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Black Friday is Coming and the Customer Experience is About to Get Very Real

Omni-Channel Customer Engagement Article

Black Friday is Coming and the Customer Experience is About to Get Very Real

November 22, 2016

  By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The day is coming – the day that all consumers looking for the best deal are willing to forgo sleep in the craze of Black Friday (News - Alert) shopping that starts for many retailers at the crack of midnight. While brands everywhere are stocking their shelves and staffing everyone on the payroll, call center managers also have to be prepared. The omni-channel customer engagement experience is about to get very real.

Aspect (News - Alert) recently focused on this day in a company blog. The omni-channel customer engagement solutions provider stressed that as companies enjoy the surge of year-end sales that takes them squarely into profitability, call center managers also have to be ready for the influx of customer inquiries. That means more people have to be available to handle the inquiries – in an environment accustomed to staff sizes typically at a fraction of what is needed for Black Friday.

At the same time, the omni-channel customer engagement experience is critical as the call center must ensure business clients get what they need. Without the right tools to meet those needs, however, customers will often experience frustration as agents realize a rise in stress levels. Therefore, it may be appropriate to consider an integration of call center solutions to properly support managers as they brace for this year-end rush.

To that end, Aspect suggests that you incorporate performance management software. The goal is to provide quality and consistent service, which means your managers have to ensure that all agents are following standard best practices during interactions with your customers. It’s not possible to track every agent’s performance separately (at least not efficiently), which generates the need for performance management software. This provides your managers with a broader view of how agents perform through the collection, correlation and display of metrics for all employees on their teams.

Streamlining the staffing process is also a good idea. The challenge this time of year in the quest for omni-channel customer engagement is that call center managers need to scale up to accommodate the greater volume of inquiries, while agents schedule time off during the holiday season. The implementation of an automated workforce management solution allows agents to autonomously set their schedules so they work in tandem with the needs of the call center. This takes the responsibility for juggling needs on both sides of the schedule off the plate of the call center manager.

No matter what solutions you put in place, this coming weekend and into Cyber Monday (News - Alert) will be a blur of activity. You have the opportunity to keep that activity more streamlined and controlled with the right tools in place. In doing so, you’re more likely to also protect the sanity of all employees. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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