Why Customer Service Needs Extra Preparation for the Holiday Season

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We are heading into one of the busiest times of year for many businesses, and that brings a lot of stress and satisfaction when things go well. Help ensure your business’ success by preparing in advance to meet the many needs of the holidays – in particular, your customer service needs.

The Importance of Quality Customer Service

The holiday season is just gearing up, and many customers are preparing for big purchases, both online and in stores. Many of these customers are scouring online reviews to find the perfect items and the perfect stores to buy them from. In fact, according to a Black Friday survey by PissedConsumer.com, almost 82% of customers polled say that negative reviews impact their purchase decisions.
If you don’t have great holiday customer service in place, you might already be losing customers.

The Essentials of Holiday Customer Service

Your customers are looking to buy items and spend money this holiday season. But they don’t want to work with a company that doesn’t offer them the customer support they are expecting to enjoy. It’s important to put a bit of extra effort into your customer service this year to stay ahead of the game both in stores and in consumer reviews.

Prepare Customer Access to Information

As we continue to emerge from the effects of COVID and global shortages and supply chain issues, there are likely to be some hiccups with delivery and stocking. Customers will be asking about delivery status and billing concerns. They will have questions about items and potential discounts.
Gear up for the onslaught by providing as many avenues as possible for customers to get the information they are seeking in a timely manner.

  • Update your frequently asked questions and make them accessible.
  • Consider adding an online customer service text bot to help channel conversations and provide answers.
  • Add online and call customer service options and make them easy to find.
  • Monitor and be accessible through social media for questions and concerns.
  • Stay on top of questions and complaints popping up on review websites.

Generate an Effective Protocol

You may be onboarding many new employees to help with the seasonal rush or having more employees working to help stem the tide. Create a standard protocol for your company to follow no matter who is answering questions via messenger, chat, or on phone. If everyone knows the procedure and when and how to address various types of concerns, your customers will be treated fairly and equitably.

Use Last Year’s Data to Plan for This Year

Use the information you gathered last year during the holiday season to guide your productivity this year. When were the highest call volumes? Schedule more workers for customer service at those peak times.

When are you expecting higher website volume or store traffic? Keep the necessary employees on hand to jump in when necessary. Expecting a rush on certain days or certain times? Have employees scheduled well before the rush so that they aren’t jumping into a tsunami of customer support needs when they pick up the phone or log in.

Data-driven planning can be highly effective and may motivate you to keep even better records of customer needs and timing during this year’s holiday rush.
As you and your employees gear up for the holidays, keep your focus on your customers. Deliver high-quality products with a high-quality experience, and you can rest assured that your efforts will be reflected highly across every review website. And each of those positive reviews generates a greater customer experience.

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