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?Businesses who do not improve customer service in time for the festive period could miss out on increased profits. Research by software company Eptica revealed that British retailers can expect to experience a significant rise in sales over the Christmas shopping season with the overall market put at 5.5 billion. Eptica said that contact centres receive a significant growth in customer enquiries in the run up to the festive period with the spike in requests for information starting as early as September. Businesses which are unable to cope with an increased demand for information may damage their reputation as slow service can frustrate consumers who are easily unimpressed with levels of customer service. The study found that reducing inbound calls and responding to customer enquiries more efficiently can increase sales by five per cent on average. Dee Roche, European marketing director at Eptica, said businesses can increase their efficiency by converting enquiries into sales by advising potential purchasers on what to buy. "These benefits can only be realised by diverting low value questions away from customer service agents," she added. Parcelforce Worldwide are changing how they deal with incoming calls in order to improve customer service before the busy Christmas period where they experience a dramatic growth in consumer enquiries. The company is training its contact centre employees as part of a performance improvement consulting scheme to resolve enquiries more quickly and effectively. Nick Landon, sales and marketing Director at Parcelforce Worldwide, said that the company wants to improve customer service in order to keep their consumers loyal to the business. "With these new measures, we're able to identify issues before they occur taking us even closer to meeting our customers' needs. Great service builds trust which is one of the biggest drivers of retention for our customers," he added. American retailer Best Buy could be set to enjoy a successful Christmas period this year as the business received record-breaking marks for customer service by PC Retail's mystery shopper. Best Buy scored ten out of ten in regards to how its employees explained the intricacies of computers in a non-technical and friendly way. "The key thing to take from this is that Best Buy has arrived and is as good at customer service and showing off technology as it claims to be," said the magazine's mystery shopper. Best Buy's main British rival PC World was awarded just five out of ten, while Currys scored eight. ------ Himsworth Consultancy is a leading Management Consultancy firm of senior business and peformance improvement consulting professionals that can improve customer service and offer alternatives to business and functional outsourcing. Click on the links to find out more.
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