It’s only a few days left of the Christmas shopping season, which means the post-holiday customer service rush is almost upon us. As soon as Christmas is over, customers will begin contacting customer service with questions about their product or service and making returns and new purchases. It’s time to get customer service in gear to prepare for the extra calls, texts, and emails. Here are some tips to follow when preparing for the customer service rush after Christmas.
Focus on automation
Using technology to boost your customer service department is a good idea all year round, but it can be especially helpful during a holiday rush. AI chatbot is especially helpful, as it can respond to customers through text or chat to answer their questions efficiently and without assistance from a live agent. This means your customer service representatives will be able to focus on answering questions and concerns that may require more creative, human thought, and customers will be happier knowing they can quickly get answers to their questions instead of having to wait on hold for a while.
Focus on providing information on your website
Many times, when customers call or text for information, it is because that information isn’t easily accessible on their site. Many customers will first try to get information online before contacting a representative. One way to avoid too many repetitive calls and emails is to create transparency on your website with a well-done FAQ page. Here are a few ideas of questions to answer:
- Holiday working hours
- Update product info; Were there any changes or updates to mention?
- Return/exchange policy information
- Shipping policies
Focus on faster interactions
Interactions with customers need to go as quickly as possible in order to quickly move on to the next customer. One way of doing this is by adding automation as previously mentioned. Machine learning gives companies the ability to have a computer listen in on a conversation and give recommended responses to the agent.
Another way to improve speed is by making sure customer support is completely trained and has all the information needed to quickly answer questions without having to spend time looking it up or consulting with another agent to get the answer. Here are examples of information customer support should know:
- Common product issues and resolutions
- Current specials and promotions
- How products work
- All basic FAQ questions
It is also extremely important that customer service employees have the ability to actually help a customer. If a customer needs to get a refund or exchange a product, the agent needs to be able to help them. Nothing irritates a customer faster than waiting on hold to talk to someone just to get transferred a few times before someone can finally help them.
Focus on attitude
Customers will likely already be a bit frazzled when interacting with customer service after the holidays. They have had to wait on hold to get an answer to a question that seems very important to them, and usually that question is going to be related to a problem they are having with a product or with your company. Being greeted by an agent who seems annoyed or frustrated as well will just add fuel to the fire. And while your employees may be having long, tiring, and frustrating days as well, it is important to train them to continue to smile and create positive interactions with the new customer. People automatically get defensive when they think someone doesn’t like them, is annoyed with them, or is accusing them of something. By being positive and kind in the interaction, customers are more likely to put down that wall and work towards a solution instead of just being angry and leaving the business.
Ultimately, customer service over the next couple of weeks is going to be a long, drawn out process, but it is necessary and can be done correctly with the right tools and training.