Are you preparing for Black Friday 2020 but find it challenging to set up a flawless back-office customer support team?
Forecasting the necessary resources can be a hurdle, and even more difficult with the current market uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. eCommerce sales are expected to raise but integrating digital channels into the Customer Experience (CX) strategy is not so straightforward.
If you are finding it tricky to successfully plan and operate peak demands, keep reading.
Operating within the eCommerce landscape for a wide variety of clients, CPM International Contact Centre have developed unparalleled expertise dealing with the seasonal peaks and troughs related to sales, product launches, returns and in some instances, handling unexpected volume demands. By combining omnichannel strategies, flexible resource models and operational know-how, we constantly deliver a seamless experience for the end customer, no matter the sales period.
The impact of Black Friday week is not only on the sales and eCommerce Support department but it also affects recruitment, training, IT teams, and many other areas of the business. The preparation for this November commerce period can start up to 12 months in advance. Yet, specifically in our business we see a peak from September onwards with hiring and onboarding induction. Some of our clients work in a unique way as they update their forecast on a monthly basis, but for a relatively small, core team, this can create some challenges to manage the operation successfully.
Our holistic approach to peak demand planning is tailored to every client according to their needs. We closely design the ramp up strategy together with our client partners resulting in better performance management, deep employee engagement, exceptional customer satisfaction and ultimately, higher sales. During 2019 Black Friday season, CPM delivered €5 Million in sales for our eCommerce Contact Centre clients.
In this article, we are uncovering what business areas are critical to preparing for a successful Black Friday and provide you with best practices on how the operational manager and CX teams can build and work on a structured plan encompassing 3 core areas: business, client, and people.
Firstly, you should determine where resources should be allocated within the business. When using a dynamic resource model, budget and headcount vary on a monthly basis according to expected fluctuating demand. For a contact centre careline this implies:
Secondly, operational excellence is key to delight customers. We work closely with our client partners to revise the procedures and streamline the day to day operations; adopting a continuous improvement approach:
Thirdly, remember great employee experience equals great customer experience. So, make their work-life easier, motivating, and enjoyable – especially during the accelerated operating rhythm driven by sales peak. Some tips for enhanced people experience that will lead to high performance are:
As CPM work with clients operating in a wide range of sectors, their peaks and troughs fall on different times of the year. This allows us to manage our resources across different projects having all busy sales periods covered and avoiding idle staff. For instance, an agent recruited for Black Friday, has the opportunity to move within our business in line with another client peak. This help us to drive cost efficiencies by reducing the cost of new hire and training.
With flexible resource models we can offer our clients the security to have efficient resources to manage sales peaks. Being flexible and sharing resources helps to avoid backlog situations, and ensure we have happy, engaged and retained staff. We have been able to reduce backlog from 28 to 0 days for one of our clients in just few months and reduce employee turnover by 38%.
We invest time into reviewing different operational and delivery models, offering transparency and flagging potential risks. We encourage involvement from our clients and approach this in a collaborative and agile way. Some of our existing clients work with multiple partners on global basis and have replicated our business and delivery model across other programmes to offer a consistent customer experience. CPM have transformed its eCommerce Contact Centre Programmes to agile and flexible omnichannel solutions with Customer Experience excellence at its core.
We don’t know what 2021 will look like. This year has certainly evidenced we can’t always plan for the future. However, we believe the industry needs models that are flexible enough to cope with challenges that you can’t yet foresee, so you can be ready to adapt in a very proactive way.
What if getting ready for Black Friday could be a smooth endeavour? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to master your eCommerce sales and customer support regardless of your business seasonal fluctuating demand.
Our latest Expert Speak comes from Pierpaolo Bertocco, CPM Italy, on omnichannel retail and e-commmerce.
During the Italian event IT’S ALL RETAIL, organized by Brainz, which brought together the main Retail, GDO and Fashion players to talk about challenges and market opportunities, Pierpaolo Bertocco outlined CPM’s point of view on sales in an increasingly phygital context and stressed the relevance of identifying promptly online sales threats and having access to a flow of steadily updated insights on sales.
How are sales changing in an increasingly phygital context?
The increase in online sales due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic is plain to see.
