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Helping your retail customers meet demand at Christmas

Even as consumer shopping habits continue to evolve (with a greater reliance on digital and mobile, there’s one thing that doesn’t change – and that’s the fact that Christmas is the busiest time of year for retailers of all shapes and sizes.

While many retailers are generally reported to be struggling (even some of the UK’s ‘high street titans’ are feeling the pinch), sales are nevertheless expected to pick up again at the end of this year during what’s touted in the industry as the ‘golden quarter’. From turkeys to tinsel to toys, demand inevitably goes up, and retailers have got to rise to the challenge to keep their reputations intact.

Business broadband (it’s not just for Christmas)

All businesses are relying more and more on connectivity – and your customers in the retail sector are no exception to that. Whether it’s using business applications in the cloud, or simply being able to communicate effectively between teams and locations (or between the brand and the customer), retailers need fast, reliable internet connectivity to underpin all of their operations. Especially as the environments they’re working in are increasingly agile, fast moving and cloud-based.

Luckily, you have an answer to this, in Gamma’s business-only broadband packages. With business broadband, customers get to feel the benefit of high-speed bandwidth that’s never bogged down by consumer traffic. What’s more, since Gamma’s network was engineered for this very purpose, a retail business’ time-critical or business-critical applications will always be prioritised, even at peak times. These are the kinds of factors that can be a real competitive differentiator, especially at Christmas time.

Hosted telephony (with all the trimmings)

To cope with increased demand at Christmas, flexibility is fundamental for your retail customers. Especially large retailers with staff dotted about all over the place – from brick-and-mortar stores to headquarters, regional offices, warehouses or customer service centres. For their staff to deliver the best customer service they can, not only do they need reliable data services, but also the right tools at their disposal so that communication can flow as seamlessly as possible between each of these disparate parts.

If they haven’t already, making the switch to a hosted telephony solution is another obvious step towards achieving this. A hosted solution, like Gamma’s Horizon, means new locations (additional pop-up stores, for instance) and new users (temporary seasonal workers that are common in the retail sector) can be up and running within minutes. Making it a highly flexible, scalable option. And with the right business broadband package supporting it, businesses can be sure customers and staff will always be able to communicate – effectively and efficiently. Perfect for meeting the demands of the Christmas rush.

Other benefits include real-time call reporting and analysis, which makes for more effective call management, as well as improved customer service and satisfaction (which can be a tricky thing to nail during the Christmas period). It’s also super easy to use, and all managed via one centralised online portal. So your customers’ IT teams won’t be burdened with extra pressure. All of which will help retail businesses to significantly improve their customer call handling, even during the busiest time of the year. Leaving them free to focus on the quality of service they deliver, rather than worrying that they won’t be capable of meeting demand.

Giving the gift of customer WiFi

We’ve talked about the benefits of customer WiFi before, and why you should be raving about it to your own customers. From boosting conversion rates to capturing key customer data and delivering a seamless, multi-channel experience, the rewards are there to be reaped by retailers who offer this in their stores – and never is this opportunity more prevalent than at Christmas time. Again, having reliable connectivity is key to ensuring that it works every time.

For Gamma’s channel partners, there’s a clear opportunity here: in helping your customers in the retail sector maintain their own customer service standards during the busiest quarter of the year. Getting them switched over to a business broadband package is one way of doing this, helping them to underpin the delivery of not only great customer service, but the kind of seamless customer experience that will stand out from the crowd during the holiday season. Not to mention supporting other initiatives like offering in-store customer WiFi. Or, adopting internet-based telephony, which empowers them to scale up to meet seasonal demand. All of this should mean less ‘bah humbug’ and more yuletide cheer for your customers – and their customers, too.