The winter holiday season is the busiest of them all. Countless people purchase in-person or online starting with the pre-Halloween holiday and continuing through Christmas and the New Year. Given that the holiday season is quickly approaching, there will most probably be an increase in customers in all types of businesses. Due to the promotions and pay bonuses, usually less frequent customers will purchase a few things for themselves as well. It truly is the most lovely time of the year, for both customers and business owners.
But as your customer base increases, so do your responsibilities. Many businesses nowadays are aware that they need to spend money on a strong customer service strategy, which includes tools for responding to enquiries, helping with website navigation, payments, placing orders, making appointments, and support for meeting shipment and delivery deadlines.
In addition, a smart business should understand how to manage customers’ complaints over the Christmas season. You should be able to fulfil and exceed their expectations given that most of us are anxious and schedules are becoming progressively busier during this time.
From a larger perspective, as a business owner, you shouldn’t prepare your customer service just for the holidays, instead, you should consider having a team that can be flexible in any situation: whether it’s the holiday rush, unforeseen staff shortage, or anything else in between, that can ensure your customers are always looked after and their needs and expectations are met.
Here’s how to rock your business’ customer service this holiday season
1. Learn from your past years mistakes and prepare beforehand for the holiday rush:
- Check out data and trends from last year: take a look at your website’s analytics and your enquiries volume and what issues you encountered. Knowing where you’re at is the key to success! This way you will be able to make feasible predictions and prepare accordingly.
- Analyse the data from the previous holiday season to determine where your support team could have needed more help: putting more pressure on your existing staff during holiday peak is not a great strategy and most times will end in low customer satisfaction which leads to less income, on top of low morale and burn-out of your employees that can end up costing you so much more on the long run.
2. Set realistic expectations for your customers
- Inform customers of your availability in detail and your business operating hours during the holidays
- Let them know how your company can be reached: website, live-chat, phone, email, physical location, etc.
- Be proactive: if you are experiencing a rise in demand, let your customers know.
3. Synchronise your business departments
You can prevent anything from slipping through the cracks by making sure everyone is on the same page:
- Marketing promotions can drive major support traffic, and IT maintenance operations can be disruptive. Work closely with your colleagues to plan around the busy periods.
- The holidays are not the time for a big development release or live testing, so collaborate with product and engineering teams ahead of the rush to ensure their schedules won’t create unexpected work.
- Increase your social monitoring. People can move to social channels to complain if their expectations aren’t being met, and being responsive can head off larger issues.
- Ensure your customer service team is on the same page with all departments, working as a whole for improved customer experience and happy employees! (HelpScout)
4. Outsource – Get on board with a customer service provider so you can rock your business’s customer service this holiday season:
- Finding the right customer service team for your business can skyrocket your customer satisfaction as well keep your staff happy and motivated with higher productivity, therefore increasing your company’s income not only on the short-term, but providing excellent customer service can ensure your customers will do business with you again and again, winning their loyalty.
- Your customers deserve excellent customer support and if that is not the case they will go to your competitors as statistics show 66% of customers turn disloyal due to bad experience (Freshdesk)
5. Set up your own customer service team!
It is important to keep in mind what to look for when searching for a customer service provider.
Excellent customer service comes with a lot of training, skills in various departments, and good use of resources. Your PA team behaves like an in-house employee and follows your instructions to the T on the “how to”. So, what type of skills should you look for in your customer service provider when planning your business strategy for the holiday rush?
- They should be able to communicate clearly and effectively, even when explaining complicated tasks.
- They should be empathetic and be able to detect customer feelings and emotions.
- They should be creative in finding solutions, even to problems they haven’t seen before.
- They should be able to manage their time and work priorities effectively.
Find more useful information on how to improve customer retention here.
6. e-PA – The service you, and your customers will LOVE!
e-PA works as your full-time secretary and helps win you business, however your customers choose to communicate. Benefit from round-the-clock coverage and first class customer service support, no matter how big you grow.
- A service that tailors to your needs: Your PA team can use website forms, quote forms, dashboards apps, excel spreadsheets, documents or property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. PA’s can even post physical literature with your letterheads and so much more.
- Rocket boost your customer services: Your team takes learning about your business seriously, is committed to winning you sales and always goes the extra mile for your enquiries. With your customers cared for you can do what you do best while never missing an opportunity.
- We obsess over the small details: By combining frequent training and a fully dedicated approach, your PA’s understand your needs and how best to handle your enquiries at a reliable and impressive standard. Your updates or new instructions are instantly implemented.
Discover how e-PA works and the benefits of having an entire team of experts in all departments, on-demand, for your every business need:
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