According to Freshdesk, customer service queries increase by 75% over the Christmas period! Is your business ready? In this post we'll walk you through five simple and easy to implement tips that will help you manage the increase in demand over Christmas and truly ace your holiday customer service. These include:
Let’s jump right in....
Never underestimate the power of a good plan! Detailed planning is one of the best things you can do to ensure you continue to deliver good customer service during the holiday season.
So, what sort of things do you need to plan? Let’s break down the key areas:
When your detailed holiday customer service plan is complete, the next vital step is to update your customers about any changes.
Put any important information on your homepage so customers can easily see it - that includes holiday operating hours, details on days you are closed, and available contact channels. You could even send a pre-Christmas email that contains all of this information so customers are pre-warned and prepared.
If you are experiencing an increase in demand, be proactive and let your customers know. For example, when customers join a phone queue, apologise for the wait and give them an estimation of how long they will be on hold for. If it is taking an X amount of hours to reply to emails, set up an automated response that informs customers of this when they send an email to you.
Open communication is always key to managing expectations and keeping customers happy.
A good way to prepare your holiday customer service is to draw on past trends. Look at whatever data you have available from past festive seasons and prepare.
Remember: record all the data from this holiday season to help you out next year! The more data you have, the more prepared and strategic you can be year on year.
89% of customers rate speed of response as the most important aspect of a good customer experience. That remains true for holiday customer service, so don’t let yourself down with slow response times.
There are a number of key components to ensuring fast responses and resolutions. First, make sure your agents have the right training and knowledge to handle requests from start to finish. If an agent needs to transfer a customer to another agent, it automatically slows down resolution times. Sometimes this can’t be avoided, but try to limit it as much as possible by ensuring all agents have adequate, up-to-date knowledge (a bit of pre-Christmas refresher training on how to handle stressed customers can also go a long way!).
Second, give your agents access to customer data. Context can be key to fast answers. If an agent can see what webpage a customer is contacting you from, view past customer interactions, and access background customer information in real-time, it can help them resolve issues faster.
Finally, one of the best ways to reduce queues and ensure fast responses is to offer more contact channels. Live chat and call backs are the leading contenders here:
Self-serve is an emerging contact centre trend that can be incredibly helpful in managing holiday customer service demand.
Self-service is all about allowing customers to answer their own questions whenever possible. The most basic way you can do this is by ensuring content on your website is easily accessible and correct. Update content on deliveries and returns, and make sure it is easy to understand. If you find you get specific Christmas related FAQs, put these questions and answers on your homepage.
Another great way to help with customer self-service is a conversational virtual agent. These can quickly be installed on your website, and programmed to answer FAQs or direct customers to the right information so they don’t need to contact customer service.
We hope you find these tips useful this Christmas. If you have any other hacks that help you manage the holiday customer service rush, get in touch to let us know!
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