contact center

How to Get the Best Out of Seasonal Selling Periods

Father’s Day is celebrated in 40 countries across the globe. But it’s not just the world’s best dads who benefit – for retailers, it’s massively profitable.

For most retailers, seasonal holidays and big sales events can keep you in the green for the rest of the year. We’re talking Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Easter, Halloween and Christmas, among others. (Our personal favorite is St Patrick’s Day.)

In contact centers, seasonal events present a great opportunity for agents to capitalize on this shopping frenzy in order to meet their sales targets. It’s an all-round win.

So without further ado, here are our top tips for making the most of these big sales events in your contact center.

Everyone loves themes

Make the most of special sales days by theming your whole month’s activities around them. Customers associate sales events with scoring deals. The longer your sales event, the more people will shop.

In February, for example, you can create a marketing campaign around the ‘Month of Love’ while October can be your ‘Scary Savings’ month. This also gives your outbound sales agents a great opener and lends context to their call: ‘Hi Jane, I’m calling to let you know about our brand-new Thanksgiving promotion. Can I tell you about our month-long special offers?’

When it comes to creating your campaign, have fun. This is why we have marketing departments after all.

For maximum effectiveness, make sure your chosen theme is carried across all touchpoints. This can include your website or ecommerce site, your social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, above-the-line advertising (such as TV ads) and printed collateral in both your direct marketing channels (if you still do traditional snail mail) and brick-and-mortar stores.

The more eye-catching the better. Think colour, think animation, think Broadway baby. Remember, you’re competing for the attention of your customer. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold.

There’s a reason for this. According to a research paper published by World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, color can make a big impact on your marketing campaigns. The use of color can be used to differentiate your value proposition from your competitors’ by affecting your customer’s cognitive and affective responses. For example, most financial services utilize the color blue in some way as it is the color most strongly associated with trust. Pink is associated with romance while purple is associated with luxury. (Note: while we think the idea of using color to subliminally influence sales is really cool, this is by no means hard science and differs greatly according to context.)

Lastly, get people talking about your promotion by incorporating it into your content calendar. Online surveys, videos, Twitter polls. Use every channel you can to maximize exposure.

Make use of prizes and free gifts

In the famous words of Oprah Winfrey: ‘You get a free gift. You get a free gift. Everybody gets a free gift!’. Everyone loves free stuff. Now that you’ve created your seasonal campaign, adding a free gift gives your customer an incentive for making a purchase. This can be in the form of a free gift with every purchase in the month of your promotion, a discount voucher, or even a free gift-wrapping service.

You can also offer a guaranteed free entry for a prize that ties in with your campaign. For example, wedding season is at its height in June. Why not run a competition for a Honeymoon getaway for everyone who shops from your wedding catalog in June?

And publicize the hell out of the prize handover. If you’ve given away a huge cash prize, get that lucky customer over to their nearest store and shower them in balloons while your staff take a snap of them holding the giant cheque.

Being able to offer their customers a free gift or entry into a contest is fantastic for agents wanting to make sales, but do you know what’s even better? Your customers calling in their thousands because they can’t wait to get their hands on that limited edition, time-sensitive, exclusive item.

Get your agents pumped up

Getting your customers excited and talking about your promotion is fantastic. First prize and great job. But don’t forget about your agents. If they’re worked up and motivated about your promotion, your customers will be too. The two go hand in hand.

So, if you’re offering a cash prize to customers, hire a wind-tunnel cash machine that your most successful agent can step into at the end of the month. Use your wallboards to track sales and keep the competition at a fever pitch.

And remember what we said about color? Use your printed collateral in your contact center to get the agents in on the fun. Nothing says romance like a room full of staff wearing matching pink T-shirts. (It’s an event for Pete’s sake.)

So, to sum up. To get the most out of big selling months, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is your theme for the month? Make sure it carries across all your channels so that your customers can’t miss it.
  • What do your customers want? Give it to them in the form of a free gift or contest.
  • Don’t forget your agents! Make sure your promotional activities include your sales force.

Oh and Happy Father’s Day.

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