People all around the world look forward to the holiday season, mainly because Christmas provides the chance to share gifts, enjoy family time, and take part in a ton of festivities. It’s a time of the year when people can relax, take it easy, and potentially gets merry. However, for businesses, the holiday season can present a multitude of challenges; the increased demand for products, alongside the difficulty for consumers to select the perfect gift, can be stressful.
You see, if a business fails to prepare adequately for the festive period, they’ll be inundated with customer queries, concerns, and most likely product returns. Why? Well, because as you probably know, it’s not easy to buy presents for your friends, family, or partner. Therefore, amongst the seasonal rush, customers will expect fast customer support to avoid wasting any more time.
Now, even though consumers realize it’s a busy time for businesses, they may even expect a much more streamlined customer service process than usual. As a business, this a huge opportunity to impress a wider audience, and secure new customers that will stay beyond the holiday season. But, it will also allow you to increase loyalty with your existing customers.
Although, other than extensive planning, how do you provide better support in the seasonal rush?
Forecast the increased demand
One of the most important things that you need to do is calculate how many visitors you expect. Even though this may be difficult, as you can never really establish an exact number, you’ll still be able to prepare much better if you have a rough figure. This can be done by analysing the numbers from previous years, evaluating how many customers you have currently, and highlighting market trends.
Additionally, you can also use your advertising campaign to judge the increased demand. If you’re going to deploy an aggressive advertising technique to capitalize on the seasonal rush, then you’re most likely going to have many more customers.
Use live chat for quicker responses
While it’s great to have a great relationship with your customers, by using emails and phone calls for customer service, during the seasonal rush it may not be fast enough. People want their questions or concerns dealt with instantly, so they can move on and secure the gifts that they want.
So, a superb idea is to adopt a live chat software, which will allow people to feel like they’re being addressed in real-time and not waiting for an email response or in a queue on the phone. This will remove some of the pressure and will enable your customers to feel valued and cared about.
Acquire enough staff
It may sound obvious, but many businesses simply don’t have enough staff during the holiday season to cope with the increased demand. Whether it’s due to budget issues, or whether you genuinely didn’t realize there wouldn’t be enough staff, it’s important to bolster your customer service team.
By having enough staff, or even more than necessary, your business will be in a position to handle requests, queries, and problems in a sufficient amount of time, which will satisfy your customers. But, this one does need additional planning, so you can cater for any training that they’ll need first.
Have a clean slate before the seasonal rush starts
All this means, is that it’s an intelligent move to attend to all of the tickets or emails before the seasonal rush starts. This will ensure that your customer service team aren’t trying to deal with prior queries or issues, while they’re also trying to respond to customers during the holiday season.
If this happens, the speed at which you can deliver quality customer support will be drastically decreased, and you’ll end up with unhappy customers. So, give yourself the best chance of success by beginning the seasonal rush with a clean slate in terms of customer queries.
Identify mistakes from the previous year
Finally, a brilliant way to improve your customer support for the upcoming seasonal rush, would be to reflect on the previous year. If you can identify things that you did well and improve them, and also highlight areas that you faltered in and learn from them, you’ll be able to finetune your customer service.
No business is perfect, especially not during a hectic period like the festive one, but utilizing the above tips will guarantee that you’re as close to it as possible.