Holiday Sales Are Up. Is Your Service? What About Next Year?
Retailers, how well did you get your arms around this number?
About 164 million consumers—about half of the U.S. population—went shopping during the five-day, holiday shopping spree, Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. That estimate, from the National Retail Federation (NRF), puts shopping up 4.3 to 4.8% over last year, thanks to a strong economy.
Increased sales required extra help—in-store, online and mobile. NRF forecasted retailers hiring 585,000 to 650,000 seasonal workers for sales and service this year, an increase over last season.
More times than not, these temps are just stand-ins for actual customer reps, based on the lackluster service I received this past weekend.
In all my years of shopping, never have I encountered so many disengaged sales and service workers. Ill-trained and thrown in, these temps were clueless, noncaring. Helpless holidays, anyone?
Stellar Service—Bottom-line Differentiator
So now, as retailers regroup and replenish for the next wave of buying, what are they doing to elevate customer care through year-end? Probably not a lot, given the short runway.
But more important, what preparations are being made to provide great sales and service year-round in 2019—with unemployment still low and good help scarce?
Point is: Stellar sales and service are bottom-line differentiators these days when savvy consumers, who become displeased or disappointed, will disappear in a heartbeat, tarnishing a brand’s reputation.
Counterpoint: En masse hiring of temps—too often zombie workers mesmerized by their iPhones—proves to be a poor business practice. Inattentive and inarticulate help degrades service and loses business.
On-demand Workforce—Year-round Investment
To welcome 2019 right, why not invest in an on-demand workforce, with a client team dedicated to your retail business?
At Working Solutions, we believe there are several reasons why it makes good business sense every day:
1. Our on-demand contact center agents like this kind of work, which ebbs and flows with cycles and seasons. Flexible schedules fit into their lifestyles. Also, they’ve taken the time (well ahead of time) to register as part of an onshore network of 110,000+ agents across the United States and in Canada. Often, they work for clients whose products and services they already use. This familiarity gives them a firsthand perspective in making sales and delivering service, insight that customers appreciate.
2. As extensions of a brand, agents are immersed in a client’s corporate culture and customers. Degreed educators create a customized curriculum, based on a client’s in-house training. Instruction is interactive, all led by Working Solutions University educators, who are well-versed in long-distance learning. Through the virtual classroom, agents come together as a team, role-playing real customer scenarios. Initial instruction is strengthened with ongoing education. Business updates and team-building occur daily through the agent portal, Vyne.
3. With an on-demand workforce, businesses won’t go wanting to find qualified, virtual sales and service experts. For a retailer, nothing is worse than scrambling to find talent, year after year. It makes no sense. And the outcome, as evidenced by this holiday season, is often subpar workers— bystanders, not professionals, in the business. The beauty of on-demand is that the workforce is created in a client’s own image. It scales to ever-changing business needs. Scheduling adjusts to daily demands, unexpected events and long-range projects. Agents are recruited by select skillsets and chosen industries. And being remote, they work outside of harm’s way, whether it’s nor’easters or hurricanes, to ensure nonstop customer service.
Schedule a meeting to find out more about on-demand call center solutions.Contact us