RedPrarie Corporation has recently completed a survey, which targeted retailers, and the problems these kinds of companies face over the busy holiday period. The run up to Christmas is the most challenging time of the year for most retailers, and often the quality the Customer Experience will drop during this hectic time. However, this RedPrarie survey came back with some interesting results.
Firstly, a surprising 60% of all retailers who took part in the survey state that they are making the delivery of a consistent customer experience, across a full range of touch point, their top priority. It is surprising to see such a high percentage prepared to make a total commitment to CEM at this time of year, as resources are often stretched, and goods need to be sold, something has to give and the customer experience often suffers due to this.
The second point that the RedPrarie survey highlighted is that 29% of retailers will be taking on temporary staff to cover the busy holiday period. This is something of a double edged sword. These extra temporary staff allows the retailer to bridge the service gap, but they are unlikely to have bought in to the company’s proactive stance on CEM. Put simply, temporary seasonal staff are unlikely to value customers as highly as full time staff, and this is where the customer experience can suffer.
This kind of temporary increase in staffing levels brings its own set of problems. Temporary staff need training, and it is unlikely that any retailer is willing to invest resources in to training seasonal staff in the company’s attitude towards CEM. Where permanent staff will often be judged and monitored, with bonus schemes hinging upon the results of this monitoring, customer centricity is part of the full-time work ethic. Temporary staff on the other hand, are seldom included in this kind of service monitoring scheme, and therefore prone to deliver a lower quality customer experience.
The RedPrarie survey, as indicated previously, has discovered that some 60% of all retailers who took part are committed to providing a quality customer experience this holiday season. However, the fact that they will also be employing seasonal staff to make up for resources shortages means that this will be more difficult to achieve than at other times of the year.
By Mac Wheeler.