How Customer Service Affects Holiday Shopping Behavior

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As the holiday season approaches, customer service becomes a critical factor that influences shopping decisions. It is also the perfect time for maximizing sales. In a recent Black Friday survey, 32.3% of respondents shared that they plan to spend up to $500 dollars on the day, and 18.3% – see themselves parting with $500-$1000.

Holiday customer service is a key player in how successful you are in taking advantage, and it’s important to have the right strategy. This article will give you some tips on how to make the most out of it by maximizing the positive impact of your customer service team.

We Have All Had at Least One Bad Experience With Customer Service

Whether it be waiting on the phone for too long, or talking to someone who doesn’t seem to care about your problem, poor customer service can be frustrating enough to make you want to take your business elsewhere.

According to the PissedConsumer survey, 75.9% of respondents will write an online review after holiday shopping. As the statistics show, 12.7% of these reviews are prompted by a bad customer service experience.

It’s, therefore, a given that good customer service is an integral part of the holiday shopping experience. Effective CS is not just about answering the customer’s questions, but also about how you make them feel when they are interacting with your business.

Do this well and you’ll gain trust, loyalty and more customers.

Ways to Optimize Your Customer Care System

The first step to optimizing your customer care system is to identify what needs improvement. How can you do this?

1. Check what people are currently saying about you online. What are online reviews saying about your customer service? Can you see any patterns or common complaints?

2. Simply ask customers for feedback or conduct an internal survey of your employees to discover ways to improve efficiency. Once you know where the problems lie, you can start taking steps to improve in those areas.

5 Best Practices for Excellent Customer Service

1. Be pro-active
When customers come to you, they’ll expect you to understand their needs. Being pro-active means anticipating these needs and being ready with solutions before the customer feels they have to pick up the ball themselves.

2. Deliver what you promise
If your company promises a certain level of quality or service, deliver on that promise every time, without fail.

3. Train your staff seriously
Focus on the multifunctionality of each member of your team. One of the most familiar customer complaints is being bounced around from one agent or department to another.

Testing your customer’s nervous system and patience like this is a bad idea, so you had better train your staff in such a way that one person will be able to accommodate the customer fully and be knowledgeable about the most common inquiries from other departments.

You need to prepare your teams for this because if they do transfer the customer, the chances are that it will be the last time you hear from them.

4. Communicate your customer service philosophy
A customer service interaction is a perfect opportunity to showcase what you do best. Your customer service philosophy should be the driving force behind your customer service practices.

What do you stand for? What are the values that you live by? What is unique about your company that sets it apart from other companies in this industry? How do you make sure that each of your customers feels special and important? These are all questions that every company should be able to answer easily and clearly.

5. Consider the needs of your staff
Customers can tell when they are talking to someone who dislikes their role and has no motivation to do their job well. A glance at any review website will reveal gripes about encounters with minimum effort CS staff.

How do you stop this from happening?

Your customer support should believe in your company, its values and ambitions, and hence you need to furnish them with the knowledge and tools they need to excel and show their value to the team.

When a company has a strong culture, it attracts and retains the best talent. A company with a great culture also makes its customers feel more connected to the brand.

A great way to create a strong culture is by living your values. Your employees should embrace the company’s values and live them in their day-to-day work.

Awareness of Customer Service and Its Importance to Customer Satisfaction Is Crucial

Holiday time customer service is no different. No matter how good the product or service is, if customers are not happy with the company, they will never come back. Maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. Don’t aim to simply meet customer expectations; exceed them.

Michael Podolsky
Co-founder and CEO of PissedConsumer.com, a review and reputation management platform. Having 20 years of experience on Wall Street, I’ve become an independent entrepreneur and am now actively involved in entrepreneurship, technology development, search optimization, leadership, customer service, and consumer advocacy.

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