Over a couple of months we saw what would normally happen in a few years (5 according to a recent report by IBM). The impact was on the switch between physical and online sales on one hand, and on the driver of the transformation on the other. To explain; until a few months ago digital sales were driven by technology and companies. The Big players (Amazon, Alibaba, etc) first, followed by sector companies, have made available e-commerce and delivery platforms and services, anticipating a latent need for most consumers, except perhaps the big cities and the youngest generations. With the pandemic the consumer is more and more the decision maker, he is the hare or rather the conductor.
An orchestra conductor who has made the smartphone his baton, directing his purchasing decisions based on ratings, reviews and, of course, the availability of product information.
According to a study by the Politecnico of Milan University and the research institute Nielsen, 58% of individuals that bought online had not done so before. Furthermore, 83% of these stated that they would continue to buy online even post-Covid. The percentage of online buyers goes up to 80% if we consider the European data of Detail’s study done in partnership with Kantar. We all know that e-commerce has seen a significant increase in sales, especially in the first weeks of the lockdown – 81% more than in 2019, according to data reported by Nielsen – this trend is confirmed: IBM stated that purchases in department stores will decrease by 60% at the end of the year, while e-commerce would grow by around 20%. Additionally, 80% of shoppers consult their smartphones on purchases they’re about to make in a physical store.
What we see at CPM, not only in Italy but through comparison between the countries we in which we operate internationally, is that the near future represents a great challenge for the CEOs of every sector and even more so for Sales Directors. In the coming months they will find themselves having to understand how to manage a strong change in the weight of purchase channels, and consequently in the distribution chain, and particularly of their mindset and their digital skills. And, of course, omnichannel. This is a race with no finish line.
The pandemic has accelerated the transition from retail to e-commerce: making sure that your products are visible on the channels of online retailers has become even more crucial. What can be done?
Common practices for physical retail, such as monitoring and developing stock levels, product availability, consumer information, and last but not least, sales and competitors’ audit, have moved massively on-line, for the reasons mentioned before. Those brands that use retailers (primarily Amazon but also other e-commerce retailers), rather than their own platforms, often have to – it seems a nonsense – check by hand, maybe sample by sample, what happens to their online offer.
The product search landscape is changing and being visible in Google is no longer enough. Retailers have become complex search engines using algorithms to rank products on the digital shelf. Furthermore, retailers are willing to have (and display) the largest selection of products. Within this context, imagine a product, perhaps food specifically for intolerances with the wrong description, or a fake brand product sold by third parties, or trivially indexed on the parameters of size and characteristics (a smart tv for example) which therefore does not appear in the search by potential shoppers. This is easy to image. However, it’s not as easy to image the potential loss of business, especially if the consumer tastes the product offline and then buys it online, maybe even while they are in the store.
There are some platforms that support online product management on all aspects mentioned above and Detail is the partner that CPM uses to maximize product visibility, monitor sales and, ultimately, help to push online sales. “Polite” spyders work at night when there is less traffic, adapting to the time zones of each country, without disturbance, and returning daily the point of the situation allowing the leadership to remedy or make informed decisions.
An example? On average, even before the pandemic, 40% of online products were categorized incorrectly3 or sold out, resulting in a reduction in potential sales. And it’s not hard to imagine how this data has potentially increased with the pressure to which online retailers were subjected during the lockdown and in the following months.
In the end, only with a constantly updated analytical insights framework can you identify lost sales opportunities and act as quickly as possible to turn them into profit.
Barcelona, 6th October 2020 – CPM International Contact Centre, a leading provider of outsourced customer experience and sales solutions, is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted in five categories of the 20th European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSA); recognizing industry leaders and innovators in the fields of Customer Experience and Contact Centres.
Under Operational Effectiveness categories, CPM has been shortlisted for Most Effective Management of Peak Demand with our partner New Balance, and for Best Outsourcing Partnership together with our client Harley-Davidson.
In addition, CPM has been selected as finalist for Best Quality Management Team and Best Contact Centre Support Team within Team Awards categories.
From the employee experience side, CPM’s inhouse Learning and Development team has been shortlisted for Most Effective Learning and Development initiative.
“These five nominations are an opportunity to recognise and celebrate our team’s exceptional contribution to the customer experience industry. We work in a fast changing, hectic business environment and we are very proud of our teams’ innovative ways to effectively respond to the new market dynamics driven by the global pandemic. Being an ECCCSA finalist is a prestigious accolade to our strategy of continuous improvement and collaborative partnership. We are extremely excited to be in the final stage, and jointly with our client partners, New Balance and Harley-Davidson.” says Annette John, Leadership Director.
