By Kim Houlne, founder and chief executive, Working Solutions
Every year, the seasonal shopping boom that kicks off on Black Friday and peaks on Cyber Monday gets bigger and bigger, and nowhere is that growth more apparent than in eCommerce. CNBC reports online sales hit a record $6.2 billion in 2018, 23.6% higher than the previous year—and that’s just for Black Friday.
For Cyber Monday, the internet shopping frenzy that follows Black Friday by just a few days, the numbers were even more jaw-dropping. According to Adobe Analytics, retail sales on Cyber Monday 2018 reached more than $7.9 billion, an increase of almost 20% over the year before, making it the largest online shopping day in U.S. history (so far).
Granted, the past doesn’t always predict present-day—and caution is in the air for American consumers. Even as sales dipped in September and a possible recession looms, the online message to retailers remains the same long term: Get on board by preparing for cybersales, or miss out on boosting revenue.
Regardless of the times, stellar sales and service are always bottom-line differentiators. Treated right, online shoppers are more than ready to make repeat purchases. Data from Temkin Group suggests that companies with happy customers have as much as a 16% advantage over competitors in consumers’ willingness to buy, reluctance to switch brands, and likelihood of recommending them. That’s especially important if economic belts tighten.
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Savvy consumers who become displeased or disappointed, however, will disappear in a heartbeat, tarnishing a brand’s reputation and driving sales to competitors. According to Salesforce.com, 78% of consumers have given up on a transaction as a result of sub-par customer service, and 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience.
It makes sense, then, that a frictionless shopping experience is paramount to customer loyalty. Making that happen often falls to the frontline contact center agent. For cybersales support, retailers increasingly turn to the outsourced, virtual contact center with its on-demand, work-from-home agents to provide vital sales and customer service. To fill that need, contact center providers need to do some basic blocking and tackling to prepare for the holiday onslaught—particularly in these three areas:
As a contact center provider for retailers, ask yourself: Do I have enough of the right agents in place, all properly schooled and steeped in client culture, and eager to engage holiday shoppers?
Or, do I instead have…
Fact is, an on-demand contact center can reap the big rewards of holiday cybersales and help retail clients build year-round customer loyalty. It could make all the difference between a hapless and healthy business outlook.
About Working Solutions:
Working Solutions is a consultative business process outsourcer providing customer service, sales, support, and flexible business continuity. Tapping into a vast network of enthusiastic brand associates across the United States and Canada, our flexible business model enables us to provide customer service on several levels–from steady state for everyday business to ready state for unexpected events to future state for long-range projects.
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019
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