Black Friday: How to Get Your Team Ready for the Shopping Bonanza
The term Black Friday isn’t new—it has its roots in the 1950s Philadelphia, but today it signifies something completely different (more on that in a bit).
When I think of Black Friday, what comes to mind are lower prices, endless promotions, a day that’s turned into weeks, which in turn have become a month, and boycotts.
In this post, we’re not going to spend any time talking about boycotts. Instead, we’ll focus on how you can prepare your organization for the upcoming shopping holiday that often means an increase in traffic to customer services.
The history of Black Friday
Black Friday goes back to 1950s Philadelphia, where the term was used by the police to describe the chaos that ensued as large crowds and traffic gathered to kick off the Christmas shopping season. It wasn’t until the 1980s that retailers began to embrace the term, giving it a positive spin as the ultimate shopping day with significant discounts.
Black Friday in Sweden
In Sweden, Black Friday really gained momentum during the 2010s and has quickly become one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Swedish consumers have embraced this American tradition with great enthusiasm, leading to record sales figures and a massive increase in customer service cases during the period.
What’s the interest like this year?
You’ve probably not missed the current state of the world, inflation, and all that it entails. Therefore, it’s not entirely unreasonable to ask:
Will Black Friday shopping increase again this year?
Yes, everything points to that.
In the Consumer Compass Q4 for 2023 (in Swedish), we see an increase of three percentage points compared to last year. 31% of Swedes say they intend to shop during this year’s Black Friday, up from 28% last year.
5 tips to keep your customers happy during Black Friday:
- Create awareness
Anyone who’s worked in customer service knows it’s a rollercoaster. Come Black Friday, it’s usually more down than up, so gather your crew before the storm and chat about how to streamline your work and stay cool, even when the queue seems to stick around forever in your answer groups.
Make sure you’ve got the right number of folks on deck and call in extra hands if needed to handle the potential uptick in incoming calls. A simple way to figure this out is by checking last year’s call logs and expecting a bump up for this year.
Here’s how in lynes: open the app, hit ‘Analytics’, pick Friday the 25th of November 2022, and click on ‘Search’.
Inform about queues
Update your group’s welcome message to set the right expectations straight away. By telling callers about potential longer wait times, you dodge a lot of grumpy faces.
Another hot tip is to update your queue messages. Here’s your chance to send traffic to your Help Center or a FAQ on your website to nudge customers toward solving some issues on their own, which can reduce the number of calls.
Here’s how in lynes: Jump into the answer group settings, choose to upload a sound file or use our text-to-speech to type out your desired message and generate it by hitting ‘Save’.
- Ensure your CRM is integrated
With a connected CRM, you know who’s calling (assuming they’re in the system). This shaves time off each case since the history’s right there when the call comes in.
Here’s how in lynes: Go to ‘Insights’, pick from the available CRM systems and tap ‘Connect’. At the moment, you can integrate HubSpot, Upsales, and Zoho. We’re always working to hook up more CRMs and will have more options next year.
Plus, our number lookup is included for all customers, showing you who’s calling if the number’s registered.
Follow Up on Missed Calls
When things cool down with incoming calls, tackle your missed calls by calling or texting back. Doing this shows you really care and reach out to someone who hung up after an 18-minute wait.
Here’s how in lynes: In the answer group’s flowchart, look at ‘Missed Calls’, circle back to the customer via call or SMS, mark as ‘Followed Up’ with or without a comment and you’re done!
After the storm settles
Once the Black Friday rush winds down, it’s time to take a breath and shift into reflection mode. It’s a key time to bring the team together and review the actions and strategies that were tested during the shopping frenzy. Systematically analyzing what worked, what didn’t, and why, is crucial for continuous improvement.
Host a dedicated evaluation meeting where each team member can share their experiences and insights. This might cover:
- Customer Service Performance: Did customers leave calls satisfied? What were the most common questions or issues encountered?
- Technical Platforms: How did your systems hold up under the strain of increased traffic?
- Processes and Flows: Which routines stood up to the pressure and which need to be improved?
- Staff Well-being: How did the workload affect the team? What can be done to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction?
No it’s time to give your and the team a pat on the back and celebrate that the shopping bonanza has come to and end.