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Technology, Customer Service, COVID-19

How Technology & Customer Service Play a Part in Holiday Shopping

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Marie Christenson

Lead Content Writer

The holiday season has become synonymous with shopping nowadays. It seems the ultimate goal is to check everything off of the wish lists, while also snagging the best deals possible. “Flash Sale” and “Buy One Get One” are the sweet words shoppers love to hear.

Enter: Black Friday and the holiday shopping craze.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, has become well-known for its deals and shopping — not only in the US but in other countries as well. Every year on Black Friday, retail stores near and far roll out their “biggest sale yet” just in time for holiday shopping.

The major deals have extended to begin the evening of Thanksgiving and continue through the following Monday — now dubbed as Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is known for the digital deals offered at online stores, these online deals are the reason behind people staying up late for deals to go live at 2 a.m., quickly refreshing their pages, and adding items to their carts before it sells out.

Switching Things Up This Year

Much like most traditions and activities in the year 2020, things will be a bit different for holiday shopping this year. A day associated with stores being packed full of people elbowing their way through crowds at all hours of the day does not bode well with a global pandemic. Stores and companies have had to discover ways to offer “doorbuster deals” while keeping employees and customers safe.

This year’s holiday deals are taking a different approach, starting with introducing “Black Friday Deals” in October. Many retailers announced multi-day deals in October and promised “Black Friday prices” despite the fact that the deals are occurring a month earlier than usual. Other companies have featured different deals each week of the month or a variation of the sort.

As for the actual month of November, most of the main retailers have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day — contrary to what has been done every year for almost a decade. As for the day after Thanksgiving, it will be interesting to see whether consumers decide to shop in-person or stick to online shopping.

The Rise of Online Shopping

With online shopping rising over the years, the hit of COVID-19 really forced merchants to provide ways for customers to shop from the comfort of their homes. Thanks to recent technological advancements, customers have numerous ways to get what they need whether it’s from a grocery store, clothing boutique, or electronics store.

It is expected that methods such as mobile apps, curbside pickup, and delivery will be heavily relied on to help everyone to accomplish their holiday shopping this year. Customer service teams are also likely to play a big role during the holiday season. When someone accidentally orders the wrong size sweater, receives a damaged item, or needs to exchange for a different gift because their four-year-old keeps changing their mind…customer service is who they will turn to. 

5 Ways Businesses Can Help Customers During the Holiday Season:

  • Implement an IVR system that can best meet customer needs.
  • Inform customers about contactless shopping features available.
  • Clearly communicate with customers (expected shipping times, COVID-19 procedures, etc.).
  • Continue agent training so employees can help customers quickly and efficiently.
  • Connect customers with agents that are equipped to help best.

Although businesses and consumers are having to learn as they go during this unique shopping year, modern technology and customer service are adapting to provide the best experience possible. Is your organization preparing to handle to holiday shopping season? See how TCN can help by requesting a demo today.

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