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Winning Strategies for Customer Support during the Holiday Season

Posted on 16 Nov 07:00 pm

customer-support-during-the-holiday-season

 

Even if your customer support functions are absolutely great throughout the year, they may encounter considerable challenges during the holiday season, unless certain measures are taken. This is the time when rare customers show up and a lot of new ones reach out in hopes that you will realize their surprising ideas.

The number of calls, incoming inquiries, and tickets will be multiplied by 4 and the best of the best agents will be sunk into the endless requests coming in that are physically impossible to process timely. As a result, your clients may lose trust in your business, share negative experience over the Internet and buy from your competitors.

Do you want to learn how to win hundreds of new customers and increase sales over holidays? Here’s how.

Automate processes to save time for your customer support team

If you have a modern technological help desk, then it’s time to set it in accordance with the market demands, instead of using emails as the main communication channel for all inquiries. Once you integrate your emails with the help desk, it will provide automatic answers to most common questions of your customers. As a result, a huge part of their issues will be resolved by themselves.

According to the studies, 20-30% of inquiries are related to password recovery. This example alone can highlight the power of automation and self-service which can help your customer support team.

You can also take a step further and automate the inquiries by departments, so that refund issues will go directly to the billing, FAQ questions will be identified and the client will receive a link to the dedicated section, whereas requests on discounts will be promptly routed to the sales staff who are the best in solving these kinds of things with the greatest benefit to your company.

Furthermore, automating the communication channel will leave less room for mistakes or missing things. All tickets will be tracked in your help desk. Especially when it comes to difficult requests, requiring multiple touch-points, nothing will be overlooked or lost in a holidays’ hassle.

Your overall aim should be to create such conditions for your customer support so that they will focus on the most demanding tickets which cannot be resolved through the automation and self-service help center and therefore lessen the workload.

Grant your customers a holidays’ freedom

More and more people like finding answers to their questions without going through exhausting phone calls or ticket resolution waits. Once you have a smart system, suggesting the answers to the inquiries in the self-service help center along with other related materials, it gives your customers a freedom of finding answers faster.

Also, ensure you have quick links leading directly to the frequently used help desk sections, ready to be shown to your clients in the email signatures and footers, notifications, blog posts and offline chat messages.

As a result, your help center may very well become your life vest. People will be happy to find what they need and your staff will appreciate lower number of tickets by the end of the day. This freedom implies 24/7 access to self-resolution along with other self-service activities, allowing customers getting to the “Thank You” page quicker.

Keep the customers’ expectations and promises in balance

Before placing any attractive slogan or special offer on the website and in the ads, you need to make sure, that they are realistic. Otherwise, you may end up in a situation that your marketers promise “one day delivery” or “50% off” without any additional remarks and your customer support teams may not implement the promise due to the reasons related to the heavy workload or insufficient items in stock and so on.

However, if you clarify the promises made, by informing people about the hours of heavy workload for instance, they will talk down on your brand in social media.

Organize customer support reinforcement during holidays

Being an experienced manager, you might already start thinking about reinforcing your customer support for the holidays by hiring extra people to train before the holiday season. This is a good practice, yet this is just one option that you have.

The other option is using your staff and rotating it within the company. This may be less expensive and more productive as a result, considering that your current employees are a lot knowledgeable about everything and their experience in customer service might improve their performance in their departments afterwards too.

Here are the possible working shifts for reinforcement:

  • Half day
  • Double time or overtime pay
  • Home office
  • On-call

 

Eventually, all parties – your staff and customers will save valuable time for things that can be done faster and spend it for what’s really worth it. It only takes setting a help desk in a smart way to improve the work of your customer support during holiday seasons. You may start with optimizing your self-service help center and studying all frequently asked questions from the previous year.

 

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