Has the growth of contact centers along with consumer and Wall Street demands ruined it for families? Has Black Friday gained more societal power than friends, family, and fellowship?
I was asking myself these questions as I read about Target Corporation opening stores on Thanksgiving evening instead of Friday morning. Then, I started to think about my years in the contact center industry (and one contact center I worked in) and how over the past few decades the hours of operation have continued to increase. First it was a longer work day, then it was a half-day on Saturday, then it was all-day Saturday, and half-day on Sunday, and finally 7 days a week.
I even began to question if we need as many 24×7 contact centers in the world. I understand the emergency-related contact centers, but shoe shopping at 4:00am? So is this how you build a great society?
According to Reuters, U.S. retailers earn more than a third of their annual sales during the holiday season. There you go; obviously that has to be the real driver behind less family time at the holidays. The love for the almighty dollar is stronger than the love for family.
But whose family is losing the love? Let me ask you, how many of the people that decided to open the stores and contact centers on Thanksgiving are in fact actually going to be spending their Thanksgiving at home with their families? Or will they be in Aspen skiing, or in Aruba sun-bathing? Is this how you build employee engagement?
“But we need to give our customers what they want,” is what the corporate spokespeople say. Really, so how would you explain Chick-fil-A’s 44 consecutive years of positive growth? They are closed on Sunday while their competition is open. Is it better Marketing? I think not. They are proof that you don’t have to do what everyone else does in order to compete.
I am beginning to think that social media just might give family time at Thanksgiving a fighting chance. On Change.org, there are dozens of petitions asking Target and other retailers to let Black Friday be Black “Friday”; let employees be at home with friends and family. There are tens of thousands of people that have signed these petitions and it’s gathering more attention. It may be too late for Target employees but maybe others will let Black Friday stay a Friday.
Continue learning more best practices on employee engagement, real customer expectations and VoC programs through our free materials at our resource library.
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- What to aim for with your Contact Center Budget - February 15, 2016