Retail Call Centers

In an industry where the only constant is change, we help retail clients consistently deliver excellent service in a multi-channel environment.

McIntosh has worked with retail clients and their supply chains since our founding. We understand the challenge of thin margins, the disruption driven by emerging technologies, and the necessity to adapt call center operations to shifting customer trends and preferences.

Our experience within this sector:

Traditional Retail



Predictive Analytics

Mining and analyzing the past to predict the future.

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Speech Analytics

Today’s most compelling call center technology.

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Performance Management

Leveraging training, process, & tools to deliver service.

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Recent experience within this sector:

  • For one of the nation’s largest electronic retailers with 5,000 call center employees during peak, McIntosh consultants evaluated and updated the firm’s existing human resource strategy. After identifying internal and external issues negatively impacting the client’s ability to staff effectively, McIntosh assessed the firm’s recruiting practices through a mystery applicant process that compared all aspects of the client’s recruitment and selection processes to labor market competitors. Additionally, McIntosh conducted a comprehensive, national benchmarking study with 15 market leaders to identify cross-industry best practices and innovative staffing solutions. The resulting people strategy became the foundation of the retailer’s five-year human resource plan.
  • McIntosh delivered a series of projects designed to improve contact center efficiency and effectiveness for an operation supporting retail sales. The projects included call routing platform evaluation with supporting capital business case, workforce optimization, and a self-service assessment/benchmarking focused on web and IVR applications.
  • For an early entrant in the online marketing space, McIntosh conducted a workforce optimization study and developed core scheduling and intra-day management processes, training personnel selected to staff the functions.
  • Facilitated an internal task force on anticipate evolution of retail call centers (contact center of the future concept) generating a white paper identifying operational requirements. Identified innovative multi-channel sales approaches for internal pilots.
  • For a major grocery retailer, McIntosh conducted an assessment of their consumer relations and retail technical support contact center operations. McIntosh provided guidance on technology acquisition, organizational structure, effectiveness of current outsourced operations, and conducted industry benchmarking against known competitors by market. McIntosh also engaged with the IT organization to explore innovative in-store, kiosk solutions as well as multi-channel innovation opportunities.
  • McIntosh has conducted in-store mystery shops for multiple clients with both storefront and contact center customer facing operations. For a major home improvement chain, McIntosh consultants conducted mystery shops for the client organization, replicating the process at competitor locations by market to generate an in-market competitive report. For a major credit card marketer we conducted mystery shops evaluating the firm’s retail partners and their compliance with contractual requirements to offer and support the credit card product. For a major money transfer provider, we conducted mystery shop calls to retail locations to identify training and compliance issues.

Industry Insight:

Retail Call Center Operations

There are four critical success factors supporting superior retail call center operations:

  • Customers prefer to be in control, to buy rather than be sold.  Create an
    environment where buying is fun and easy.
  • Leverage voice of the customer (speech analytics) to anticipate your customers’ future needs; deliver proactive service.
  • Provide customers with immediate access, answering calls quickly, eliminating irritating delays, and streamlining automated prompting and self-service.  Frictionless service facilitates buying.
  • Avoid industry sages proclaiming insight into what customers really want. Your customers are calling; are you listening?  Your customer’s voice is the only expert that counts.

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Need more information?

Browse through our White Papers on various industry topics.

View Our White Papers