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Using insight to deliver Black Friday for a major retailer

Our client needed extra support during Black Friday.

For this major retailer, 220,000 orders are placed in a usual trading week, but on Black Friday over double the volume is experienced. And it is essential that the high level of customer service is maintained. Black Friday week is the best week of sales in the retailers long history, but with this comes a huge customer experience challenge reliant on the planning and delivery of human resource capability, IT and back office processing.

Using insight and data to deliver the right resourcing at the right time, we were able to provide a quality customer experience even when contacts were over double the forecast amount. Our knowledge of rapid recruitment allowed us to hire 900 advisors within just twelve weeks of the contract start date. We trained our advisors using a bespoke programme designed to provide a seamless customer experience. We simplified a previously complex system and, using analytics, we improved productivity – serving more customers and improving efficiency.

Our advisors were trained to have multiple skillsets to enable a flexible workforce. This allowed us to reduce customer queue times and resolve enquiries more effectively. This data driven capability allowed us to provide the right resourcing, solidly joined up from the first point of contact, to back office processing, to resolving enquiries and post-sales support. We were able to reduce customer effort and response times, provide invaluable advice and offer a more streamlined customer experience.

It was crucial we delivered a faultless service to ensure our client's brand was maintained. Our expertise in providing a seamless customer experience contributed to more than £1 million worth of additional sales. 

It’s not just about the numbers and sheer volumes involved at peak, its about focusing on the quality of service and maximising customer experience. In the contact centre we are uniquely placed to be an early indicator of issues across the entire retail process. Clear and timely comms can prevent or relieve problems before they become significant.

An extract from our 'Surviving peak' guide - tips on preparing for Black Friday and other peak times.

Jason Neiland, head of customer services, Debenhams, and Capita's Anna Jackson, discuss the precision planning needed to make peak periods a success.

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