How to Prepare Customer Service for Peak Season
Despite the economic headwinds buffeting shoppers this year, the desire to shop for gifts during the holiday season is proving to be strong. As inflation eases in the UK, consumers may feel better placed to spend with more confidence this year.
In fact, some key insights about consumer habits are highlighted in the Black Friday survey, with 42% of respondents saying they shop on Black Friday as the ‘deals are good and true.’
In addition, 41.3% of customers are planning to shop online and 12.1% in-store, which suggests brands should prepare for increased traffic and orders online. To ensure that customer service teams are equipped for more online orders, putting appropriate training in place will help agents cope with intensified customer contact.
5 Ways To Deliver Great Holiday Season Customer Experience
Empowering your customer service teams with the correct tools creates a collaborative team environment where CX agents bond and share good practices: a win for you and your customers.
1. Optimise opportunities
If customers know about deals in advance, they are more likely to invest in well-targeted products.
The Black Friday survey reveals that shoppers discover deals from a range of sources. Around 25.7% of consumers find them through email, with 24.5% using online ads and 24% pinpointing deals from websites.
Communicating in a friendly, informative way with customers helps them to understand what you are offering. Sharing gift guides or offering discounts on early purchases could be the right strategy to adopt for a sales surge.
This is important around Black Friday as 35.6% of shoppers are looking for a discount of 50-70%, with 16.9% searching for 70-90% discounts.
2. Expect Everything
Customer feedback is a treasure trove of insight for CX teams. The latest data demonstrates that nearly 80% of customers prefer phone conversations over any other communication. Nuggets of customer knowledge can be collected with simple Q&A formats or by agents directing customers to feedback channels.
Armed with this information, brands can polish customer service in time for the holiday rush, delivering better results and improving customer experience.
3. Deliver with data
Data analytics help produce more accurate predictions of customer behaviour. With AI modelling in place, businesses can reliably forecast consumer patterning to map out busy times or increase the stock of in-demand items.
Customer reviews can be integrated into analytics, enabling companies to evaluate both comments on review websites. In fact, 50.1% of customers like to leave a review after a Black Friday purchase.
Brands can be proactive with AI-powered predictive analytics, anticipating customer needs and product demand.
4. Target agent training
Organised customer service teams are far more likely to deal effectively with simple customer queries and complex shopper issues.
Consumers want to communicate experiences and feel heard. Patience and good listening skills are required, but agents who quickly trigger the right solutions help customers believe issues are resolved successfully and on time. With regular training, this process will be like second nature for your teams.
5. Connect with customers
If customers have a problem, they want it to be acknowledged with an authentic response. Research suggests that 52% of consumers expect to get a question answered within one hour of posting it on a brand’s digital channels.
Without this kind of proactive strategy, consumers can feel ignored as customer service impacts their brand loyalty. They say the professionalism of customer service teams and easy access to solutions help them feel supported.
Can Customer Service Be Holiday Prepared?
By customising consumer experiences, your brand can deliver meaningful relationships with customers who may end up being your biggest cheerleaders.
Leveraging technologies to increase efficiencies across all channels will help your customer service agents focus on important aspects of customer communication. Ultimately, this can create a seamless customer journey that may support greater revenue growth over the long term.
I'm a Head of PR & Marketing at PissedConsumer.com, a review platform and consumer advocacy website. I’ve worked in the marketing area for over 14 years and have gained extensive experience in communication with businesses, customers, and media representatives. Aside from helping customers be heard, I also intend to help businesses improve...