Over at CMS Wire they have a really cute infographic about customer service during the holidays, but the stats aren’t cute at all.
74% of the respondents in the survey believe that contacting customer service is more of a hassle during the year-end holidays than at any other time of the year. 37% percent said they’d rather eat last year’s stale fruitcake than contact customer service during the holidays.
Sure, it’s kind of a funny statistic, but what it’s really saying is that there is some room for improvement for the holiday customer experience. So here are some tips to help your business shine during this busy season.
Empower Your Team
If you haven’t already seen this video from Canadian airline WestJet, take 5 minutes and give it a look. As much as the customers enjoyed this holiday surprise, the WestJet employees really seem to be the winners here. Imagine how much fun they had pulling this off.
While you may not be able to give all your customers big TVs for the holidays, are there ways you can empower your employees to give your customers something unexpected? A company t-shirt, some candy in the mail, a gift card or a credit on their bill could make a customer feel valued.
Customer service can be a tough job, especially during this busy time of year. If your team is able to go the extra mile for the customers, it will make everyone feel good!
Always Be Prepared
You’re service staff is likely stretched pretty thin during the holidays, so be sure to prepare in advance to make things go smoothly. Team Support recommends that you have your customer-facing documentation up to date so customers will be able to find answers for themselves. This is great year-round advice, but especially important when response times may be slower than normal during the holiday rush.
Giving customers the tools to help find answers for themselves will get them the help they are looking for faster and gives your team a little relief.
Show Employees That You Care
Your team may be under staffed due to vacations and holiday travel. This leaves everyone else needing to pick up the extra load.
Try to give those folks as much support as you can and let them know how much you appreciate them for taking on extra hours or responsibilities. An employee who knows he’s valued is more likely to be happy at work and give good service to your customers.
The holidays are also a good time to have other team members step in and give a helping hand. Split up the work load and have everyone pitch in so that everyone has time and energy to celebrate the holidays with their families.
What We Do
Here at Batchbook we have a really wonderful Customer Experience team. Maybe you’ve met them? I asked Melony, our Director of CE, to share some of her tips with you.
- Encourage your team to extend that holiday cheer to customers, remembering folks are busy (like everyone) keep answers personal, friendly and short. Include screencasts where you can for even easier explanations.
- Over-communicate with your team. As everyone is running in different directions be sure to update everyone over email, Skype and chat to make sure everyone is staying abreast of new developments right before the holiday.
- For tech companies- be sure to have a clear schedule from the Tech Team to understand who’s handling emergencies CE might not be able to when folks are working abbreviated schedules.
We share more of our holiday advice in our free Procrastinator’s Guide to Holiday Promotions.
What Do You Think?
Do you have any tips for customer service during the holiday season? Any thoughts on what works and what doesn’t? Let us know in the comments.