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With Great Sales Comes Great Customer Service Responsibility - Mark Fichera - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

With Great Sales Comes Great Customer Service Responsibility

Retailers take heart: Holiday sales news is good! Bloomberg reports a rise of 3.5 percent for Thanksgiving week over last year. For Black Friday itself, total retail revenue hit $10.7 billion, a record. Spending for the first two weeks of November was up 6.1 percent, according to ShopperTrak. A look inside the numbers reveals a distinct trend: growth in consumer spending is being driven by a big jump in online retail sales. Online merchants realized a 16 percent revenue increase in November, reports Coremetrics, with the average order climbing to almost $191, an increase of 12 percent over last year. Online sales rose to more than one-third of the total, the highest ever, according to the National Retail Federation. But with great news comes great responsibility. Specifically, retailers need to satisfy a greater need for premium inbound customer care and order processing services. Put another way, the quickest way to kill online sales is to put consumers through bad experiences with your call center. This means more than just adding more order taking staff. It means connecting your customers with smart, alert, knowledgeable, friendly and responsive customer service agents who are immersed in your brand, who can hold the average talk time to a minimum and who know how to increase your average sales order. Longer term, the goal is to get customers to buy in to buying online. If they enjoy your customer service you’ve taken a big step toward cementing customer loyalty – and lowering your business costs. A final note on the retail sales numbers: U.S. consumer confidence rose more than expected in November to the highest level in nearly six months, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index. For retailers, the key to riding out the rest of the recession is making the right adjustments that leverage these trends. If consumers are more confident about the future and increasingly buying online, you need to provide your customers the inbound customer care call center capabilities they deserve – and will keep them coming back.

Publish Date: December 3, 2010 12:02 PM

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