Cyber Weekend is now just around the corner, and customer care teams are gearing up to handle the highest call volumes of the year. Historically, the high volume has hurt customer service performance. Starting Black Friday, customers should expect to wait much longer for responses, particularly on the phone, where wait times spike.
Last year, StellaService oversampled 40 retailers throughout Cyber Weekend, placing over 800 calls to customer service representatives. The study found that phone wait time increased starting Black Friday and got worse throughout the weekend, extending into Tuesday of the following week.
Some retailers were well-prepared for the weekend frenzy, with little impact on the speed and quality of their customer care teams. The top ten performers connected Stella analysts to CSRs in an average of 42 seconds.
Those that didn’t prepare – either through a lack of training or not effectively hiring seasonal staff – suffered in both speed and quality. Stella analysts spent over six minutes on hold trying to reach CSRs of those retailers.
With the growth of live chat as a service channel – sixteen major retailers added chat in the last year – service could improve this holiday season. Retailers will likely leverage the channel to try and mitigate high phone volumes.