As hard as it is to believe, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are almost upon us, and the holiday season is in full swing until the first of next year. For most businesses, that means every department is getting ready to shift into overdrive through the end of the year.
In fact, this holiday season may be even busier than usual. Recent research from ChannelAdvisor, a provider of e-commerce solutions, found that 86% of retailers surveyed said they expect their year-over-year holiday sales to increase in 2014. And whether the task is getting the marketing division together with the C-suite to plan a holiday campaign, handling a huge bump in customer calls as a contact center, or updating your inbound call routing to reflect new hours or inclement weather impact, communications are critical during busy season.
For example, let’s say you need to coordinate 20 people from four separate offices on a conference call to discuss your holiday marketing strategy. With an antiquated phone system, this would require a lengthy and expensive long-distance conference call. But with cloud-based scalable unified communications (UC), all the participants on the call, regardless of location, are part of the same system. So instead of being slammed with hefty per-minute charges, you can talk for as long as you need for a reasonable cost. Star2Star’s conference call feature allows up to 150 users on a single call, so if you need to pull other departments into the strategic meeting there will be plenty of room.
Between consumers placing gift orders, asking questions about a seasonal sale, or calling to ask about a problem, inbound contact centers typically experience a major spike in activity this time of year. Luckily, Star2Star offers a full-featured inbound contact center solution that is highly scalable, so a business can bring in part-time workers to help handle the increased volume. The solution also offers features including:
- Skills-based ring strategies
- Flexible call queues
- Real-time interaction displays
- In-depth reporting
- Optional cloud-based recording of agent calls for quality assurance
Businesses with multiple locations can also take advantage of Star2Star’s line pooling technology during the holidays. Our lines are virtual, rather than physical, creating a highly flexible system. When a company purchases a pool of lines, these connections can be used at any location at any time. When one office receives an unusually high number of calls, we can add lines to that location “on the fly” to ensure that customers are able to get through. With a conventional system, it could take days or weeks to acquire additional lines, during which time customers will experience long hold times and frustration. With Star2Star’s virtual lines, capacity can be added as needed, instantaneously, and at any time.
Also, all businesses will have requirements for extended hours, closing for office parties or inclement weather and Star2Star makes holiday call routing easy through it's StarScheduler. Businesses benefit by establishing their holiday call routing in advance and without the need to reset back to normal business routing after the holiday date has passed.
If your company is still using a legacy communications system, this might not turn out to be the most wonderful time of the year. Fortunately for you, however, there is still time to make a change before the craziness begins. Deploying the Star2Star system is incredibly easy, because we take control of the entire process and take the burden off of you. Are you interested in learning more about how simple it is to switch to our award-winning system? Click here for more information.