It’s no secret that the holiday season is often the busiest time of the year for many businesses. In fact, 20-40% of annual sales for retailers are generated over the last two months of the year, so the pressure on holiday retailers is high. For many customers, the way in which a company delivers its customer service determines whether they choose to give that company their business. The bottom line is poor customer service costs money, and customers are willing to abandon your brand even after a single negative experience. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that create such a challenge for call centers this time of the year and the solution that is primed to deal with them once and for all.
Holiday Shopping Season – Call Centers Experiences
While the holiday shopping season equals more sales opportunities, it also means that call centers experience a giant spike in call volume as customers flood the lines with all sorts of inquiries, questions, and complaints regarding their purchases. If these spikes are not efficiently managed, this can result in a corresponding spike in dropped calls and long holding times that leave customers unsatisfied. More than any other time of year, customers just want to get answers to their questions as quickly as possible so they can check off their holiday shopping list. You need to take into account that people will hang up when they can’t reach a live agent, and 45% will drop an online purchase if their questions are not speedily answered. You begin to understand that, while the holiday season may be a fun time for shoppers, it’s made or break time for businesses depending on how well they are set up to manage these spikes.
Call time isn’t the only thing consumers are concerned with. They also pay attention to whether customer service reps answer questions effectively to resolve problems. In fact, expectations customers have for contact centers tend to be even higher over the holidays than they are the rest of the year. However, when the hold times begin to grow, and the customers’ patience starts to run out before they even start the conversation, it only makes the agent’s job increasingly harder, and more unlikely to meet those expectations. Put it all together, and it’s no wonder a comprehensive solution is crucial to take advantage of high volume surges like the holiday shopping season so that retailers can celebrate as well.
The Ultimate Solution: Jacada Visual IVR
Today, with over 1 billion smartphone users worldwide and growing, web self-service is now the most commonly used communication touch point—the first and only channel ever to exceed the phone. However, Voice IVR’s have severe limitations that drive customers crazy, including the endless menus, confusing options, poor voice recognition, limited ability to collect information and more. Therefore, despite the widespread investment many brands have made in Voice IVR, many customers are calling anyways, especially during the holiday season. In fact, studies show only around 20% resolve their issue on their own without calling a contact center. Therefore, for many companies, the trend towards Visual IVR is more critical than ever for efficient call center management, and today the provider used by more organizations globally than any other is Jacada.
Transformation: A Personal Digital Experience for Your Voice IVR
Today, 84% of customers report frustration when agents lack access to the necessary personal information which is required to address their question. On the other hand, Jacada Visual IVR delivers a personalized customer-specific digital experience to voice callers, allowing customers to transition from the digital channel to the agent with full context, significantly reducing call handle times and improving self-service success rates by more than 10% based on their deployment at Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Centralization: All your Digital Assets in a Single Location
Jacada Visual IVR enables agents to pivot an inbound call to a digital interaction and thus surface all of a brand’s digital assets, in a single location, to voice callers. This significantly increases the chances that customers will also pivot and utilize a company’s various digital assets to efficiently solve all their self-service their needs.
Mobilization: A Cross-Channel Customer Service Experience
Jacada Visual IVR enables a cross-channel customer service presence, offering customers a seamless transition from self-service to assisted service, whether on the web, mobile or voice engagement, while consistently maintaining the context of the customer’s original intent.
Virtualization: An Interactive Virtual Agent
Available 24/7 across all channels, the Intelligent Assistant utilizes natural language processing which allows it to understand the intent of the customer and intuitively help customers with all their sales and customer service support related needs. Despite the challenges of the holiday season, call centers that adopt the most beneficial solutions, such as Jacada Visual IVR, to best assist their customers, employees, and companies as a whole, can fully take advantage of the holiday season, and turn into one to be truly celebrated.
[About the author] Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Jacada. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Jacada’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.