The holidays are not just times to watch movies, shop for perfect gifts, and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Holidays are important periods for businesses because sales surge for several weeks as many people get to shop.
Amidst robust holiday sales, it's imperative for businesses to remain vigilant and provide exemplary customer service. Prioritizing key elements of customer service during the holiday season has the potential to foster long-term client relationships or allure new ones.
Embedding a thoughtful Happy holidays message into your service approach enhances the festive spirit, creating a positive and memorable customer experience during this celebratory season.
Most Important Things in Customer Service During the Holidays
- Customer service tools
- Having an additional support team
- Customer service automation
- Team motivation
- Customer self-service
Customer service tools
One of the most effective customer acquisition strategies is investing in the right customer support tools and adopting up-to-date technology. Implementing the appropriate customer service tools during the holidays may help to boost customer experiences.
Equip your customer support staff with the best software and tools that can boost customer experiences. Tools such as Live Chat can help the customer support staff address customer complaints or queries smoothly and quickly.
If you are looking to reduce customer support hours, ensure that customers can find answers to whatever questions they have on their own. After confirming that the customer support tools are up-to-date, identify platforms that the customers use mostly to interact with your business.
These may help you to insert links to FAQs or set a reminder of the expected customer support activities. The places to add links for customer support center documentation include offline chat messages and in-app notifications.
Having an additional support team
If you are looking forward to answering multiple customer queries during the holiday, engaging more support teams may be a great way to manage the traffic. One way to expand your team is through outsourcing dedicated and committed people from reputable organizations.
Some organizations act as flexible team extensions and can enable you to benefit from their diverse knowledge and experience. Hiring qualified casual staff may also help to cope with the growing number of customer queries during the holiday season.
Hire people with the right skills, such as freelancers who may be willing to join your organization and help for some time. Some of them may be your customers who have interacted with your brand so they may require less training.
Before expanding your support team, ensure that your onboarding playbook is up to date to ensure that the outsourced or new team members adapt fast. Some of the ways to do this include:
- Expand and update your training resources
- Improve and simplify internal control systems and make it easier for your staff to access the information they need to assist customers.
- Authorize the key support agents to minimize delays caused by conversation transfers.
Most temporary employees only require having general customer skills like emotional quotient, communication, and problem-solving. They need to be empathetic with the ability to detect customer feelings and emotions. Ensure that they can communicate effectively and clearly even when talking about complex issues and that they can employ creativity in problem-solving.
Customer service automation
Finding automation opportunities may help to minimize the customer support team’s workload during the holidays. You can do so by setting up filters and workflows to split out or tag common questions that the non-support staff can handle.
Analyzing and updating the saved replies can help your support team members to easily and quickly answer questions. It could also enable temporary agents and employees from other organizations to provide quick and accurate support.
Another great way to automate customer service is by communicating with customers proactively. If you expect the response time to be longer than usual during the holidays, set up an auto-reply email. Setting accurate expectations may inspire understanding and patience among your customers.
By informing customers that your response time may be longer than usual, you enhance customer experiences, which is healthy for the business. As such, the customers don’t have to worry or wonder whether you received their questions or not. It will also ensure that your support team does not waste time handling duplicate requests.
When you motivate your employees and make them happy, they will support clients diligently and go the extra mile. Consider your agents' working hours during the holiday and give them some regular breaks to make them happy.
Depending on your financial abilities, give them holiday bonuses or some days off after the busy period. Show your support team that you care and appreciate all the time they spent serving the customers.
Your customers may feel a bit stressed and impatient while shopping, so it is important to deal with the high season challenges early enough. Be honest with your employees about what to expect during the holidays and express concerns about possible burnout.
Review the standards of customer service and the best practices the team members should adhere to in case of a crisis. Think about issues related to the holiday that may affect employees, such as time-off requests and holiday shipping plans. Remind your team that their presence makes a difference in customers’ lives and that remaining positive is key to impressing customers.
Holiday stress or making mistakes may make the customers unhappy, so support your team as much as possible. Honor your customer support staff with integrity by intervening in case of any conflicts between a customer and an employee. By so doing, you will ensure that an employee does not feel disrespected or undermined.
An intuitive, user-friendly, and detailed knowledge base is a great resource and time saver for the support team and the customers. Before you break for the holiday, take time to review reports from the previous holiday season.
Take note of the frequently asked questions and design a way of answering them through the website via knowledge base. Ensure that the customers can find the answers to questions easily without reaching out to customer support.
An excellent way to encourage customer self-service is by updating the contact page on your site to answer common questions. You can also advance this further by offering a live chat platform to reveal answers to common questions before customers seek help.
Displaying answers to frequently asked questions in the help center could also enhance self-support by customers during the holidays. This can help to reduce confusion among customers and improve conversion rates.
Customer service during the holidays is critical because customers need to enjoy continued experiences with your business. Invest in the right tools, automate customer service, motivate the support team and enhance customer self-service.
Considering the above things will make the staff and the customers happy, thereby boosting your ROI during the peak season and beyond. No matter the availability of resources or your budget, you can prepare well for this season.
Thomas Jackson is a professional freelance content writer at dissertation help, also working for assignment writing services, and appears regularly on college paper.org reviews. To find inspiration, he participates in events organized by the top several writing clubs in New York. He’s also into songwriting and he finds ideas from live concerts and gets motivated when he performs for his family and friends.