How ShoreTel Connect Contact Center Helps During the Holiday Season

    The official black Friday start to the holiday season is quickly approaching. Shoppers are creating lists, and the National Retail Federation predicts consumer spending will be at or slightly above the 2014 season. For retailers, this means there will be greater competition this season and traditional strategies like sales and discounts may not be enough to capture the market share they want.

    One area where retailers can give themselves a significant competitive opportunity is in their contact centers. But how? In addition to the steps they normally take to gear up for the season – hiring additional agents, developing outbound campaigns and adjusting plans to meet demand that changes by the hour – what can call centers put on their wish list to make their businesses more competitive?

    • Cheery Customers: Finding just the right gift can be stressful, and sometimes a caller’s frustration is apparent the moment the agent picks up the phone. But when your staff greets the caller by name, they have an opportunity to change the mood quickly. That not only can make the customer feel at ease, but this can turn them into a loyal fan. Solutions like ShoreTel Connect Center make these interactions possible. When phone, call center functions and business applications are tightly integrated, agents have access to customer information, history and call data on a single screen, which enables a better customer experience.
    • Helpful Elves: For call centers, long wait times may be season’s biggest challenge, and managers may find themselves wishing for a few elves to show up and magically clear the queues. It’s not such a far-fetched idea. Call center solutions like ShoreTel Connect Center offer automation features that streamline processes, improve agent productivity and make queues more manageable. For example, automated messages including account information or reminders can be played to the caller before transferring the calls to a live agent, thus reducing interaction times. Call centers can also strategically launch campaigns at times when traffic is lighter, and so better manage workflow.
    • A Little Bit of Magic: If you’re driving a sled or a bank of agents, it’s hard to steer when visibility is low. But when managers have visual access to a range of call center barometers, they can shift the levers to improve performance and better manage peaks and valleys. The Connect Center dashboard provides visual and audible threshold alerts on critical conditions, enabling managers to react to higher call abandons or lower traffic by bringing agents in or taking them out of queues with simple clicks.
    • Real-time (Elf ) Training: Seasonal businesses typically hire temporary employees to help handle call volume. Often these new team members may have shorter training periods before they’re put on the phones. ShoreTel Connect Center enables managers to supervise agents-in-training closely by monitoring specific extensions visually, and also by using silent monitor, barge in, and coach capabilities.

    They may seem magical, but these features are simply true strategic assets businesses can use during the holiday shopping storm. Retailers who arm their call centers with integrated tools and business intelligence will find it easier to please customers—winning them over not just for the holiday season, but for the long-term as well.

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