Blitzed! 5 top tips for offshore employees dealing with US Holiday season.


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They’re running on the fumes of a candy cane frappachino. They’re trying to talk over the shrieks of visiting nieces and nephews, and juggling tape, scissors, catalogs, and ornaments with one hand while writing their Christmas letter with the other: this customer is fragile. Handle with care!

Here’s a few tips to help them handle the madness.

1: Tailor your materials to the “high middle” level of rep awareness.

My previous company put out company- wide communiques about Christmas, New Years, and Thanksgiving (yes, they missed a few holidays, but hey, they tried!). They included background, traditions, and greetings, as well as fun trivia.

They were geared towards the “intermediate” level, which I think was the right choice. Most agents are familiar with the basic idea of US Holidays– they may have seen music videos, movies, or read magazines and books with these holidays featured. Some countries either celebrate the same holiday or have a version of it, so this raises awareness as well. Don’t bore your audience with basic stuff– at the risk of having them ignore it!

2: Give your reps an idea of what the customer (probably) loves about the holiday.

For Thanksgiving, it’s all about the food and the football game. For Christmas, it’s all about the big family gathering, the “loot” and the lights. New Year’s is all about a resolution that everyone knows you’ll break. If you give your reps a few quick talking points and sound bites, they’ll make a much stronger connection to your holiday-season callers than with a tepid “Happy Holidays”.

3: Go beyond the warnings about stress to the reason that the stress is happening.

Explain the pressures of travel, the expectations that those [expletive deleted] commercials set, the stress of seeing family members that were otherwise avoided all year, and so on. Try to bridge these to common experiences in your reps’ lives, if you can.

4: Anticipate and adjust your top call drivers, and create training around these.

Quality and Operations may have done this already, but it’s up to you to make sure your reps are prepped for the onslaught of returns, lost packages, and frantic orders that they’ll face, especially if they’re seasonal ramp employees.

5: Create a training package for each holiday, with top call drivers, information about the holiday, sound bites, etc.

If you’re off duty, traveling, handling the 50- people- just- quit -crisis, or just otherwise engaged, it’s a smart move to have a place where you employees can go to get the information they need about the holiday. SharePoint, Chatter, Yammer, or other Enterprise Social Media/LMS is a great place to store this stuff.

And don’t forget the reason for the season… Sharing photos, foods, or stories with your reps can help them “get it” much quicker and bettter than any Power Point presentation, no matter how awesome the graphic are.

Now get out there and start spreading some holiday cheer!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Naomi Kelsey
Naomi Kelsey has 10+ years of progressive responsibilities in the customer service industry, and 3 in the BPO training field, with an Instructional Design focus. She specializes in creating custom-tailored training programs in Language, Customer Service, and US Culture for both internal and external call center clients. Her vision is to bring "supernaturally human" customer service to all customers through innovative training methods and materials, great coaching tips, and true expert advice.


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