Yes, chatbots can save you and your customer support team a lot of time and stress during the rush season, but it still has many flaws. Chatbots are not human, they do not understand all types of questions. I admit, it might be a little embarrassing (it’s a no-judge space so keep your opinion to yourself), but I’ve already gotten really mad and in a heated conversation with a chatbot for not understanding my question no matter how I phrased it. That’s why (and it’s not based on my personal opinion) chatbots should be used for simple and specific queries, such as giving out shipping information or referring to the appropriate product page.
One of the most effective ways to use chatbots is also to collect as much structured information as possible about consumers’ issues (order number, type of question, etc.) to make it easier for your agents to handle them and route these tickets to the right team at the right time. That’s one of the most efficient ways to increase your first contact resolution rate.
If it’s your first time implementing a chatbot, you should try figuring out how many support agents you need to keep the response time under 90s (to keep your customer satisfied and conversion rate high of course).
Back office tasks – the real deal?
It is estimated that 60% of the total time spent by a customer service advisor relates to back-office tasks (excluding direct interactions with customers). These can include updating status or customer data, sending reminder or thank you emails, etc.
Don’t focus only on automating the conversational part, those few simple but repeated tasks might present the biggest automation opportunities!
5. Size your CS team for the challenge
Who goes into battle without analyzing the situation first and reacting accordingly? Apply that same concept before Black Friday: use recent data and make assumptions on the number of hours, days, or even languages you’ll need to cover. By doing so you can determine the number of agents you’ll require. Please avoid overworking them.
Unhappy employees = unhappy customers.
To avoid drowning in customer support requests during Black Friday or any other peak season, especially since it has such a huge impact on your business’s top line, you could also consider outsourcing. We don’t want to scare you, but you can expect your customer requests to grow by 65% during that week. A support agent can handle 80 tickets a day on average.
The more agents you have, the more efficient you are, the happier the customer, and the higher the NPS. It’s simple math.
You can also use Black Friday as the perfect occasion to set up a ‘CS’ day in your company and get all your teams on deck to respond to your consumers (from product to sales, to tech…). A good way to reinforce the cohesion between your teams and to remind everyone that the customer is at the centre of everything!
6. Feedback and data are a gift: collect them!
Christmas is only a ‘bell’ away, so get ready. Or even any other peak season
One way to fuel your Black Friday sales is to collect customer feedback which would allow you to identify any customer friction in their customer journey. While we do recommend you do that all year round, now is the perfect time to start. Analysing customer feedback should allow you to keep your customer experience up to par with expectations.
We also recommend you to track your performance during those peaks and brace yourself for upcoming events such as the Christmas season. The challenges you’ll face and the way you solved them will help in the future, allowing you to become even more efficient.
Review past shopping patterns and items that your consumers have recently shown interest in but haven’t yet opted to purchase. Black Friday is a great time for many individuals to purchase Christmas presents: Black Friday is the perfect time to analyze which items sell the most and give the customer service team a chance to prepare for the upcoming holidays. It is much more efficient if they know everything about these products before the peak re-occurs.
We’ve got a dedicated team of customer experience consultants and data analysts who could run a quick audit of your customer journey as well as a root-cause analysis of your customer service and map out the right strategy for improvement. Our dedicated team of consultants can support you all the way, from journey mapping & sales funnel analysis to solutions’ implementation.
7. All for one and one for all: in other words, be there for your team!
Think about rewarding your team members for their hard work during this peak period and once the rush settles down , because after Black Friday comes the Christmas period (which can be a bit more painful ?). From special treats (e.g. massage sessions during the most intense days, breakfasts or team snacks…) to performance-related rewards during these few days…
8. Get ready for massive traffic on your website. Avoid any crashes, please
We’ve heard that some retailers already faced a website crash during Black Friday because of high traffic. Lucky them? We’re not so sure… Did you know that anything above a 3-second website load increases the bounce rate probability by 40%?
9. Plan B, Plan C, Plan D… Create contingency plans in case it all goes wrong
Better prepare now than during the midst of the sales weekend, don’t you think?
Start preparing for the worst. Do you have proper backups if all sides of your business go awry? For example, what happens if the shipping company you are partnering with becomes too busy? Or if your inventory gets stuck in the warehouse? How quickly can you adjust to that? How quickly can customers know they’ll have to wait a bit longer without angering them?
We don’t want to stress you out, but only help you prepare for tough situations. Map out all possible worst-case scenarios and get ready to face them head-on.
10. Make sure you never run out of stock. Or if you do, try to avoid bounce rates
There is nothing worse than spotting an amazing product online or in the store window only to find it’s out of stock. Anyone would feel frustrated… I know some in our office (including me) would be.
It’s not only about frustrating customers, or maybe even losing their trust, but it’s also of course about losing revenue.
That’s why you should keep a close eye on your inventory and prepare it for the upcoming weeks. You could already draft some messages to warn consumers when a product they want to purchase is out of stock. And you might even want to think about automatizing that message if you want to be more efficient.
We know some logistical issues can still arise along the way, but you can already start optimizing your customer’s journey by even redirecting them to similar products when one is out of stock. You could also add a ‘let me know when you’re available’ button on a landing page allowing a customer to get in contact with you again once the rush of Black Friday settles down (think of adding some incentive to retain a customer such as a coupon).