Helping Butterball Prepare for Thanksgiving

Dual Consumer Care for Seasonal & Year Round Needs

Butterball has a successful yearlong business selling whole turkeys, turkey products such as prepackaged cuts, turkey bacon, deli meats and many other types of food. The company really increases their volume of business during the winter season as consumers flock to stores to purchase turkeys for Thanksgiving, Christmas and other special occasions.
Because Butterball has both year-round and seasonal business needs, it operates two separate contact centers. The year-round center, managed by a third party, has a monthly contact volume averaging 3,200 and a staff of four between February and September. That number grows significantly during October to January, exceeding 30,000 calls per month. Butterball expands this team with an additional 30+ seasonal hires to help deal with the significantly higher contact volume.
The second, and more well-known, contact center associated with the company is the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line®. The Turkey Talk-Line® operates seasonally and offers information about both preparing Butterball turkeys and general advice on cooking and holiday meal preparation. This contact center helps millions of cooks during the November-December time period each year by phone, email, chat, and social.

Consolidating for Comprehensive Consumer Care

The limitations of Butterball’s previous contact center software became more evident as time went on. The two contact centers worked with different software and the Turkey Talk-Line® still used some printed reference materials. This meant a less-than-optimized experience for both staff and callers and required the duplication of data and less-efficient tracking of call information and metrics. Combined with a lack of adequate support for the unique needs of Butterball’s seasonal operations and its general consumer care efforts, decision-makers, including Director of Consumer Affairs Priscilla Sutherland, decided to switch to a suite of integrated solutions offered by Wilke Global.
“That was the big push. [Setting up] digital coupons and getting everybody in the same system so we could share the Butterball story overall,” Sutherland said. “Prior to going to Wilke, we had two different call environments in two different systems, tracking the information in two different ways.”
Sutherland said improving the company’s contact center’s solutions was a priority soon after she arrived at Butterball. The organization had reached a point where the technology used when interacting with consumers was reducing efficiency and dragging down operations. Butterball now uses Wilke Global’s CRS platform, as well as the ENLIGHT knowledgebase, the SPOT product locator tool, live chat functionality and other modules that work in concert with the CRS to create a seamless experience for both staff in the contact center and the consumers, who contact Butterball.

Looking to the Future

“We’re very excited to see what we can accomplish next year, because we’ll have less of a data integrity issue and we’ll be able to provide useful information to the business,” Sutherland said.
With Wilke Global’s solutions – and its top-notch support – Butterball is ready to:

  • Gather consistent consumer information
  • Develop a more harmonious contact center environment
  • Exceed consumer’s expectations for support, information and guidance

New Coupon Process

While sending coupons through the mail had been a viable strategy in the past, Butterball wanted to use a more modern medium for transmitting them. Wilke Global’s integrated ecoupon functionality now empowers Butterball with better distribution options.
“Previously, we had a huge gap given our inability to send digital coupons to our consumers,” Sutherland said.
With Wilke Global’s +, they have closed this gap and are able to efficiently and correctly distribute coupons to consumers.

Wilke Global’s Outstanding Service & Support

The switch to a new and different system, no matter the specific area of business operations, can be a difficult task to complete. Butterball made the decision to change at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, and the impending spike in their activity meant a quick and successful transition was essential. Wilke Global provided the support necessary for a successful implementation, as well as ongoing assistance both for seasonal ramping-up periods and general questions and concerns.
“It has been a genuine pleasure to work with Wilke,” Sutherland said. “They were the ones who supported me through the [request for proposal] process, and then when we decided to flip the switch, the resources that were provided to Butterball were outstanding. Even through the crunch time of the holidays, when we had issues, in no time at all we had resources and even escalated resources troubleshooting and resolving the issue as quickly as possible. Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about the team that Butterball has had through this implementation. It was the only way we made it through.”
Sutherland said Wilke provided support from the initial configuration, conversion and data scrubs all the way through the go-live point and continuing through to the present day. One major advantage that Wilke brought to the table was aiding in the training of employees on the new system. Staff members had become comfortable with the old technology in place, limited as it was, and in-depth, personalized learning efforts was sometimes needed. The employees had an adjustment period, but response has been positive as staff have better understood how to utilize Wilke’s systems.
The fact that the implementation occurred in the late summer and fall, in the months leading up to Butterball’s biggest and busiest season, was highlighted by Sutherland.
“There’s no way we could have gotten through the holidays as well as we did without the support of the Wilke team,” she said.