to the success of an organisation. The ability to offer customers the same level of customer service during an unusually busy period, as you would during a quieter one, will have a massive impact on a customer’s perception of your brand.

Some key stat’s to consider:

  1. 63% of high street retailers expect website traffic to increase by 11% on 2nd December (Source: Barclays)
  2. £1.3 billion predicted to be spent online on Mega Monday (Source: Visa Europe)
  3. 30% of shoppers plan to do most of their Black Friday shopping online (Source: Accenture)
  4. The percentage of online sales completed through mobile devices has risen from 0.4% at the start of 2010 to 27% in Q3 2013 (Source IMRG)
  5. 36% of holiday shoppers say social will influence their online purchasing decisions (Source: Adobe)

Whilst historically Black Friday sales have been predominantly via brick-and-mortar stores, the lines are now blurring, with e-commerce spend topping the $1 billion dollar mark in the US in 2012.

Black Friday and Mega Monday’s consumer is now truly multi-channel, using a combination of in-store, websites, e-mail, phone and social media channels, to research, review, make a purchase and contact a company for customer service.

Today’s retailers are under great pressure to not only compete on price but also compete on delivering a cost efficient and seamless in-store and online customer service that can cope with spikes in demand.

Will your customer service crumble amidst the chaos or bring calm during the storm?

Providing today’s consumer with a 24/7 multi-channel customer service – regardless of which touch-point or device they use – can be a key competitive differentiator.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Neldi Rautenbach
Neldi shares insight and best practice tips on multi-channel customer service from Synthetix. Synthetix is a leading provider of online customer service solutions - working with some of the world's best-known brands. Synthetix create bespoke customer service and knowledge base software that enable customers to self-serve timely, accurate and consistent answers to their questions via the web, mobile, e-mail forms, social networks and in the contact centre.


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