Whether you are the owner of a large retail outlet or you own an ecommerce startup, the holiday shopping season isn’t easy. Ramping up your customer service, however, can dramatically improve the experience your customers have with your business, and drive a boost in profits.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner in the US, and with Black Friday following closely after, it marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Although the term did not become widely recognized until the early 2000s, Black Friday falls on the fourth Thursday of November which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952.
When it comes to profits, this period should not be underestimated. According to a study from the National Retail Federation, around 20 to 40 per cent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year.
However, the holiday season can pose a problem for even the most efficient in-house customer service teams. Query volumes will jump, customer service queues will increase and companies will feel a rise in pressure to not only close sales but to also satisfy their customers.
Unfortunately, when customer service teams are stretched, that’s when the customer experience begins to collapse and consumer expectations are not met. A poor shopping experience during the holiday season could deter customers from returning to your business and leave them giving your business disappointing reviews.
By creating a customer-centric plan that makes use of modern technology and highly skilled customer service representatives, your business can mitigate the risk of poor service during the busy holiday season and go above and beyond for your customers.
Advantage Communications has listed three tips that will help your business prepare for the busy holiday season:
1 - Outsource your customer service to an expert
The holiday season can be extremely busy for most companies, and if your business doesn’t have expertise in dealing with high volumes of customer service queries then you could soon find both loyal and new customers turning to your competitors instead.
Outsourcing your customer service to a contact center will give your business access to experienced customer service representatives, specialized industry knowledge and the latest innovations in technology - all of which would be highly expensive to implement into your in-house team.
2 - Empower your customers to help themselves
An omnichannel customer service approach that focuses on self-service will provide immediate issue resolution and reduce customer effort. Customers will be empowered to solve their own problems and, in turn, customer service representatives will be freed up to work on more complex issues.
Self-service has been driven by technology and the ease of finding information at the click of a few buttons. Consumers no longer want to talk to representatives for simple questions, they want to be able to find them on the company’s website.
Customers are in a great position to solve their issues, and your business must make the most of this. It will help to ease the number of queries you receive over the holiday season, and, at the same time, it will improve the customer experience and dramatically reduce customer effort.
3 - Reduce wait times with real-time data
Making the most of innovative technology is a huge part of creating a successful customer service team, but it can be costly to implement. If you have decided to outsource your customer service to a contact center then you should ensure they use real-time data software.
Real-time operational intelligence tools give customer service representatives access to the information that they need to solve customer queries quickly and accurately. Through real-time access to a central database, agents can see detailed data at the click of a button - whether it be information about a specific customer or instructions for solving a particular issue.
In fact, these tools can even be used to predict customer issues before they even exist. This all helps to create a seamless customer service department that encourages your customers to return to your company in the future and recommend your products or services to their peers.
Advantage Communications has more than 20 years helping brands to PowerUp their customer experience by delivering superior customer service. Ready to learn more about how we can help your business? Contact us today.