News & Insight

It’s That Time of Year: Is Your Engagement Center Ready?

It’ll soon be the biggest day of the year for eating and more eating (and napping, no doubt). More pumpkin pie, anyone?

But for some people, it’s the day after Thanksgiving that’s the bigger deal, in multiple senses of the word. Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year—and this year promises to be bigger than ever.

A RetailMeNot survey predicts a robust holiday shopping season for 2017, with consumer spending over the Black Holiday weekend expected to increase by a whopping 47 percent compared to 2016.

Cyber Monday is growing, too. More than 56 percent of consumers in the RetailMeNot survey say they plan to make a purchase on Cyber Monday this year, compared with 39 percent last year.

The $743 Shopping List

Americans will spend an average of $743 on holiday shopping across Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, up from the $505 spent in 2016.

Almost 7 in 10 consumers (68 percent) will spend money between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Source: “’Tis the Season for Sales,” RetailMeNot, 2017

What does this mean for your engagement center?

Retailers that have ramped up accordingly for the expected surge in volume might have the human engagement specialists (agents) in place, but are they ready to deliver what customers truly want?

Savvy retailers know that to drive sales during this or any other peak season, they need to deliver a personalized, omnichannel customer interaction that features human communication.

STARTEK research shows that 83 percent of customers in retail prefer to speak with a human— and not just any human, but one that cares about them and personalizes the interaction to meet their needs.

So the question for retailers becomes not only do you have enough trained staff to handle Black Friday and the other prime shopping days that come afterwards, but how well is your staff trained to deliver what customers expect? Can your engagement specialists consistently create an engaging and effortless experience that anticipates your customers’ needs and builds rapport using your brand’s unique voice?

If not, it could be more of a Bleak Friday instead of the successful Black Friday that your competitors might enjoy.

It takes humans to meet customer expectations

Find out why your strategy shouldn’t neglect the importance of human interaction—at any time of the year.

Read the ebook, “Will Retail Customer Service Centers be Staffed By Chatbots in the Near Future?”