The countdown to the shopping fever that is Black Friday, 27 November, has started with some of the UK’s biggest retailers launching deals 3 weeks ahead of the actual big day. But this ‘official’ start of the Christmas shopping season in the UK will not be the only ‘Black Friday’ putting pressure on staff in-store and within contact centres, increasing stress on retailer’s customer service departments.
November 2015 boasts two Black Fridays, Friday the 13th – considered an unlucky day in Western superstition – and 27 November with Cyber Monday close on its heels as the busiest online shopping day of the year on 30 November.
Calling a Friday ‘Black’ could not have more different meanings in this month. For an estimated 21 million people in the US living in fear of Friday the 13th, the colour has a negative connotation. However for retailers traditionally, profitability is noted down in black, while losses are noted in red, and with some people so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines – swopping their instore to online shopping, while others frantically look for online bargains and comparisons – the two ‘black’ Fridays for retailers, represent positive profits.
The writing’s on the wall
A good customer service strategy can be a competitive advantage during these peak times and the impact substantial to the success of a retailer. However, Black Friday also coincides with retailers hiring of Christmas staff, who may be new to the job and not used to having to deal with an influx in customer contact.
Customers have their favourite brands, but generational attitudes to shopping will require retailers to have a clear and consistent multi-channel customer service strategy in place as customers expect retailers to be prepared with the same levels of customer service during peak shopping season as during quieter times.
As customer interactions escalate during this busy period, it’s shocking that some retailers are still caught off-guard as shoppers hold off until the last minute still expecting to experience good customer service. How is your ‘bricks and clicks’ strategy, that will allow consumers to browse, buy and self-serve, using the most convenient channel for them, right up to the last minute dash?
Well, at Synthetix we don’t believe in superstitions but just to be sure, we’re rubbing our rabbit’s foot (which he loves after a hard day of carrot farming), throwing salt over our shoulders and offering you our very own special pre-Christmas gift to download or be one of the first people to receive a printed copy of ‘Multi-Channel Online Customer Service For Dummies.’ Will help guide you to:
And just a heads up – Next year’s Friday the 13th will be in May …