Easter is right around the corner, and while we’re all looking forward to some much needed time off, it’s certainly not time to be ignoring your customers with cash to spend! Happy customers are the keystone of success for many businesses. Poor customer service can quickly bite you where it hurts most: your profits.
The National Retail Federation has forecast that $17.3 billion will be spent over the Easter weekend in the U.S. alone, the biggest figure since its spending survey began 13 years ago.
However, an increase in consumer traffic can be a double edged sword for retailers, online and in-store. A greater volume of shoppers puts systems, processes and people under pressure, and cracks in the customer experience will begin to show. It’s also a time when the many online Virtual Assistants (VAs) are going to have a lot of work to do. As businesses and shops close for a few days, these loyal assistants don’t even take a coffee break, but are there to help with any inquiry that customers might have over the Easter break.
Are You Egg-noring Me?
Easter is the first danger zone in the calendar for speed of service. In the store, the potential for long lines is greater, which could lead to higher levels of purchase abandonment. Online, meanwhile, surges in activity can result in slow running websites, out of stocks and no one to answer the customer’s questions. Therefore it could be time to invest in AI systems to play a significant role in customer satisfactions levels. Automated services such as online VAs have become a common feature on websites the last 10 years and something that customers now are expecting. Instead of having to phone a busy call center where you are put in a queue for ever, getting a VA to answer customer questions online is much more efficient and less frustrating. It also saves the call center agents’ time as they can focus on solving the more intricate queries rather than high-volume basic questions.
Certain sectors will be preparing for a surge above the industry average. Easter has a long association with home improvement projects, which lead to increased traffic at DIY stores and garden centers. One of the challenges these types of businesses face is the need to balance rapid service with personalized support; the majority of people visiting will be embarking on a specific project, and so will have in-depth questions that need to be answered before making a purchase.
Let’s Hatch a Plan
So while it may be too late to make an Easter technology investment now, it’s worth retailers keeping a close eye on how their solutions fare during the Easter trading surge. This could highlight cracks in the customer experience that need fixing before even bigger capability tests later in the year, such as Black Friday and Christmas.
You can and should, see your business through your customers’ eyes. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. We’re currently offering a complimentary mystery evaluation for your business! Simply get in touch today, we look forward to hearing from you.