Did you know that 74% of people say that customer service around holiday time is the worst it is all year? Did you know that 91% of people surveyed feel that businesses should be better prepared for the holiday rush? To make matter worse, only about 20% of people feel bad for being rude to customer service representatives over the holidays. Are you seeing the pattern here? The holidays are synonymous with terrible customer service and angry customers.
Don’t let your business miss out on heaps of holiday revenue due to weak customer service. Here are some simple ways to keep your business healthy and your customers happy during the inevitable craziness that is this holiday season:
1. Be prepared. This cannot possibly be stressed enough: preparation is everything. That may mean different things for different businesses however. Retailers should absolutely stock up on popular items and make sure they have extra man power to cover the customer influx. Online retailers using chat should be prepared for a wave of questions about various products, so put as many of your most knowledgable representatives at the forefront of your online store.
2. Manage the chaos. Again, this varies depending on if you run a physical or virtual store, but the principal is the same. Managing through chaos may be more prevalent in a physical store, where people are likely to trample each other for some holiday bargains, but there is virtual chaos to be managed as well. Make sure that your website can handle a surge of web traffic and that it wont crash when a lot of people try to use it simultaneous. If your site goes down, odds are that your competition is going to get the sale.
3. Service with a smile. As previously mentioned, the holidays aren’t simply the cheery, mushy times that they used to be. In a consumer-driven society, the holidays are a time for ruthless bargain hunting and verbally abusing cashiers when a sale doesn’t ring up right. The best thing that you can do on the business side of the madness is to keep in mind that people are more than likely stressed, sleep deprived, and slowly going broke holiday shopping. With the in the back of your mind, extend more courtesy than usual. Be extra patient, and try not to lose your cool. The friendlier the service, the better the overall experience for the customer, and the better the chance that they come back to you in the future.
4. Tend to your self-service channels. Given the hectic nature of the season, people may not want to waste time trying to call, email, or even chat you. 72% of customers prefer self-service channels over phone or email interaction. Rather than leaving them in the dark frustrated, maintain your self-service channels (such as FAQ pages) so that customer can get the answers they need without the headache.
5. Don’t neglect your employees. Remember, your employees are people too. Be sure that you’re being fair to them this holiday season. Arm them with the proper content, tools, and training to do their job effectively so that their lives are made easier as well. The less angry customers they have to deal with,the better their experience will be. Remember that happy employees ultimately translates into happy customers.
Yes, the holidays are a hectic, stressful time for those selling as well as those shopping. It’s an exhausting time of year that can make or break a business, and much of a business’s success is contingent upon customer experience. By planning ahead, keeping your store in order, properly training your employees, and helping customers help themselves, you can stay afloat this holiday season and ensure that customers return to your company after the chaos has settled.
Happy Holidays from LiveHelpNow.