Introducing… The Verint CX Holiday Survival Guide  

Steve DaviesNovember 7, 2022

The holiday season is just around the corner and with economic issues dominating many retail executives’ minds, their seasonal wish lists must include: 

  • Enough staff to handle the holiday rush
  • Happy customers enjoying exceptional experiences
  • Keeping their share of wallet despite rising inflation

It may not be a truly traditional holiday wish list, but with the almost three years of “disruption as usual” affecting industries across the spectrum, it’s a reflection of how retailers need to approach the season in 2022. Last year in the US, retail sales accounted for around one-fifth of all spending in the year, growing by 14.1% to $886.7b.  

With inflation rising across the globe, consumers are likely to have less disposable income and their ability to spend at the same levels as last year just not possible. So how do companies offset the impact of the economic conditions and retain customers?

First of all, it’s key that retailers understand the demands of today’s shoppers and provide the kind of service that makes them want to come back. Throughout the year Verint’s research into consumer habits has formed a picture of how today’s consumer thinks and what they expect from retail brands:  

5 Characteristics of Today’s Consumer

  1. Taking complex customer journeys – engaging on multiple channels before making a purchase
  2. Remaining loyal to their favorite retailers, spending more money, more often compared to other brands – but they expect value for their money and a wide product selection in return
  3. Sees a positive digital experience as critical when interacting with a company
  4. Making repeat purchases or joining a loyalty program after amazing customer experiences
  5. Will choose to leave a brand after a single bad experience  

Understanding the needs and mindset of consumers is only half of the battle to having a successful holiday period. Retailers need to be able to offer consistent experiences across digital and physical engagement channels, which can be challenging during the busiest shopping period of the year.  

In order to provide these excellent experiences, it’s vital that retailers have a hybrid workforce that can handle the surge in shoppers and the rise in customer service queries that inevitably hit during the holiday season.  

 

For this year’s CX Holiday Survival Guide our survey looked at the staffing challenges faced by retailers looking to fill vacancies during the holiday season. The results told a story of a small candidate pool and internal issues in processing new hires.  

63% can’t find enough staff to fill their stores, 45% are struggling for qualified candidates to work in customer service or back-office positions, and nearly 30% are missing HR staff to cope with all the vacancies they are hiring for. It’s difficult enough to prepare for the holiday rush without worrying that a lack of qualified staff may affect a customer’s experience in-store or when reaching out with a query to the contact center.  

One method to offset a potential shortfall in trained and qualified staff is to introduce automation into your customer engagement strategy – particularly on private messaging channels where the opportunities for creating a more efficient and seamless customer journey are huge.  

Looking at the data above, we can see retailers aren’t maximizing the potential of automation and private messaging channels. Each of these use cases is incredibly common and easily automated and would work perfectly with private messaging channels. With the holiday rush coming even just automating order tracking and returns would be a welcome gift to a stretched retailer.  

If you’d like to unbox the perfect gift from Verint this holiday period, our survival guide offers plenty of seasonal cheer and all we need is your email address. In return, it includes:  

  • Seasonal Staffing Playbook – how to streamline your hiring process and secure the best candidates 
  • Holiday Customer Engagement Playbook – deploying intelligent automation across the customer journey 
  • A Holiday Survival Kit – Immediate quick wins for your customers and staff to enjoy a successful holiday season  

Get your free copy of the CX Holiday Survival Guide and start planning now, so you can beat the holiday rush.

And remember, a customer’s for life, not just the holidays!