Was this an attempt to improve the Black Friday customer experience or not?

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Was this an attempt to improve the Black Friday customer experience or not?

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For the first time some stores got a jump on ‘Black Friday’ by opening on Thursday evening (Thanksgiving).  After the leftovers from the turkey dinner were put away, I decided to venture out to see how this plan was going to work.  What was I thinking?!?

Did you assume that the expansion of the Black Friday deals was due to the massive demand for goods on the biggest shopping day of the year?  Was this a solution to lessen the pressure on their sales staff as well as the wait time for eager buyers?  Was this an event that would improve the customer experience?

There were still long lines and delays (who saw that coming?) and I was met with disgruntled staff members that were long on attitude and short on customer service.  Naturally I’m wondering about the cost to get these so-called deals.  If this was the store’s attempt to create a better customer service experience by opening early, I’d say that it backfired.  The loyal Black Friday shoppers were now flooding the stores the night before to avoid the risk of a picked over selection come early Friday morning.  And don’t forget the sales staff which was equally overwhelmed at the sheer volume of customers and chaos, not to mention pulling an all-nighter while fighting the effects of tryptophan.  How will this madness in the retail stores affect the call center customer experience?

Time to find out because here we are on ‘Cyber Monday’.  What have you done to prepare your team for the season that is upon us?  Are you a top leader that has leveraged your call center analytics to tell you how to predict customer behavior, and formulate a plan to reduce customer churn to increase sales? If you are a top leader, you already know this. For those wanting to be in front of the line make sure call center analytics is on your Christmas list!

Overheard on Thursday night:

“I can’t freaking believe this.  I’ve been waiting in line for over 45 minutes and I’m only saving $5 off on this.”

“I wonder if the Pilgrims had intended for grown men to shove each other over a DVD player.”

“This is absolutely the craziest display of human nature that I’ve ever seen.  I should have just eaten pie and called it a day.”

“I was so happy when I thought there were only 300 people in front of me until I realized that the line went around another corner and then another.  I think there are 700 people in front of me.  This was not a good idea.”

About Dr. Jodie Monger

Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics and a pioneer in voice of the customer research for the contact center industry. Before creating CRMetrics, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.

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