25% of consumers to shop online more this Christmas - is your Helpdesk scalable & able to provide multi-channel support?

Written by Michael Smith on the 18th of November, 2014

What do you get when you cross a robin and a lawnmower? A shredded tweet.

Internet shopping is going to go through the roof again this Christmas according to a Mintel survey.One-quarter of consumers are planning to shop online more at Christmas 2014 than in Christmas 2013. What is interesting is that whilst online retail sales will be up by around 14% year-on-year 1, store-based retailers will account for the majority of internet sales.

However, how many of our beloved high street brands will be ready to deal with the pre and post Christmas onslaught of enquiries, questions and January returns? There is no doubt that they are starting to get the e-commerce strategy right with a combination of clever use of technologies to scrape your browser and pitch offers back against searching, as well as in-store tech to allow searching, reservation and click & collect. But are they aligned with customers when it comes to providing help and support?

The answer is probably ‘No’ and here’s for why. 41% of us are going to buy from mobiles and 35% from tablets, so the likelihood is that any customer service communication is going to come back up the line by email, chat or mobile in the first instance and then Twitter if they don’t get satisfaction. So if you are hoping to deal with this using your 0845 or 0800 lines, forget it - far too expensive and time consuming from a mobile!

Black Friday (28th November), Cyber Monday (1st December),Manic Monday (8th December), the run up to Christmas itself and Boxing Day are going to create peaks and troughs. If you are going to deal with this effectively, you need a scalable, multi-channel helpdesk solution that is capable of being managed from an office, call centre or home. That means OPEX expense only (no hardware deployment either), easy to manage soft phones, the ability to view and manage tickets online, and the ability take, record and transfer calls from any device. Plus, a funnel to direct emails, texts, chat and social media messaging to the right person as quickly as possible and respond back using these channels.

Zendesk can be customised in this way. Its inherent tools give you practically all that is required to deliver a multi-channel help-desk apart from full contact manager integration. Fortunately, this can be done using an additional plug-in to bring inbound and outbound calls into the platform and match customer tickets and data with the caller.

Importantly, it has excellent reporting tools meaning that you can monitor and manage resource over the period both during and after the period.

The good news is that there is still time to put a pop-up solution of this nature in place for Christmas. The flexibility of a web-based solution like Zendesk is that it can replace or complement an existing system. Furthermore, the voice element can even incorporate existing voice solutions or hosted voice on an ad hoc basis.

If you are head of customer services and want to find out how you can protect your brand from the risks presented at this busy time of year, then contact us and we will show you how we can get you up and running in time for Christmas.

References: Mintel, (2014) Mintel’s Christmas 2014 Predictions, Online sales, by type of retailer. Nicholas Moore (2014) Experian, What’s in your diary, key dates for retail marketers over christmas 2014.

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