5 Tips on Creating Holiday Ready Customer Service

Christmas headset womanWith the holiday shopping season in full swing, retail businesses are looking to boost holiday sales this year. However, business could ultimately suffer if customer service is not well prepared. The key to a profitable and joyful holiday retail season is ensuring exceptional customer service across all channels where customer interactions and feedback occur.

A recent report from CorvisaCloud found that 50% of consumers feel their satisfaction with customer service departments decreases during the holiday season. This underscores the importance of making sure your contact center agents, employees and customer service department perform seamlessly during the holidays.

Here are five tips to ensure excellent customer care this holiday season:

Get Your Elves Ready:  Make sure all your employees are clear on your company goals.  Emphasize the importance of the holiday season in hitting year end revenue marks and ensuring a life-long supply of happy customers.

The biggest mistake a leader can make is to assume all employees understand company goals without ever clearly stating them, so take the time to communicate clearly with employees. Customer service ranks third behind great deals and low prices as the number one reason consumers choose to shop with a retailer, proving how important every customer interaction is.

Turn that Frown Upside Down: A large majority of consumers dread calling customer service. In fact, more than one in 10 said they would rather shop amongst crazy crowds on Black Friday than call customer service. Keep customers happy by always portraying a positive and friendly interaction. Try smiling while you’re on the phone – as cheesy as it sounds, people can “hear” a smile over the phone.

Spread the Holiday Cheer: Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your customers. At the end of the day, people react to how they’re treated and that reflects on your culture as a company. The extra time you take now to make customers happy will pay off in 2014.

Get on Santa’s Good List: Put yourself in your customer’s stockings. The holiday season is a rush and amplified stress is not uncommon for anyone. Keep in mind that a pleasant experience or kind word can suddenly turn a disgruntled or cranky customer into a loyal and satisfied fan. If the interaction becomes frustrating, teach your employees how to stay patient – what seems obvious to you might not be to your customer.

Presents and Carols and Questions… Oh My!: One in four consumers said they’re most likely to contact customer service the week after Christmas and one in 20 say Cyber Monday is when they’ll reach out. Make sure your customer service department and contact center is ready for this influx of calls and customer requests. It’s always best to be prepared – consider adding additional staff for busier times.

Your contact center agents and retail sales associates are the ones interacting with your customers on a daily basis. They set the stage for creating first, second and even the one-hundredth impression of your company. Take the extra step to make sure they have the strategies in place that help make your customer service department successful and your customers merry this holiday season.

Dennis Casey is the VP of Customer Success at CorvisaCloud.