Handling the customer service experience in the festive season.

Thanks to the shopping sprees which are Black Friday, Cyber Monday and almost the entire couple of weeks which surround these two occasions, the UK Christmas season of spending lasts for much longer than it used to do.

It’s good for the economy, it’s good for business – and it will mean a busy few weeks for the people who keep your customer service ticking over, especially your contact centre agents.

So, before we can all put our feet up for the festive holidays, here’s our expert advice on how to handle customer service during the undoubtedly busy Christmas period – and to deliver more customer loyalty than Santa too.

Utilise technology

We are big believers that technology should be an enabler to customer service but that it shouldn’t replace real human interaction. The importance of real-life interaction and conversation should not be lost, no matter how busy your contact centre is. However, when things are hectic and customers are feeling frantic, there may be some questions which can be answered on social media or through self-service customer support options. But, research by Contact Babel has shown that more in-depth or emotive enquiries will encourage a customer to pick up the phone to speak to someone instead.

But, make sure you have the systems in place to keep your departments linked up to avoid customers having to go over the same information again and again – a huge 89% of customers get frustrated with a poor omnichannel experience.

Don’t forget the basics

It is easy for any of us to get stressed when we’re busy at work. Contact centre agents are, of course, no exception to this rule. Encourage your advisors to deal with enquiries as professionally and succinctly as possible. If customers are experiencing problems, let them get it off their chest and then move on in the best way possible to offer them problem resolution. Offer them genuine empathy and minimise their stress levels. This will, in turn, help to keep agents calm too if they are doing a good job at helping the customers who need their assistance. Customers will be happy to pay more – up to 18% more in some cases – for consistently good service.

A great way to assist in the delivery of a positive customer experience is to underpromise and overdeliver – but keep it within the realms of what is both possible and achievable. This will help to manage expectations – and then it can only be a good thing if you go above and beyond. Remember, 72% of people will tell six or more people about a positive customer experience. In addition, 51% of customers will never deal with a company again if they have a negative customer experience.

Invest in some training or coaching

It’s never too late to encourage your teams to brush up on their skills, especially when they are likely to be put to the test in the coming weeks. This coaching will help to drive results when it really matters. Working with people from across your organisation can help to engrain a deeper and more informed sense of how to interact with customers and be a positive representative of your organisation in a public-facing capacity.

You may want to do something as simple as brush up your FAQs to answer season-specific questions, such as delivery times and options. This will support your customer service support across social media and webchat too. Or, you may be employing temporary seasonal staff – have a training structure in place so they are up to speed too so they are a bonus and not a burden to your existing team members.

A Quality Assurance function will also help your company or organisation to look back over the Christmas period, benchmark performance, highlight strengths and identify weaknesses to inform your strategy moving forward into the coming weeks and months of 2020.

BPA Quality can help you along every step of the way. Contact us to find out more.

Ready to enhance your customer experience, drive improvement and deliver results? Then ask us how we can help.

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