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Is your brand is looking to maximise its potential revenue during the Christmas shopping season, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM)? Combine your planned promotions and delivery options with AI-led, promotional communications with customers to provide so much more than run-of-the-mill customer service.
Originally a US-centric activity, Black Friday grew out of the notion that November’s four-day Thanksgiving weekend opens the Christmas shopping season. Needing a break from family and boredom, shoppers flock to stores to seek deals, with retailers slashing prices on much-sought-after items. As e-commerce took off, Cyber Monday became a way to save on Christmas gifts without having to brave the crowds. It is now a phenomenon that kicks off Christmas shopping season in many different countries of the world. It is a cultural phenomenon that has gone global — Black Days and even Black Weeks are advertised at retailers around the globe when the end of the calendar year comes around.
Christmas shopping can be a real hassle, but BFCM also poses a fun challenge to shoppers. Though it can be risky and even dangerous (as countless viral videos of people rushing storefronts can attest), it is equally exciting for shoppers to hunt for the best deals. For brands, it’s all about using BFCM for effective communication with customers to ensure an unforgettable Christmas experience for themselves and their loved ones. It follows, then, that customers want experiences that will help them get the best BFCM deals. Here are a few tips to not only help leverage engagement with your customers, but turn them into brand ambassadors for you.
Retailers have been trying to outdo each other by opening early seemingly since the beginning of the Black Friday phenomenon. First it was bright and early Friday morning. Then it was midnight on Thursday. Now with online storefronts that are always open, or brands that can’t open their branches that early, there is a way to get in the numbers game: talk to your buyers early and often.
They’re more willing to follow along than you realise; during a busy week many people forget about the upcoming gift buying opportunity presented by BFCM and end up in a frantic search. The results can be less than ideal panic buys or indecision. Push notifications, or even targeted communication with customers (such as SMS messages) help to remind them when the sale begins or physical shops open. Even better if you’re ecommerce-oriented, you can create and promote time-sensitive discounts on select items based on user preferences throughout BFCM. The more relevant and personalised notifications you send out, the more engagement you’ll garner to send them through your brand’s customer experience.
Once you’ve engaged them, BFCM provides intriguing ways to up- and cross-sell to buyers. Common sense says shopping experiences should not be uniform in nature; pushing items according to agenda rather than individual wants and needs yields diminishing returns. People want to feel their custom is valued, so providing personalised recommendations not generic ones, are a sure way to raise brand engagement. Recommend products based on purchase history, or even pull purchase history data from your CRM for further recommendations based on previous transactions and search history.
Extended warranties or store-sponsored product care plans are useful additions, though setting these up may be a more intricate process as they involve getting and/or confirming customer data. Prompting a buyer using an on-screen chat, for example, could lead them to an AI-powered chatbot that will guide them through the process, or transfer them to a waiting agent for further assistance. It’s all about simplifying communications with customers and reducing customer effort with the right processes at the right time.
The value your brand can extend to buyers goes beyond the transaction. Aside from typical point-of-sale purchases, items can be specially ordered for later pickup at the store. By contrast, online shopping holds the potential to offer a wider array of options beyond simply free and express delivery. Pre-ordering is convenient for those hot, yet-to-be-released items, whereas click-and-collect and parcel collection points increase flexibility so packages can be collected at a convenient time and location.
To accommodate this wealth of options, IVRs equipped with natural language processing (NLP) technologies can be of help in letting customers be precise about which store location or parcel collection point they want to use. Similarly, AI-led chatbots can lead customers through the shipping process by asking personalised, relevant and transaction-oriented questions.
The buying and delivery options you provide, as well as the style of communication with your customers, sums up your brand’s CX. It makes or breaks their decision to give you business. It also raises your chances of turning one-time BFCM customers into repeat business, and possibly even into brand ambassadors.
Communicating with customers early and often during BFCM provides them with added-value offers and flexibility about when, where and how to engage. For your next BFCM campaign, take a look at what the Odigo Contact Centre as a Service (CCaaS) solution can do for your CX operations. Odigo solutions’ capacity for integration with your CRM, crafting omnichannel strategies and enabling brands to provide 24/7 service will help shape your CX approach for BFCM. Brands can communicate with customers and capture their attention with easy-to-access deals and a seamless low-effort purchasing experience. Odigo technology can automate the process, providing the type of rapid convenient service that leads to repeat purchases. Turn your BFCM customer experience into feet-up fun not a frustration.
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