How to Prepare for Peak 2021 Pt. 3: Associate Shortages | [Radial

How to Prepare for Peak 2021 Pt. 3: Associate Shortages

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Between coronavirus fears and new stimulus checks, people have lots of reasons to avoid seasonal work this year. As a result, businesses need to think ahead and adopt new strategies to ensure their customer experience is positive and seamless.  

In our final post in the series, we’ll look at 3 solutions retail and eCommerce brands can use to prepare for the employee shortage during peak season 2021: 

Outsourcing 

While frontline employees like cashiers, baggers, cart wranglers, and department associates can’t be replaced by external companies or teams, certain roles can be.  

Take customer service for instance. Since most communication customer support teams receive is online, customer service functions can be successfully outsourced to a third party. From fielding phone calls, texts, live chats, and emails to responding to comments and direct messages on social media, all communication can flow seamlessly. And with the right tools, these customer service outsourcing companies can go beyond basic account management to handle product returns and exchanges.  

As a result, your business can respond to customer support requests quickly, whether you have a large customer service team in-house or not.  

Artificial Intelligence  

One of the most common uses for artificial intelligence is in customer service. From chatbots to customer sentiment analysis, almost every aspect of customer care can be handed to a machine.  

This makes customer interactions much easier, as the AI can send canned responses to simple inquiries and route more complex questions and problems to the right support team associate. Because challenging questions are the only ones customer care representatives see, they’re able to spend more time and energy on those tasks – while still giving every customer a short wait time and helpful response.  

Self-Serve Solutions 

Despite artificial intelligence offering a fast way for customers to get support, many shoppers still prefer to handle issues on their own. This is great news for customer service teams, though, as seasonal support will likely be limited this year.  

By implementing a self-serve solution, you not only empower customers to resolve issues the way they want to (by themselves), but you also free up your team to focus on tougher calls and messages. At the same time, you enable customers to get answers at any time of the day or night, without requiring your teams to work overtime. This makes everyone happier – employees and customers alike.    

Even though the peak season workforce will likely be small, there are lots of ways for your retail or eCommerce business to handle the flood of customers this holiday season. Whether you choose to outsource or adopt self-serve and AI customer service technology, a proactive approach will enable you to deliver exceptional customer care.   

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