Promotions: how to optimise customer relations before, during and after?

Black Friday : l'opération est lancée !

Every year, consumer spending is influenced by special deals such as Black Friday, annual promotions, end-of-season sales, etc. Consumers are understandably attuned to these special offers and the amounts they save.

These promotional events are therefore a real opportunity for businesses looking to attract new customers and retain existing ones. However, attractive prices are no longer enough to truly win consumers over. Although consumers are looking for attractive prices, this does not mean they are prepared to compromise on the quality of the customer relationship. For the companies, meanwhile, maintaining customer service levels during peak periods can sometimes be a challenge. Here are our tips for optimising your customer relations before, during and after the promotional events that customers eagerly await.

Ahead of time: inform your customers and prepare for an increase in business volume

Here are 3 tips to help you prepare, so you can stack the odds in your favour and make your promotional events a success.

Trigger purchases by publicising your deals

Notifying your customers of upcoming special offers is an ideal opportunity for triggering a purchase. To do this, we thoroughly recommend using promotional SMS campaigns.. With a significantly higher read rate than email campaigns, promotional text messages are a major asset for promoting a special offer and triggering purchases. You can also personalise the content of your SMS to ‘speak’ directly to the customer, thereby creating a close relationship with them. If you are thinking of using SMS for your future promotions, we recommend you look at our effective SMS campaign checklist !

Optimise your internal resources by adjusting your customer journeys

Questions about features, queries about deliveries, requests for support… customer calls will be on the increase. The use of call deflection can help ease your advisors’ workload to help cope with the extra volume.

t is an invaluable strategic weapon for dealing with activity spikes. Call deflection is a process by which a call is redirected to another channel, often digital. SMS, e-mail, live chat, chatbot… there are a multitude of channels through which your customers can find their answers simply.

During a promotional campaign, for example, you might envisage redirecting customers who are identified as buyers of a discounted item to a FAQ where they can find the answers to their queries by themselves. The primary objective of call deflection in this situation is to encourage self-care and thus avoid overloading your staff.

Draw up contingency plans

It’s about to be all systems go for your business: the worst case scenario would be for a technical glitch to break your stride. In addition to lost revenue, an outage could potentially erode consumer confidence and damage your company’s reputation. To mitigate the risk, it is best to have a business continuity plan (BCP) or disaster recovery plan (DRP). Activated automatically or triggered at the click of a button, these contingency plans aim to limit the damage in the event of an incident.

BCPs and DRPs are not something you can improvise. Their preparation requires proper analysis of the risks your business faces in the event of an incident. For a better understanding of this topic, we recommend that you read our expert’s best practices on the subject.

During: Overcoming this challenge hand in hand with your staff

If you have already experienced a promotional event, you know that your business volumes will increase. Here are our tips on how to cope in real time.

Provide your operators with the tools they need, so they are prepared

Promotional periods often mean your staff’s objectives are higher. Focus on training and skills development to help your employees have the right mindset. Your staff will much appreciate training on the products and services that are in the spotlight during the sales. In addition to training, update call scripts and knowledge bases in real time with the questions that come up regularly. These are invaluable tools. As well as improving advisors’ skills, they reduce call transfers and long hold times and therefore indirectly contribute to a better customer experience.

Make yourself available and help your advisors

During high volume periods, being present and showing support for employees is all the more essential. To help, make good use of your contact centre tool’s different monitoring features. For example, feel free to make more use of dual listening and whisper helpful information to the advisor if required. Another possibility is to send flash messages to all your advisors. These are good ways of maintaining staff morale. These supervision features will help you to better support your employees and help them manage peaks in activity with confidence.

After: measure service impact and customer satisfaction

After the promotional operation, it is time to follow up and assess the initial results. Here are our 2 tips for flawless follow-up :

Send out satisfaction questionnaires

Sending your customers satisfaction surveys allows you to gauge the relevance of the sales campaign. The survey, sent out by SMS or email for example, will enable you to get early “hot” feedback from your customers on their purchase experience and their experience with your staff. The survey can be used to calculate the NPS, or Net Promoter Score, an indicator that shows whether your customers are satisfied and prepared to share that with others. The aim is to understand their level of satisfaction with your service and to identify areas for improvement going forward.

Monitor your KPIs closely

Once things have quietened down in your department, it’s time for a ‘cold’ analysis of your statistics. This will allow you to understand service levels during the activity spike, but also if there were irritants in the customer journey. While many KPIs are important, we will focus on four of them:
  • Service levels (SL): calculated by dividing the number of calls answered by the number of incoming calls, SL is a key contact centre indicator.
  • Repeat callbacks: This measures the proportion of customers who need to make at least one more call before getting in touch with your business. This rate is used to weight your service levels. People who contact you but are unable to do so, sometimes (often!) try to contact you a second time.
  • Incoming calls: this is the number of calls received during the day. Compared to previous years, it will allow you to better prepare for the future and to see the impact of promotional events on your service.
  • Hold time: this measures the amount of time the client has to wait before being put in touch with an advisor. This indicator will give you a better understanding of how overloaded your personnel is and the impact that this overload has on the customer experience.

And there you have it, you are ready to cope with activity spikes while maintaining a quality customer relationship!

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