With retail sales expected to top $1.1 trillion this holiday season, brands are shoring up human resources to meet demand with a record 700,000+ seasonal hires for the December holidays.

A large portion of these temporary employees will undoubtedly be call center agents brought on to tackle the high volume of sales and service calls received during the biggest shopping days of the year.

While the holiday season is considered the most wonderful time of the year — for consumers and retailers alike, there is a lot at stake with these hires. Seasonal call center agents are a critical touchpoint for millions of customers. The agent becomes the voice of the brand when the extreme requests keep flowing in and emotions are running higher than usual. Additionally, the purchases made during the holidays may be the consumer’s first experience with a brand, making these customer conversations even more essential to sales conversions during the season and beyond. With brands relying on temporary agents to provide a superior level of service, and customer experience increasingly making or breaking loyalty, how can brands ensure every agent is ready to delight customers this holiday season?

Personalizing the Agent Experience

Picture this: A frustrated father calls customer support on December 23. He ordered his son’s top toy choice from his go-to e-commerce site, only to find he was shipped the wrong item. Naturally, he’s devastated and extremely disappointed. In this instance, an experienced, full-time call center agent would likely know (1) operationally, how to resolve the issue quickly and (2) emotionally, the language and tone to use that embody the brand and keep the father calm in his moment of panic, while also ensuring he returns for his toy-buying needs in the future. Could a seasonal agent field the same call successfully? If brands are not 100% sure, they risk a lifetime…