Original finalist shortlist available here.
About the ECCCSA
In its 20th year, the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs) is the longest running and largest awards programme in the customer contact industry. The awards recognise organisations across Europe that are leading the way in delivering exceptional service to customers.
Highly regarded for its robust judging process, the ECCCSAs honour organisations that value their people, continually innovate to improve the customer experience, and operate efficiently and effectively.
Being an ECCCSA winner is a prestigious accolade that has proven to raise the profile of the contact centre operation, its capabilities and its stars. The programme is seeing incredible growth with 24 countries participating in 2019 and over 1,300 people attending the awards evening representing the most senior customer experience professionals in Europe, as well as key industry influencers on customer contact.
About CPM International Contact Centre
CPM International Contact Centre is an award-winning provider of omnichannel customer experience solutions. We are part of CPM Group and a member of the Omnicom Network of Companies. We offer boutique and bespoke solutions to our amazing client partners through high skill, customer intimate Customer Experience (CX) and Sales teams; harnessing the power of digital capabilities and human contact in everything we do. Our EMEA hub is based in Barcelona, Spain and we have multiple contact centres in the United Kingdom supporting the UK & Ireland markets. We provide 24-7 global coverage in 26+ languages for international clients spanning High Tech, Consumer Electronics, eCommerce, FMCG, Pharma, Automotive, Travel and Retail industries.
For further information, please contact:
We are approaching the last quarter of the year and you are far from meeting your revenue objectives. It’s getting challenging with the new market dynamics driven by the pandemic. Also, in a B2B environment, mastering sales can be much more complex due to scope, scale and extended sales cycles.
You know outsourcing your sales team might help accelerate your results but you’re hesitant on external support.
We’ve got your covered.
With over 30+ years contact centre sales experience working with clients across varying sectors and markets; CPM International Contact Centres have developed unrivalled expertise in creating high performing B2B sales teams, delivering incremental revenue growth of up to 10% in just 3 months. How have we done it? Our strategy formula encompasses people, process, customers, technology, and partnership.
In this article, we will be covering our 5 top components to creating a best in class outsourced B2B sales team and provide you with best practices on how to achieve it.
Defining business aims and challenges together is the first step to establish an effective sales process framework and a clear strategy for sales pipeline management. A streamlined framework can promote speed and agility and allows for innovation, constant development, and growth. There are two key considerations at this stage:
People are your most important asset. In particular, in a B2B environment the sales team usually deals with customers who are already subject matter experts, so account managers have to be product savvy and also knowledgeable on business development. Understanding the employee journey is essential to have a highly skilled sales team – from hiring passionate people, onboarding and training, to motivating and empowering professionals.
Delivering great customer experience results in higher sales conversions. That is why having a customer-centric culture in place is so noteworthy for a sales team. Understanding customer needs helps optimize the customer journey towards a 360 approach where cross-selling and up-selling opportunities can be created. Working on an account management basis can assist the customer journey as the manager can focus on nurturing the customer relationship. It is a more personalised selling process resulting in higher sales and customer satisfaction.
In the B2B environment, only 23 percent of B2B companies have embraced a customer centric approach (Forrester, 2019). However, the growth window of adopting this strategy have been proven to be enormous and it definitely creates competitive edge. What are you waiting for to embrace it?
Whilst the sales process is mostly powered by people skills, technology is a meaningful factor which should not be overlooked. Technology can be used by sales professionals to improve visibility and generate more leads, build a new business pipeline, optimize conversations, nurture and accelerate conversions.
In addition, investing in state-of-the-art technology allows to visualize business impact and its projection to make the right decisions faster. Operational effectiveness is achieved thanks to CRM systems, real time reporting and predictive analysis. Innovative tools should be adopted by sales teams to not only fuel the sales process but also complement and aid in the relationship development approach. For example, tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator have been proven to help speed up the sales cycle by focusing in on the right prospects 90% faster.
Outsource your sales team to a partner, not a provider. It is all about a win-win situation in which trust and communication are the foundation.
