Black Friday, Sales, and Christmas – How can you manage call peaks?

Attention all retailers – learn more about the solution for dealing with call peaks during major seasonal events such as Black Friday, Christmas, and sales periods.

17 November 2021
  • resources >
  • News >
  • Black Friday, Sales, and Christmas – How can you manage call peaks?

Black Friday, Sales, and Christmas – How can you manage call peaks?

Black Friday, Sales, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or even Mother’s Day are all major seasonal events where retailers can increase their sales volumes. There is, however, one prerequisite for success – to be able to cope with the spikes in calls generated during these periods. In this article, you will find out how to handle the high spikes in incoming calls, all the while dramatically increasing the efficiency of your customer service. We will also introduce you to the Overflowbot, a new solution that is particularly useful for retail businesses.

What impact do activity peaks during major seasonal events have on retail?

Every year, many customers wait until the end of November to treat themselves and do their Christmas shopping. Black Friday is now a regular part of consumers’ lives all over the world as they rush to find the best sales and other special deals.

These 2020 figures released by Criteo illustrate the magnitude of this unprecedented phenomenon:

  • 139% global spike in retail sales in November compared to October
  • 177% increase in transactions in the United States in November compared to October.

Black Friday is now an integral part of the list of seasonal peaks of activity, just like Christmas, the winter and summer sales, and Valentine’s Day. To take full advantage of these periods of strong business growth, retailers must do everything possible to offer the best customer experience possible.

If you work in this industry, you know that your sales are very heavily dependent on your ability to manage these seasonal events throughout the sales cycle effectively. You also know that you can’t afford to miss out on sales because of a lack of preparation. The stakes are clear – you have to be able to handle a sudden and massive influx of customer requests. But how do you prepare your customer service department for surges in incoming volumes of calls?

How do you prepare customer service to deal with call peaks?

The short-lived nature of one-off events such as Black Friday or Valentine’s Day heightens customers’ need for immediate answers to their questions. When in doubt, users will prefer to look for a better offer from a competitor. This is why your customer service must without fail eliminate these doubts and answer the questions of potential buyers such as “Will I receive the product before February 14th?” or “Is the payment method really secure?”

By answering your customers’ questions quickly and efficiently, you will gain their trust and reinforce their decision to buy your products. Yet, with tens of millions of transactions in just a few days, it is physically impossible to respond to all of your customers’ inquiries.

It is therefore in your best interest to deploy an omnichannel strategy. In other words, the customer service department is the key point of contact between your brand and your customers, and it must utilize both phone and digital channels. The challenge is to reconcile seamlessness and personalization in handling customer requests. Fortunately, there are now innovative solutions that complement omnichannel platforms for managing call spikes in customer services.

The Overflowbot – the solution to cope with the influx of customer requests


During seasonal events with high call volumes, conversational agents (or conversational bots) can now come to the rescue of retailers. Zaion has developed a tool specifically designed to address the problem of unanswered phone calls when all lines are busy called the Overflowbot. Let’s explore it through three key points.

1 – Enhanced customer experience

In real terms, the Overflowbot is a virtual conversational agent that takes care of unanswered calls due to congested lines, non-business hours or long waiting times. The bot identifies the customers and transcribes their entire request into an email so that an advisor can process it asynchronously within the promised timeframe.

Such a tool is very useful to manage the large increase in phone calls during peak commercial times. It saves time for everyone as it responds instantly to calls 24/7. Customers don’t have to wait endlessly, and their requests are answered instantly. Thanks to the Overflowbot, your customer service remains reachable in all circumstances, while offering a rich and seamless voice experience. These are the arguments in favor of customer satisfaction.

2 – Improved customer service experience

Making customer satisfaction a priority is one thing. Improving the experience of the people who work in your customer service department is even better! The Overflowbot is an excellent way to enhance advisor productivity. By handling part of the incoming call volumes, the bot frees up considerable time for customer service. The ‘human’ employee is then freed from the pressure and anxiety related to the overflow.

In addition, employees process customer requests filtered by the bot considerably faster. This is because the bot sends a summary email to the advisor to recap the key points of the customer request. The action of the Overflowbot also contributes to the reduction of callbacks.

3 – Availability and responsiveness of customer service

If you were concerned that so many of these advantages would require weeks of technical setup, you will be pleasantly surprised. The implementation of the Overflowbot in your customer service department can be done in less than 36 hours. Its operational deployment is very straightforward, as the required level of IS integration is low.

If you don’t want to be overwhelmed by the number of calls, while maintaining a level of service that meets your requirements, the Overflowbot is made for you. Find out more by clicking here. But be quick: Black Friday and the holiday season are just around the corner!