It’s that time of year again — when customers are rushing left and right to their favorite retailers (in-store and online) to start or finish up holiday shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Holiday season are officially here — and while that can mean great things for businesses, it’s often a stressful and frustrating time of year for consumers.
We took a look at some Interactions customer service data to determine the top types of interactions customers are making during this time of year. For example, what are the major reasons your customers might be contacting you, and what can you do to prepare — both for this season and in the future? Here are some tips and takeaways we’d like to share about this important time of year for retailers.
YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE CONTACTING YOU MORE — BUT THE REASON WHY KEEPS CHANGING
For both in-store and online retail stores, technical support is generally the most common reason for consumers to contact customer service throughout the year. But as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, customers are instead trying to make purchases and place orders both over the phone and online. Meanwhile, as the end of the year comes to a close, retailers see a large spike again for technical support and making in-store appointments to set up new tech gifts that consumers received as gifts.
What does this mean for the retailer? With call types and volumes that fluctuate as rapidly as they do during the holiday season, retailers need a customer care system in place that can easily handle these changes. That means being able to scale up quickly and efficiently — in the areas needed most — without ramping up costs.
WHAT’S THE STATUS OF MY DELIVERY?
Not surprisingly, data shows that another large reason for customer service interactions during this time of year is checking on order status. Consumers want to make sure the last minute gifts they picked for friends and family will be arriving on time. And while this is important information, it’s also a pain to have to call a customer service line or initiate a chat to find this out. Instead, try implementing an automated system that can send periodic updates to your customers on the status of their packages, and that can easily answer questions about order status without needing to tie up a live agent.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT CUSTOMER EFFORT
Perhaps most importantly, our data shows that not only are there more calls into retailers occurring on days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the length of these calls are longer on average as well. This means that customers are putting in more effort to accomplish tasks — likely because they are being forced to wait on hold as customer service centers reach peak capacity. And data also shows that frustration levels increase on Cyber Monday — likely as promo codes and checkout procedures don’t function as intended — creating a difficult experience for the customer. Implementing a customer care system that can easily manage self-service tasks will help your customers get things done quickly and efficiently, reducing frustrating and improving the likelihood that they will be back to purchase from you again in the future.
While there are likely to be mishaps every holiday season, you can significantly reduce the amount of effort your customers have to put in and frustration they need to endure by designing your customer service experience with the consumer in mind.