Everyone wants to increase sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You've probably been focused heavily on your marketing plans of how to drive traffic, determining the best offers to make, and setting up all your campaigns to work together to drive sales.
But how are you preparing for the customer service spike that's going to happen?
All of this is tough every year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it's harder now with the problems Covid has caused. Labor shortages and difficulties with employee attrition make it tough to be able to rely on staffing up. Also, it's still unclear what effect vaccine mandates will have on companies you may depend on (3PLs, staffing agencies, etc.).
Managing your customer service operation is much easier if you have established processes and metrics. This also applies to hiring and training, as it is much easier to hire and train quickly if you have a strong process for it. This makes Q4 much easier to handle.
At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams to over 100 stores. Our team of agents is available to handle questions of our customers, which results in increased sales, happier customers, and a much easier business to manage.
This will be our 6th Black Friday Cyber Monday at HelpFlow. In this post, we're going to share the lessons we've learned over the years that you can use to make this Black Friday easy (and successful).
It can be tough to know in advance how many agents you will need to handle the customer service workload in Q4. If you are overstaffed, you waste money, but if you are understaffed, you can end up producing really bad customer experiences or have your team revolt. Neither option is good.
The solution is to forecast the customer service headcount you need to handle the volume. This sounds tough, but here's the process we've seen work well over the years.
As with many things in e-commerce, knowing your numbers is key. Use the above #s to predict the number of agents you need so you can hire in advance and be ready (without overstaffing).
Even if you know how many additional customer service agents you need to hire for Q4, hiring agents quickly can be incredibly challenging -- especially in this market. With that said, there are several things you can do to drive additional applicants and efficiently screen applicants so you can find good hires quickly.
Here's what we've seen work well after hiring 100s of agents in competitive markets:
This gets you to the point where you know the number of agents you need and have people ready to hire.
Having people ready to hire doesn't mean they're ready to provide an awesome customer experience for your brand. You need to be able to train agents quickly to handle the customer service workload that is coming in.
We've hired 100s of agents and are incredibly process-driven, especially since we have to train across 100s of different brands. Here are some training insights you can use to train your agents MUCH easier.
By systematizing the training process and making it mostly self-guided, you can get multiple agents up to speed much quicker.
At HelpFlow, we provide 24/7 live chat and customer service teams to over 100 e-commerce stores. Not only can we help predict and recover abandons and drive more conversions with our 24/7 live chat team, but we can also supplement your existing customer service team with amazing agents (or run the entire customer service operation for you).
We've been through 5 Black Friday's and can help you make this your easiest (and most profitable) season so far.
It all starts with a full-scale Customer Service Audit. We'll evaluate the volume, process, and capacity of your current CS operation and make specific recommendations on how to improve. Even if we don't end up working together, you'll get a ton of value by going through the process.
Book a time with our team here