Chances are, when you’re reading this article, it’s peak season somewhere, for some industry.
From the holiday rush in retail to open enrollment periods for health insurers or hot booking times in the travel business – the need to scale to accommodate seasonal spikes is a common feature for many of us in customer care.
In retail, customer experience (CX) professionals spend millions every year preparing to deliver a Holiday Season CX. Despite all this effort, every customer still dreads having to contact you during this period — unbearable wait times for the simplest inquiries, driven by the sheer volume of interactions. Unhappy customers, lost revenue, stress levels through the roof. Sound familiar?
Just think of the possibilities if you could spend HALF that amount, but still provide customers with faster, smarter service.
The training money pit
During my years of managing customer care for one of North America’s biggest retailers, we all knew that things would get A LOT busier during the holiday season. Yet no matter how detailed the planning process, or how many extra staff were trained, the reality on the front line during the holiday season was always different than even our most well-laid plans.
It wasn’t uncommon for us to bring on at least 6,000 extra agents to help us cover the seasonal bump. At roughly $24 million (just in training) that represented the lion’s share of our holiday investment.
Despite this enormous investment – the crushing truth was that the customers still encountered friction.
Come mid-January, and we’d sit down, review the metrics and do our best to apply our learnings to tweak execution for the next holiday season… only to find that we were faced with a different set of issues, resulting in the same expenditure (if not more), and the same customer frustrations.
What if it could be different?
Thanks to inflexible IVRs, complex systems and customer channels that had to be scripted and locked down in advance, we had to design and set BEFORE the season commenced. Agents had to be trained on EVERYTHING as there was no way to predict who was going to get what call or to easily segregate and route specific call types within a skill or queue.
Technology today allows retailers to flexibly change their IVR on the fly – meaning customers have a quicker and more tailored CX, and agents only need to be trained on the queries you know that they are going to take – cutting your training costs in half, at least. Why hasn’t anyone done this before?
We at VXI have asked ourselves that same question.
Real-time data driving on the fly changes
With data analytics that informs customer journey – in real time - your decisions made back in January no longer need to be set in stone. Today, we at VXI can use data to spot potential problems before they are made, and then make changes to the journey across ALL your channels to make an issue a non-issue.
Chat queue clogging up? No problem - we can divert traffic. Interactive voice response (IVR) not streaming people correctly? It’s easy to design and add a new flow based on customer feedback. Need to add SMS or change the scripting? Covered – just use the simple drag and drop interface.
A partner that helps you approach your holiday season differently
We all know retail is going through a fundamental renaissance. What if you could spend your time re-imagining the customer experience of tomorrow - rather than worrying (guessing) about seasonal issues on the ground, months in advance?
Instead of spending your entire year planning for the tactical elements of the holiday season, we can free up your time to let you focus on the big issues – like innovating ways to delight your customers. Sound like another holiday wish list? Trust me – it’s not.
Take it from someone who knows what it’s like to compete in your space – this is the next evolution in the holiday season customer experience.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can ramp up your holiday-season CX, while cutting out the unnecessary effort and money, let’s talk.