News & Insight

Ramping Up for Retail Peak Season? Focus on These 2 Things First

It’s that season again: time to ramp up your contact center to be ready for this year’s peak retail time of the year. The challenges you think are important to address are probably similar to last year’s:

  • How many additional people will I need?
  • How do I find them?
  • How do I train them quickly and efficiently?
  • How do I scale back down again after the rush?

But these are not the only challenges, nor are they the top challenges you should be focusing on to ensure a successful peak season. No, we believe that you need to address two critical things first before you work on addressing the other challenges.

#1: Protect your company from fraud

Imagine this scenario: you ramp up your contact center to support the upcoming holiday season. After a successful season, you’re patting yourself on the back when the company discovers that one of the new employees stole and sold confidential customer data. The background check turned up nothing unusual; it was a first-time offender. Could you have prevented the fraud?

Does ramping up from 100 people to 250 mean that your company is exposed to additional fraud risk? You bet it does. Fraud is a very real and growing problem. It takes more than conducting background checks to detect and prevent fraud. You need a real-time fraud detection solution in your contact center.

The right fraud detection solution monitors all your front-line engagement specialist (agent) activity and looks for anomalies in that activity in real time. This lets you act immediately to stop fraud in its tracks.

Suspicious pattern leads to uncovering fraud

An example from a STARTEK client highlights the power of a real-time fraud detection solution in the contact center. The system noticed that an engagement specialist was spending more time than usual in the orders window of the customer relationship management system without applying payment information. When the client investigated, it discovered that the engagement specialist was signing up friends and family for free products and services. The client intercepted the fraud within the same day and stopped it.

#2: Drive more revenue using authentic dialogue

STARTEK research shows that 83 percent of customers in retail prefer to speak with a human— and not just any human, but an empathetic one. To drive sales during the peak season (and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty over the longer term), you need to deliver an ideal, omnichannel customer interaction.

How do you make that happen? By hiring, training and coaching engagement specialists to be conversation experts. Using proven communication skills, conversation experts can create an engaging and effortless experience that anticipates your customers’ needs and builds rapport using your brand’s unique voice.

What are those proven communication skills? At STARTEK, we call them the Essential Habits (based on 50 years of human communication science research) and we use them to increase omnichannel sales, promote your brand, and improve the outcome of customer interactions. That’s how we’re bringing true human dialogue back to the contact center, for meeting peak staffing and year-round customer communications needs.

Learn more about designing the ideal conversation in our white paper