What if you could rely on a trusted partner who knows how to seamlessly employ this winning formula? You will be able to benefit from a high-performing B2B sales team focused on growing your business while leaving you free to get on with what you do best.
Don’t miss out on the competitive advantage of an outsourced B2B sales team and get started with the 5-step strategy today. Contact us at email@example.com to find out how we can build up a bespoke sales programme tailored to your business objectives and needs.
Welcome to our first edition of Leadership Team Blog articles for 2018, from CPM International Contact Centre, Barcelona ” Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: Demystified ” which comes from Emanuele Ceppelli, IT Director at CPM International Contact Centre.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most significant transformational break-throughs – and perhaps least understood – in modern times. In many ways, the charm of AI is that we don´t realize we are using it when we use Siri, Alexa, or when the phone automatically corrects your grammar.
In very good company with the more notorious innovations like the steam engine, electricity, and the combustion engine, AI is the most important general-purpose technology of our era. But, what is AI doing and how quickly is it improving? Two are the areas of progress that best support the AI journey to improvement: perception and cognition.
With regard to the “perception”, some of the most practical advances have been made in relation to speech. Voice recognition is still far from perfect, but millions of people are now using it — think Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant as an example (by the way – this article was dictated to a computer and transcribed with sufficient accuracy).
These advances in voice recognition have evolved into the ability of a computer to recognize the human natural way of speaking. This ability is known as Natural Language Processing, or NLP. Rather than face limited touch-tone or rigid Directed Dialog, customers can now speak naturally to the device in use.
A study by the Stanford computer scientist James Landay and colleagues found that speech recognition is now about three times as fast, on average, as typing on a cell phone. The error rate, once 8.5%, has dropped to 4.9%. What’s striking is that this substantial improvement has come not over the past 10 years but just since the summer of 2016 (source: Stanford Education Research)
We are also assisting to a rapid improvement in the machine’s ability to recognize images.
An app running on your smartphone will recognize almost any bird in the wild. Image recognition is replacing ID cards and customers analytics, access control; public safety has also started counting massively on facial recognition.
In terms of “cognition” on the other hand, the improvements are going as fast as those around “perception”.
Machine learning (ML), is based on learning from examples rather than a rigid code telling the software what to do and at what time. This is an important break from previous practice.
In a world where DATA are produced at an astonishing rate and machines can learn from examples, we have served the perfect loop for constantly feeding AI engines with relevant information to exponentially grow the ML capability.
A system using IBM technology automates the claims process at an insurance company in Singapore, and a system from Lumidatum, a data science platform firm, offers timely advice to improve customer support. Dozens of companies are using ML to decide which trades to execute on Wall Street, and more and more credit decisions are made with its help. Amazon employs ML to optimize inventory and improve product recommendations to customers. Infinite Analytics developed one ML system to predict whether a user would click on a particular ad, improving online ad placement for a global consumer packaged goods company. JPMorgan Chase introduced a system for reviewing commercial loan contracts; work that used to take loan officers 360,000 hours can now be done in a few seconds. And supervised learning systems are now being used to diagnose skin cancer (source: JPMorgan, Bloomberg)
Let´s see how AI can help our Contact Centres to deliver a better service more efficiently.
Powered by ML and NLP, an Intelligent Front Door replaces and upgrades traditional IVR routing. It allows offering the ease of conversational communication, with Natural Language intent capture at the outset of every call.
An Intelligent Front Door can provide benefits in:
Customers are still calling and every year their expectations are higher than the previous year.
AI helps to offer a proactive and personalized experience from the start. With AI and the right data, customers are recognised and their needs anticipated.
More than half of the customers liaising with a Contact Centre wants to “self-serve”.
With an AI engine and the right DATA, it is possible to provide a personalised and efficient self-service to customers starting from a natural conversation. Many are the processes that can be automated thanks to AI.
By removing the initial contact steps thanks to an intelligent front door, Agents are talking only to the right customers and at the right moment, those that need them most. Customer experience success and failure often revolve around customers’ experiences with Agents.
Since routing and self-service can be automated for the repeatable tasks, Agents are likely to be more engaged. They have access to calls and the most updated customer data through CTI and/or screen pops; warm transfers become the norm thanks to AI and as most of the customers hate repeating information, the Agents do not have to make them.
In summary, AI is likely not a fake and the first to use it effectively will reap the most benefits. Whilst still in its infancy phase, the pace of innovation is exponential and the signs of progress will never be so slow again. Speech recognition has reduced the error rate by 50% only in the last 12 months. This means that in a blink of an eye many Contact Centres will run AI engines as they have configured IVRs until now. But it is only through trial and error that businesses can reach effectiveness in using AI.
To find out more or if you have any questions, please contact Emanuele Ceppelli on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
4th December 2017 – Barcelona
CPM Barcelona takes home Silver Best Customer Service Team of the Year Award at the European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards
We are thrilled to announce that CPM’s International Contact Centre in Barcelona took home Silver in the Best Customer Service Team of the Year Award category at the European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards last night; recognising its revolutionary approach to Social Media and Customer Service!
Speaking about the awards, Tom Johnston, Business Unit Director – Sales through Service, CPM Barcelona said, “I am delighted that our ground-breaking and innovative approach to growing the online community, serving our millennials via their channel of choice and truly monetizing Social Media through customer service excellence, has earned the accolades of so many industry experts.”
“CPM is committed to innovation in consumer engagement and embracing digital channels as part of our industry-leading approach to omni-channel customer service. This award acknowledges the amazing success and commitment of our social media team in delivering best-in-class customer service. I am extremely proud of the team,” says Fiona Whelan, Managing Director.
This award recognizes CPM Barcelona for its forward-thinking and innovative approach to social media and social customer service. As customer experience specialists, CPM Barcelona delivers omni-channel customer service solutions for our blue-chip client portfolio, spanning 22+ languages and 65 markets.
Following a multi-stage award submission process, which included a face:face finalist presentation competing against 9 other shortlisted agencies; CPM were awarded Silver medal category winners at the awards ceremony held at the impressive Evolution venue in Battersea Park, London.
CPM Barcelona’s Social Media Team had already triumphed at the UK Customer Experience Awards earlier this year, scooping the prestigious Best in Class – International Social Media Award.
The European Contact Centre and Customer Service Awards (ECCCSAs) are the largest and longest running awards in the customer contact industry. Highly regarded for its robust judging process, the ECCCSAs recognise organisations that are leading the way in delivering exceptional service to customer.
About CPM International Contact Centre – Barcelona
CPM Barcelona, as part of CPM Group and a member of the Omnicom Group, is an international contact centre delivering outsourced customer experience and sales solutions on an EMEA-wide basis. CPM specialises in the delivery of omnichannel customer engagement solutions for global clients spanning High Tech, Consumer Electronics, FMCG, Retail and Travel industries and currently covers 22+ languages across 65 markets.
For further information, contact:
Microsoft and their agency partner – Retail Safari (part of CPM Australia); were awarded the “2017 Field Marketing Excellence Award” at the POPAI Awards for Australia and New Zealand, which took place in Sydney, Australia on the 12th October 2017. The industry event is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the innovations of retail and shopper marketing across Australia.
“We are incredibly proud to receive this esteemed award,” said Michelle Casey, Channel Marketing Lead, Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft Australia. “It’s recognition of the robust work we’re doing in-field and a testament of our talented in-field Microsoft evangelists who are 100 per cent committed to delivering compelling customer experiences that drive demand and sales across our entire ecosystem.”
Awards were presented in several retail marketing categories. Microsoft was honoured among leading national field mark
eting experts for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of a retail campaign that successfully influences and enhances the shoppers’ journey.
“We are proud to be a collaborative partner with Microsoft,” says Louise Mockler, Group Account Director at Retail Safari’s Sydney office. “It’s always been an honour to be in a strategic partnership that not only meets and exceeds business objectives but earns Microsoft recognition within the industry and community.”
POPAI is the only global, not for profit industry association exclusively advocating for excellence in shopper and retail marketing. With more than 45 offices and 1700 member companies worldwide, POPAI brings global best practice intelligence, resources, recognition and networks and to their members. 2017 POPAI winners: click here
A part of CPM Australia, Retail Safari provides a complementary suite of retail marketing services that connect consumers with brands in environments where the ability to influence is at its strongest. The integrated channel structure activates brands along the purchase journey, triggering the impulse to buy at critical points both in-store and out-of-store.
To find out more around CPM’s global industry recognition and success stories, please click here.
For more information, contact:
Tania Peck, 0414 011 587
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